Italian Mortgages

If require mortgage finance in Italy to buy an Italian property, you will want to ensure that you find the best Italian mortgage for you. Before getting an Italian mortgage to fund your property purchase, you should get as much information as possible about the Italian mortgage rates and options available to you to avoid paying thousands of Euros more than you need to over the lifetime of your mortgage.

The mortgage market in Italy has numerous lenders offering a variety of Italian mortgages which can be a bit of a headache to navigate. You will therefore need to consider the differences in the costs and terms of the Italian mortgages on offer.

We have provided some general guidance about mortgages in Italy below to help you get started. If you require any further information or details of a recommended Italian Mortgage Specialist who can help you, please contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

Italian Mortgages- The Basics:

Italian mortgages are usually offered on a Capital & Interest repayment basis only. The maximum loan to value for an Italian mortgage is usually around 60% of the property value.

The maximum term of any mortgage is typically 20 years for non-residents and to maximum age of 70. This may vary depending on the type of loan and the lender.

Italian banks will usually only lend against properties which are habitable.

Criteria For Italian Mortgages:

Affordability is the main criteria for deciding eligibility for a Italian mortgage. Therefore in order to qualify for a mortgage in Italy, the Italian mortgage lender will need to establish whether you can afford to maintain the mortgage repayments.To assess whether you will be able to afford the Italian mortgage repayments, the bank will review details of your income such as salary, investment income and rental income from other properties.

Your existing outgoing payments are also taken into account to analyse your existing financial commitments. This will include any other mortgages or rental payments, loans, credit card payments and even commitments such as maintenance payments or any court judgements against you.

Italian mortgage providers will usually require that when the Italian mortgage repayment is added to your existing outgoings, the total is not more than around 40% of your net monthly income (this percentage may vary slightly).

Documents Required for an Italian Mortgage Application:

You will need to supply proof of your income and existing liabilities. The following is an indication of some of the information you will be asked to provide:

 

If you are employed you will usually be asked for:
Your last three month’s payslips
Your latest P60 and employers reference
Your last six month’s personal bank statements
Employers reference letter

If you are self-employed you will usually be asked for:
Your last three year’s Accounts
Latest company and personal tax returns
Your last 6 month’s personal and business bank statements

If you have rental income you may also be asked for a copy of any tenancy agreements.

The Italian Mortgage Process

Before proceeding with an Italian Mortgage, you will need to ensure that you have the following:

 

Details of a recommended Italian lawyer
It is important to seek advice from an Italian lawyer before agreeing to purchase a property or obtain an Italian Mortgage. Your Italian lawyer can help to obtain any property documentation that may be required by the Italian Mortgage lender and ensure that and legal contracts protect you and any deposits paid should there be any difficulties with the mortgage application.

A Codice Fiscale
You will need to obtain a Codice Fiscale which is an identification and tax number in Italy. For further details see: Getting a Codice Fiscale in Italy.

The Italian mortgage process

1. Contact an Italian Mortgage Specialist
You will need to review the Italian mortgages available to you to establish the best option for you. Many people choose to use a Mortgage Broker who specialises in Italian mortgages for foreign purchasers to assist them. Instructing a specialist Italian Mortgage Advisor can have considerable advantages, as well as reducing the time and hassle in finding and reviewing your options.
There are no regulations on offering advice on overseas finance, so only choose a company with a solid, longstanding reputation. If you would like details of a recommended Italian Mortgage advisor, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.
2. Obtain a Italian Mortgage Quotation and Agreement In Principle

Your Italian mortgage advisor will obtain an Italian mortgage proposal for you showing rates and options available to you based on the information you have provided to them. They will also obtain an agreement in principle.

Having an approval in principle will mean that, when you go house hunting for your perfect property in Italy, you will have your finances in place, will know what your maximum budget is, you will know what cash deposits you will require and how much the entire purchase process will cost.

3. Documentation
Your Italian mortgage specialist will obtain the lenders application forms and confirm the documentation that you will be required to provide in support of your mortgage application for your Italian property. Your mortgage specialist will submit the application to your chosen lender in Italy and liaise between you regarding any queries.

4. Valuation

The Italian Mortgage Lender will arrange a valuation of the property to ensure they are satisfied that there is sufficient value in the property to cover the loan. This is not a structural valuation and the Bank valuation does not protect the buyer against future problems.

If you would like a structural survey for a property in Italy see Italian Surveyors (Link to Surveys page).

5. Mortgage offer

If the Italian mortgage lender is satisfied with the mortgage application, document and valuation, the mortgage will be offered.

6. Completion
Completion of an Italian mortgage takes place in front of an Italian Notary together with the completion of the property purchase when a mortgage deed will be signed.

Benefits of Specialist Italian Mortgage Broker

Many people choose to use a specialist mortgage broker to help them with obtaining a mortgage in Italian as they can offer the following significant benefits:

 

1. Saving you time and hassle:
Obtaining an Italian mortgage can be complicated and time consuming, particularly if you don’t speak fluent Italian. A mortgage broker who is experienced in obtaining mortgages in Italy can save you the time and hassle in finding the right Italian mortgage for you.

2. Saving you money:
Based on the information you give them, your Italian mortgage advisor will be able to advise you as to how much you can borrow, what the monthly fees will be and any additional costs involved.
Italian mortgage brokers work with many mortgage lenders in Italy, and will know about the products on offer. Good brokers know how to interpret the small print, and identify the hidden costs. They know which banks are offering promotions and special deals, which could save you money.

3. Helping you to avoid the pitfalls:
By understanding your mortgage needs in Italy, an Italian mortgage broker will also evaluate your creditworthiness and obtain an accurate idea of how much debt you can afford. This can help them to select the best Italian mortgage product for you.

It is important that you do not take on a mortgage that is bigger than you can manage and a specialist mortgage broker can help to avoid difficulties with potential interest rate rises and currency fluctuations.

4. Experience and Market knowledge:
Specialist Italian mortgage brokers are regularly updated on the best Italian mortgage deals and will check all the documentation for your application.
Experienced overseas mortgage brokers have helped many other non-Italians to get an Italian mortgage, which gives them valuable experience that you can benefit from.

5. Negotiating Power
Italian mortgage specialists can use their reputations with lenders in Italy to negotiate the best deal for their clients.

A combination of business volume, convenience for the lender and reduced risk for lenders, means that mortgage lenders in Italy value what the mortgage brokers do in bringing them clients. They are often therefore willing to negotiate better terms to win their business.

6. Help you to understand the process and documentation
Italian mortgage advisors can help you to understand the mortgage application process, the documents required and provide you with the information required in a language you understand.

For details of a recommended Italian Mortgage specialist, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

Italian Mortgage Costs

In addition to the usual costs associated with the property buying process in Italy, if you obtain a mortgage for an Italian property you will also need to budget for the following additional costs:

Italian Mortgage Broker Fees

Mortgage brokers who specialise in assisting clients find mortgages for property purchases in Italy usually charge a fee for their services. The amount of any fees charged varies from company to company and may depend on the amount of work involved and the amount of loan required. A fee of 1-2% of the loan amount plus an application processing fee of up to £200 is typical.

Italian Lender’s Valuation Fee

Valuation fees vary from lender to lender but are usually around €200-€300.

Lender’s Arrangement Fees

Italian Banks usually charge a fee known as an opening fee or arrangement fee. These generally range from a couple hundred euros to 1% of the loan amount.

Insurance

It is compulsory to have buildings insurance for an Italian property and advisable to take out a Life Insurance policy when taking out a mortgage in Italy.

Legal Fees

Lawyers fees, Notary fees and Land Registry fees are increased where a property purchase in Italy requires a mortgage. This is due to the extra work required in dealing with the lender, the mortgage deed and registering the mortgage.

Top Tip

Your Italian mortgage will probably be in euros and mortgage payments will need to be transferred to your Italian bank account each month together with money for with additional regular expenses, such as utilities, maintenance or management fees.
If the income you use to make the repayments is not received in euros (e.g your salary or rental income) you will need to consider the impact of fluctuations in exchange rates, which may significantly affect the cost of the monthly mortgage payments.It is therefore recommended to use a foreign currency exchange company to convert your funds to euros for your Italian mortgage payments and other bills. Using a foreign currency exchange company can help you save money on your Italian mortgage repayments. This is because they offer a superior exchange compared to the rates offered by high banks.If you would like more information about a recommended currency exchange company, contact us and we will be happy to put you in touch with a reputable currency specialist who can provide further details. Call us on 01244 478911, email us at info@totalbuyingabroad.com or download our guide to buying property in Italy.

Pensions and Investments in Italy

If you are planning to move to Italy or spend a considerable amount of time there, you will need to know how to receive your income, such as any pensions, rental and other investment income in the most practical and tax efficient way in Italy.

The tax rules vary from country to country. Existing income and investments structures, which have been set up in your home country, may not continue to receive their tax benefits once you become a resident in Italy and subject to Italian tax rules.

There may also be tax advantages which you would be eligible for under Italian law when you receive your income in Italy but are not benefitting from as part as your existing pension or investment structure.

We have set out some information below to assist you with considering your income arrangements in Italy to help you make sure that these are dealt with in the most effective way possible for you.

What happens to your state pension if you move to Italy?

If you are receiving your state pension from the UK, you can still claim your UK State Pension if you live in Italy.If you currently live in Italy but have never worked in Italy, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre (IPC) in the UK.

If you are moving to Italy from the UK and already claim your state pension you should inform the IPC of the changes to your circumstances to prevent any problems with your pension payments.

If you are receiving a State Pension from a country other than the UK, you should contact the pension authority in the country the pension will be received from to ascertain how to receive your state pension when in Italy.

Once you are resident in Italy you will need to declare income from your state pension to the Italian tax authorities. Depending on your personal circumstances, income from your state pension may be liable for tax in Italy.

What happens to my private pensions and investments if I move to Italy?

You can usually receive the income from your private pensions and investments in Italy. Such investments are, however, likely to be structured so that they are tax efficient in the country in which they were set up and are not necessarily tax efficient in Italy or compliant with the Italian tax laws.If you do not review these when making your move to Italy, you could end up paying more tax than you need to, or becoming liable to penalties and fines.

If you are an expatriate living in Italy, or planning to move there, you should consult a specialist financial advisor in Italy who specialises in advising ex-pats. They will review your options with you and advise you as to the tax implications of your pensions and investments for you in Italy and ensure you submit the information that is required by the Italian tax authorities.

It may well be that you can gain tax benefits in Italy by restructuring your pension or other investments so that you can, legitimately, pay the least amount of tax possible in Italy, while maintaining your investment objectives.

I already have a financial advisor in my home country, do I need a financial advisor in Italy?

Many people have a financial advisor in their home country to look after their investments. Financial advisors will structure their client’s investments to ensure that the investments are appropriate for their clients needs and set up in the most tax efficient way in that country.Financial advisors are usually (although there are a few exceptions) only qualified to advise clients about suitable structures based on the tax liability in the country in which they practice.

If you move to Italy or become a tax resident of Italy you will usually be liable to pay Italian taxes. You should therefore have a financial advisor qualified to advise regarding Italian tax and investments who can advise you as to the best way to structure your investments so that they work under Italian tax laws.

Many people do feel a loyalty to their existing financial advisors in their home country however your existing advisor will not usually have the expertise to ensure that your investments are dealt with in the most efficient way from an Italian tax perspective.

How will my pension and investment income be taxed in Italy?

If you spend more than 183 days a year in Italy you will become a resident of Italy for tax purposes and will be liable to declare your income in Italy to the Italian tax authorities and pay income tax under the Italian tax rules. Non-residents may also be liable to pay tax on any income they receive which arises in Italy for example rental income for a property in Italy.You may also still be required to pay tax in your own country as well as in Italy. There may however be a double taxation agreement between Italy and your home country to ensure that you do not pay tax twice on the same income. You will need to take advice to ensure that this double taxation relief is properly claimed and your tax return filed properly.

It is therefore very important to take professional advice on your tax matters in Italy to ensure they are both compliant and tax-efficient in Italy.

If you require details of a recommended financial advisor in Italy who can advise you about how to deal with your income, investments, succession plans or taxation matters, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or email us at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

Estate planning and Italian inheritance taxes

Italian has its own succession and inheritance tax regime, which may be very different to the tax rules in your home country. The inheritance tax rules of your home country may also still apply to you even if you become resident in Italy.The rate of Italian inheritance taxes payable in Italy depends on how the beneficiary is related to the deceased and the type of assets inherited.

As everyone’s situation is different however, you should make sure you take professional advice regarding your own specific situation to ensure you understand how your assets will be divided and taxed. You should make sure any arrangements already in place are efficient from a tax perspective in Italy and suitable for you and your family circumstances.

If you would like details of a recommended advisor to assist you with Italian succession matters or with regard to your income, investments or taxes in Italy contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

For more information about buying a property in Italy, download our free guide.