The area around Lake Como is known as one of the most beautiful corners of Italy. Located in Lombardy, it starts from the bottom of the Alps near the Italian-Swiss border and runs 48 kilometres southward forming an upside-down Y.
Owning property for sale on Lake Como is a dream of many for a number of reasons. In addition to the fancy to be an immediate neighbour to a superstar, the majority of people are drawn to this lakeside area thanks to its astounding natural splendour. Lake Como is the third biggest lake in Italy with the others being Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda. With about 145 m2 of serene sky-blue waters, the lake overlooks beautiful mountain ranges and greenwood.
The area is served by six airports from Lugano on the Swiss side and Milan, Brescia, Verona on that of Italy. Lake Como is also famous for its exquisite combination of Swiss and Italian cultures with a diversified culinary and spirits tradition. Not to mention some other reasons why estate agents never complain about the lack of demand in this place of pristine beauty and unforgettable culture. In spite of the widespread opinion that Lake Como can be home only to multi-millionaires, affordable options can still be found nearly everywhere around it. You would still be able to admire the very same dazzling views as the billionaires in such communes as Laglio and Sorico. For around €500,000 Euros, you can get a beautiful apartment just a few meter walk from the lake in Laglio which is as little as 60 km north of Milan. You can even buy a renovated apartment in Nesso for just €350,000 or well a two-level apartment in Tremezzina for the same price.
The town of Ossuccio some 20 km north of the lake has plenty of lovely villas for sale. Other locations with awesome prices for detached houses are the comunes of Pianello del Lario, Domaso and the town of Musso. It is not necessary at all to hold a multi-million bank account to own Lake Como real estate.
A Step-by-step Guide to the Italian property purchase procedure
1. Making the Offer to Purchase
Upon finding the property you would like to buy the procedure has to be initiated by making a formal offer to the seller with the real estate agent acting on your behalf and putting forward the offer and placing a deposit, usually totalling 1% of the purchase price or a fixed amount (e.g. €1,000).When the seller accepts the offer, it will be formalised in writing in Italian as well as the buyer’s native language. The next step is to pay the deposit (caparra confirmatoria) to the seller, which results into a legally binding contract. From now on it is impossible for either party to withdraw, and either of them can force the sale or make a claim for damages. When withdrawing the buyer loses the deposit or can receive a double amount deposited if the transaction fails through due to the seller’s fault.
2. Signing the preliminary agreement
The second step takes place between 1-3 months after the offer has been accepted, which is signing a formal agreement between the buyer and the seller, a preliminary agreement and containing the sale terms and conditions. It is crucial for you to fully understand the text of the agreement in every detail at this stage. We strongly advise that you hire a professional notary. The paper will include the purchase price, detailed property description including the date of its completion and any obligations rising between the seller and the purchaser, as well as all information concerning the property including the property details, payment terms and schedule as well as mortgage approval. After signing the preliminary agreement, a further deposit has to be paid, this equalling to 10% - 20% of the purchase price. An agent’s fee also has to be paid at this stage.
3. Signing the Final Deed of Sale
The buyer must hold an account with an Italian bank in order to complete the purchasing procedure. The signing of the final deed of sale which will make the transfer of the property legal must take place in the notary’s presence. The buyer has the right to select and hire the latter, but the purchase deed will be drafted by a body of individual professionals who will observe the title being legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. The Notary is also responsible for verifying the lawfulness of the documentation and registering the deed with the Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari and the Local Land Register.
4. Observing formalities after the sale completion
International purchasers must receive a certified copy of the purchase deed which the notary will have submit to the authorities. As a rule, it becomes available to collect around 2 – 3 weeks after the sale completion. The notary usually also gives the buyer a special form to complete for the local authority after informing it on the purchase. The notary will provide assistance in filling the form out. You will need to contact the utilities provider to sign a new utility agreement (electricity, water, phone, gas and so on). When having bought an apartment, the condominium manager must be informed of the fact that the ownership of the property has changed.