Real Estate in Italy

Real estate in Italy is a totally different animal than in the US. Reasons why:

  1. it is not a good investment. You will be very lucky to recoup your money from purchase and any renovations you do.
  2. you cannot be in a hurry to sell. We are told allow average of 3-5 years to sell here.
  3. Italians and Americans have very different ideas about houses/apartments. What should be in it. How much you should pay for what’s in it.
  4. Italians inherit property over centuries. They all have multiple houses. They do not have mortgages. They do not buy houses because they do not need to. They are house rich and cash poor.
  5. The market is stagnant. Or actually declining.

I tell you this because we have listed our house. Not because we aren’t happy here. It is my dream house. It is just the way I want it. But, being realistic, we are aging and a house on the fourth floor (American), third floor (European) is not optimal for aging in place. There is no possibility of an elevator.

Today we had a nice, young Italian couple look at the apartment. Normally we get English and Americans looking. We have listed at two agencies, one British/international, and one Italian. The couple seemed to like it. It is interesting because all the Italians we know say an Italian would never buy this place. One, because it is too expensive. And two, because it is not to their taste.

I beg to differ on both points. First, we paid €20,000 more than we are asking (!) and we put another €65,000 into its renovation. So, perhaps we paid too much. But getting it with all the bells and whistles for only €230,000 is a deal. Second, we renovated and furnished it with all Italian finishes and products. Our kitchen is manufactured by Pedini — a well known Italian kitchen designer. Our furniture is all purchased here. It is Italian in every way. But maybe a bit more sophisticated Italian than many Umbrians are willing to embrace.

This all said, I am in no hurry to sell. I will be very, very sad to move away from here. And I am not sure where we will go. It all depends on what is available elsewhere when we sell. I have many new friends here in Umbria. A nice support system, and I would miss them. I am loathe to leave it. Except…and it’s a big except…Umbria is not what I call Stranieri (foreigner) friendly. We cannot get a Permesso di Soggiorno (Permit to stay) for more than a year, commonly 2 years elsewhere. We are told we cannot apply for the EU Long Term Residence Permit, supposedly available to all foreigners after 5 years of Residency. Why? It is an arbitrary decision by this region. And no recourse that we know of. So, moving from here could facilitate these things for us. A real conundrum.

Of course, I don’t expect to sell anytime soon. So we aren’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Rest assured, I will continue to write on NancyGoes from whatever location we land in, in Bella Italia. In case you’re interested here is our listing.

12 thoughts on “Real Estate in Italy

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Carol. Happy you enjoy my blog. I write it for myself as much and anyone. But it makes me happy to hear from people who read it. I do find myself feeling like I’m talking to my readers 🙂 Thanks for the kind words. And seasons do come and go. We will see what is in store for us and it will be another adventure! It will give me lots to write about with the search for a location, then a place. You know I’m looking all the time!

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Well, we will enjoy it for however long we have it. It’s such a perfect place. Hard to think what I can get to replace it that will be as good. I will keep posting. The move and search for a new place will give me many things to write about!

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Well we will see what fate has in store for us! Life is an adventure if we make it one!

  4. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Thanks Royane. Wasn’t sure I wanted to tell everyone…but it is part of the adventure I guess.

  5. CJPardun

    Hi, Nancy. I have so enjoyed reading about your adventures in Italy. My husband and I have often talked about whether we could live in Italy for a time. (We are currently spending the summer in Meta di Sorrento.) I totally subscribe to the idea of the changing seasons in our lives. Just because something is wonderful doesn’t mean is should/can last for ever. Who knows what the next wonderful thing is that awaits you and your husband. I looked at your listing and it is gorgeous. I look forward to reading about your ongoing adventures! Carol Pardun

  6. Rodney

    I admire your adventurous spirit! I mean that! At least there is no “wall” over there”!

  7. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Jane. Thanks for the kind words. I do get really attached to some of the places I live and this is one of them. I love the apartment and I love Umbertide. I have a hard time thinking of a new beginning. But who knows what the future will bring. And like I said it will likely take a while to sell so I’ll enjoy it while I’m here 🙂. You and Patrick should come visit!

  8. jane nilles

    Oh Nancy. Your home that you turned into an architectural paradise; and Umbertide your city that you put your heart and soul into loving and learning about and all it’s nuances. This must have been a very difficult decision for you and Luther. You made a dream into a reality, and will again with your next adventure. Hugs!

  9. Nancy Hampton Post author

    I’m so torn about it all. I hate the thought of moving. What will be will be. I cannot find anything I like anywhere. Maybe when it sells I will get lucky and find something.

  10. Joanne Qualey

    You are selling a beautiful place. Someone will treasure it! We don’t want you to go too far away though.

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