Property purchase: The three steps to buy property in Italy.

Understanding the process of buying property in Italy through an italian real estate agency.

Understanding the process of buying property in Italy through an italian real estate agency. Read more.

Villa surrounded by 18,610 sqm of land. Trivento. Molise.

Characterful stone house fully restored with garden. Agnone. Molise.

Large villa of 240 sqm, composed by two apartments and a garage, surrounded by 18.610 sqm of land. 135.000 €. View Property.

Villa for sale in Crecchio, 10 km far from the beach. Abruzzo.

Villa with two apartments, large garden with vineyard in Crecchio, Abruzzo.

Villa of 240 sqm, large garden with vineyard and well. Possibility to install a swimming pool. 145.000 €. View Property.

Villa at 13 km from the beach with 140 olive trees. Cupello.

Beautiful villa with breath-taking view of the Adriatic sea, Majella mountain and rolling hills. Molise, Italy.

Large country house surrounded by 10.645 sq. m. of land with olive grove. 109.000 €. View Property.

Life in Abruzzo. Events and Traditions.

This blog promotes life style in Abruzzo and Molise regions. Events, festivals, traditions and many others interesting, funny and useful tips about Abruzzo and Molise.

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 We asked a couple of friends from the UK, who have lived in Abruzzo for the past 6 years, what in their opinion are the pros and cons of living in Abruzzo. They are youngish, cultured, with a young kid and have chosen to live in the countryside, to embrace a slower pace of life, surrounded by nature.

Let’s see the pro’s and con’s of living in Abruzzo as a British citizen from Lisa’s point of view:

<< Two decades then past working in the city, long hours for little pay, fun, social times but finally the decision was made to look for a property in Italy. I had started an Italian language night class for beginners and was introduced to the region Abruzzo from a small article I noticed in a national newspaper mentioning the Marsican brown bears. Was it possible that there were bears still surviving in Italy? This led to further research into the region, I was hooked, national parks, mountain ranges, the greenest region of Europe, incredible rare flora and fauna, azure coastlines and untouched medieval villages.

This had to be the place, finances dictated too, we had very limited funds, and this region seemed affordable.

The adventure started, we spent 5 months in our old VW camper weaving through the mountain tracks trying to get a feel for the region and to which part we felt more attracted to.

Our house was incomparable; I had seen it 6 months earlier on the internet and knew from the first visit that it was the house for us. It was a stone house clad in cement, grey, damp, with land, abandoned for 20 years. Absolutely no services, leaking, crumbling and unloved but alluring, I loved it.

First of all the people here are always amazingly warm and welcoming.

We then spent the next 6 years backwards and forwards to the UK due to commitments, family issues and ties, our original ideas foiled but we decided as complete novices to restore the house ourselves, to be the architects, designers, builders, gardeners, whatever was thrown our way. We both have creative backgrounds and so this helped with the design and aesthetics of the build but we essentially embarked on huge learning curves, from laying pipes, septic tanks, removing rendering, re-pointing, plastering to building roofs, walls, rooms, completely digging out and rebuilding heaved floors, landscaping, planting and pruning. All keeping to a rustic, simple traditional look. Many, many temporary kitchens, camp toilets, solar showers and tents. Dust and rubble, wildlife and sleeping under the stars.

Our funds have always been very low but we have invested an incredible amount of time and effort. We became time rich and cash poor. A few years ago we also had our son here; this did not stop works and has enhanced our time here immensely.

The Pro’s of living in Abruzzo in my opinion are many:

First of all the people here are always amazingly warm and welcoming. Our neighbour's are always visiting with barrow loads of offerings from fruit and veg, to eggs and local meats. They are warm without being invasive. We live in an isolated area that we feel very safe and free in.

The cost of living here is very low. There have been low financial costs throughout our time here. Our lifestyle has completely changed due to our low finances but we do not feel that we have missed out on anything due to the quality of life here. Local, organic fruit and veg, wine, meats are much more affordable and delicious. Eating out is of a very high standard and very low cost. We are partial to a glass of wine or two and the quality of wines here are high without the price tag.

Another pro is obviously the beauty of Abruzzo. There are beautiful, inspiring landscapes from beaches to mountains to lake regions. All very untouched and un-touristy, there are also diverse local festa’s and traditions to experience and enjoy.

The attributes here are not obvious, showy and slightly rugged on the edges, you have to work at finding the jewels.

The Con’s that we have experienced here are that it seems harder to find employment and there are lower wages.

It is hard to navigate the beaurocratic systems. The healthcare is also complicated to use. The system itself is very different to the NHS in that It is part state run and part private and you are responsible for all of your own records and booking appointments rather than an integrated system that we are used to. Being one of the first foreigners in our small comune we had to research how to enter the system and then talk to staff in the administrative services to tell them what we had read! But of late and having learnt how the system works we had had small procedures done in a short space of time and efficiently which would have taken a lot longer on NHS waiting times.

It appears that this region has less governmental funding invested. The roads are particularly neglected, they seem to be passable for tractors and put put’s only! I now understand why everyone drives around in 20 year old fiat panda’s!

For us as artists the art scene is fairly minimal. We came here for a slower pace of life and we got it! a more relaxed approach is key.

For most, Abruzzo is a place to come to experience local cuisine and wines, to de-stress, get back to nature, and enjoy the summer heat or ski in the winter snows if that is your thing.

This region has masses of potential, it is less materialistic, nature led, not contrived with wilder landscapes. The attributes here are not obvious,  showy and slightly rugged on the edges, you have to work at finding the jewels, Abruzzo doesn’t shout out at you, you have to go looking for it and in that you see the beauty and benefits.

Property prices here in Abruzzo are very affordable, it is one of the most inexpensive regions in Europe and land is very affordable too. Therefore it is the perfect place to buy for those searching for an alternative style of life immersed in nature or simply for those who have a budget that does not permit to buy in Tuscany or in other expensive regions.

But, the downside is that Abruzzo is not a region to make a profit. I highly doubt at this time that we could sell our house for the costs that we have invested including the work and time that was involved.

Or maybe yes, with a bit of good luck! >>

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 Olive oil flows like blood through the veins of most Abruzzan’s. Famously proud of their culture, traditions and of course their food, olive oil is held in the highest of esteem.

We arrived in this little spot of paradise 8 years ago, heady with desire to make a home in this rich and diverse region, attracted by the wild, uncontrived landscape and the draw of the mountain ranges and azure coast alike. As big city dwellers we were searching for a healthier, slower pace of life and wanted our feet firmly stomping on fertile ground. We were overwhelmed by the depth and passion the Abruzzesi share with everything they do. Olive oil was something we definitely wanted to produce for our little family and extended family and the hoards of friends we knew would descend on us throughout the years.

In September we give a counter prune, take out shoots that have no fruit, or branches that will hinder picking, let in an extra bit of light to mature the fruit.

Our first taste of production was by a chance meeting with our now great friends whilst waiting to view a house in Casalanguida, a place we later found out to be considered the heart of olive oil in this area. We met in March just in time for the pruning stage of the plants and we were openly invited to assist, we eagerly agreed and spent a happy few weeks pruning and cleaning 1000 plants. We say plants as that is the translation here, they are then forced into a tree shape for maximum production.
We learnt that pruning is done in a two year cycle, with half of the trees pruned hard to encourage new growth. Those then would produce less fruit than their less harshly pruned neighbours which would be called production plants for that year. We even joined our friend on a day pruning course to learn how to recover abandoned olives, a skill that became essential when we finally had our own grove.

If you ask 10 locals how to prune you will get more that 20 different solutions, so we slowly fell into our preferred style with consideration to the abandoned grove we have. The plants are huge and were surrounded by edging woodland so we slowly freed the plants revealing gnarly gloriously shaped trunks. Some with so many trunks we renamed them Stonehenge! They are grand and powerful and shimmer in their beauty.
We try to keep them low for ease of picking and try to divide them into four champagne glass shape corners, opening out the centre to allow light throughout the whole plant.
We were told that the olive is very forgiving and they grow so vigorously we have never held back on their sculpting, all is a learning curve and what you may think were mistakes will be forgiven by next year’s growth. Every year we improve on the grove. The grove is then left for the summer, just merely keeping the grass down, the plants make gentle dabbled shade for afternoon naps!
In September we give a counter prune, take out shoots that have no fruit, or branches that will hinder picking, let in an extra bit of light to mature the fruit. The most important job then is to clean around the bases where new growth is shooting up, this makes laying the nets under difficult, we make sure that the bases and land is very clear and clean, this prevents ripping nets, one of our catchphrases is ‘no noses’.

The great harvest – branches laden, drooping to the floor, almost like bunches of grapes. When to pick, that is the question, every year brings new influences, is the fruit ready, how has the weather been, too much water, not enough, too much sun, not enough, high winds at flowering, the dreaded fly, all negate the quality and quantity of the harvest. Ours being an experimental approach we prefer early picking towards the end of October, we prefer full flavours over high production. Again some wait for the plants to be an array of fruit both green and black morphing from one to the other, whilst others will wait till all is black, full of oil, easy picking, or is the choice to wait until the perfect phase of the moon, should your approach be biodynamic.

We were fortunate to become the guardians of some 50 ancient plants, they had been left to make their own way for some 20 years or so, whilst slightly unloved, naturally organic, we uncovered roughly 40 back into production, and have planted a further 30 to keep them company which will take a good few years to bear fruit. We have an enchanting grove scattered with old and new plants.
In all the years that we have harvested we have had glorious sunny short wearing weather, we take 2 long days as we are looking to make extra virgin oil which is based on the acidity level of the oil, the major factor in this is the time the olives are left off the plants to pressing which is why we like to pick and press in 48 hours.

Days when three or sometimes four generations of one family work together tirelessly on their harvest with glorious picnics on groves.

So having checked in with Alberto at the mill we will get up before dawn normally armed with eager friends or family, again in an attempt to make the optimum oil we hand pick our plants which we believe is more gentle on the fruit.
With us and a very energetic toddler we will set out to the grove carrying nets, crates and combs, we lay out the nets below the first tree, we set off on the most joyous job of the year, it never seems like a chore, there is something very humbling about setting your feet on mother earth and looking up through the branches to the sky, cricked neck and all, the sun warming the autumn air and the plant gives up its fruit gratefully knowing that it is going to make you one of the world’s most valued products.

Many use mechanical flippers and we have worked at friends groves in this method too, the valley livens with the energetic sounds of branches being brushed and millions of leaves and olives combed, gently falling to the nets. This is just our little valley imagine that multiplied by thousands again in the Chieti valleys and then the Abruzzi valleys and then the whole of Italy, unimaginable. Days when three or sometimes four generations of one family work together tirelessly on their harvest with glorious picnics on groves.

The days are punctuated with little breaks for coffee, cakes, wines and delights to keep the energy levels high. Picking is hard work, tiring on the legs and necks, lots of looking up and bending down. We work one plant at a time, working methodically, some clambering in the branches, waiting for the unanimous call ‘finito’ signalling the gathering of the nets and skilfully pouring of olives into crates. Then this choreographed ballet moves on to the next plant, two nets down, pegged to prevent escapees rolling away from the charms of the nets. And so with the gentle steady rhythm the day continues with the sound track of lively banter of happy pickers, joking, telling stories and ponderings of life. Then as the day draws dark there is a push to get the last plants to give up their bounty and we head off to the mill. We speculate on the amount, quality, all of our hearts and souls are in these round little fruits and the picking is over for another year.

In the strive for the most perfect oil we use a certified organic mill, it uses cold extraction process, which is an upgraded version of cold pressed, which means you are not heating the oil which affects the flavour.
The mill is always packed, the hubbub of collection and the thrill of completion, talks of quantity and quality, of how the spring was too cold or the summer too hot or of the previous year’s fly problems, stories of years ago when the plants were so full the ground was slippery with it, of days of old when harvests waited until after the first snow!

There is a smell and mist, oily haze at the mill that is unique, you are tired, it is late and chilly but you want to wait to watch your oil pressed, you sit wine in hand until your turn. You excitedly watch your crop being loaded into the hopper to be de-leaved and washed and then the great mulch begins followed by the centrifuge, separating and finally you watch those delicious drops pour, heady smell of fresh mountain grass and the joyous luminous golden yellow green colour appears, the harvest of your love and care and attention gently pours into your shiny steel can. Then to the final olive oil tradition, an experience so rare and exceptional, you bring home your oil and savour the first drizzled taste on fresh bread or homemade chittara, truly amazing, the pepper, the bite at the back of your throat, the freshness, indescribable.

Tagged in: Olive grove Olive oil
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 Once you’ve found a home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer, usually through an estate agent. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in Italy.

Offer:

When you find the right property in Italy you can place an offer. If the offer is accepted by the owner of the property, Abruzzo Rural Property will collect all the document related to the house.

The most important documents are:

  • Titles documents
  • Floor plans and land maps
  • Energy certification

There might be other documents required by the notary. We will provide to the notary all the documents he asks for. The notary will check all the documents, if everything is in order he will issue an estimate. The estimate will include: Notary fee, purchase taxes, registration taxes.

When the notary gives his approval, and issues an estimate the buyer can choose to have a technical survey. The survey is not a mandatory document, it is not required by the notary. Nevertheless, the buyer might want to have it to be sure about the state of house. A survey can be provided by any registered surveyor, architect or engineer.

Preliminary agreement:

At this point after the approval of the notary and after the satisfactory outcome of the survey if the buyer decides to have one done, Abruzzo Rural Property can proceed to write a preliminary agreement.

The preliminary agreement is a pre-purchase contract where we will state:

  • Terms and conditions of the purchase
  • Buyers and vendors’ data
  • Property cadastral data
  • Price of the property

The preliminary agreement must be registered at the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency) to be an official contract. If the preliminary agreement is not registered, it’s value is reduced to a mere agreement amongst two people. When the buyer and the vendor will both have signed the preliminary agreement, the buyer must send a deposit of the 10% of the final purchase price. The deposit can be sent directly to the owner of the house or to the real estate agency that is handling the sale.

Usually the completion’s time after the signing of the preliminary agreement is two or three months. It is possible to complete the sale in shorter time or longer time according to buyer’s and vendor’s need. The terms of the sale will be stated in the preliminary agreement and will have to be respected. The preliminary agreement can be signed from abroad and sent by email. But two original copies with original signatures will have to be posted to Abruzzo Rural Property that will take care of the registration process.

Final Signing - Deed of sale:

The final signing will take place at a notary office here in Italy. To sign the final deed the buyer will have to be present, or he will have to sign a power of attorney in favour of the real estate agent or any other people who can attend the signing.

On the day of the final signing the buyer must complete all the payments: to the owner of the house, to the notary and to the agency.

On the date of the final signing the buyer will receive the keys of the house and will become the new owner of it.

Tagged in: Purchasing process
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 Have you ever thought about buying a house in Italy but always thought it was expensive or simply have just not bothered because of the short time you would eventually spend there?

After all, why spend lots of money on buying a house in Italy when realistically you could pop over for a visit just once or twice a year?

Fair enough, this is true, but I invite you to consider the many unique special deals on offer at the moment, with houses in the Abruzzo region for just 15.000, 10.000 euro or even less. The big news is that houses, at such low prices, do not necessarily require a lot of restoration work.

Some of them are in need of internal restoration like a new bathroom, new electric system, new windows and various sorts of refurbishments to make them comfortable and attractive. However, the actual structure and roof are always in good condition and the utilities such as water, electricity and main sewerage are always connected.

There are many characteristic town houses with lovely traditional arch doors and vaulted ceilings. These vaulted ceilings are usually painted in white, but beneath the white plaster, incredibly beautiful cotto bricks and iron beams are to be found and large stones, lying under the thick walls covered in plaster of these houses, can easily be exposed to create a much sought after, cosy, rustic style which you are bound to have come across in Home and Interior Design magazines.

Below some photos of restored houses with original features.

These houses always avail of fireplaces which are in good condition and can be used to heat the house, create a cosy atmosphere in winter and also to cook food. Fireplaces do not really need any work done apart from cleaning the chimneys from time to time, as they may not have been used for years. Sometimes these houses avails of traditional wood oven for pizza or bread.

Another characteristic of these houses are the traditional wooden shutters, usually painted in white or pale blue, but they can be sandblasted to recover their original wood colour.

These places situated in characteristic small hill top villages, which only require a small amount of money for restoration, can easily be rented out to tourists as romantic nests once renovated. Not many house owners are to be found in these villages who rent their houses to foreign tourists as usually these properties belong to elderly people who neither speak English nor use the internet.

These hill top villages are completely unspoiled with breath-taking panoramic views, offering genuine km O food, excellent olive oil and local wine like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo at just 2,00 euro a litre. What more could you ask for as a perfect destination for a relaxing weekend far away from the noisy madding crowd.

Want to see what you can buy for 15.000,00 euro or less?
Check out some of our links below…

Best bargain properties

  • Character stone house for sale in Italy

    Character stone house with lake view. Bomba.

    Price: € 125.000

    Beautiful stone house full of character, with unique details and best quality finishing. Terrace with lake view. Bomba.

    Property details:

    • House measures 140 sqm plus terrace
    • Exposed stone, vaulted and roman ceilings, wooden floor
  • Italian historic palace for sale in Colledimezzo

    Elegant palace dated back to the eighteenth century.

    Price: € 300.000

    Large historic palace of over 500 sqm in Colledimezzo, near a lake. The roof has been rebuilt and is completly new. The structure is in perfect conditions.

    Property details:

    • 500 sqm
    • Needs light internal cosmetic works and it has to be re-wired
  • Historic palace for sale in Italy

    Large historic palace to renovate in Molise.

    Price: € 50.000

    This historic building is dated back to the 1800, measures 250 sqm and it is completely made of stone. Beautiful vaulted ceilings. Terrace and cellars.

    Property details:

    • 250 sqm
    • In need of internal renovation
  • Traditional Italian townhouse for sale in Furci

    Traditional town house in Furci.

    Price: € 25.000

    Traditional town house in Furci, Abruzzo. Made of stone, with vaulted ceilings, cotto tiles, traditional wood burning oven and balcony.

    Property details:

    • 168 sqm
    • Internally the house needs some light renovation and cosmetic works

It goes without saying, please feel free to contact Abruzzo Rural Property for any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Tagged in: Property Abruzzo
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