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Author: chopsueycp Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 127464  
Subject: Purchasing Real Estate Abroad Date: 2/5/2013 2:35 PM
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Hello all,

My family has been offered an opportunity to buy back property in Italy that our ancestors that were born there owned. The property is still owned by a second cousin, but he has been approached by some outside buyers and is thinking about selling. He wanted to offer it to us as a courtesy before he sells it out of the family.

We are talking about a very small purchase in the grand scheme of things. However, the property has nostalgic value for us and some family members are willing to put up a few bucks to keep it in the family and have a place to visit over there.

I was going to do some research on buying real estate abroad, but I don't even know where to start. Do any of you have experience here and can point me in the right direction? I have expressed caution to my relatives - we don't want to buy a money pit or a lemon just because it's nostalgic....

Thanks,
CP
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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124670 of 127464
Subject: Re: Purchasing Real Estate Abroad Date: 2/5/2013 4:03 PM
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I have expressed caution to my relatives - we don't want to buy a money pit or a lemon just because it's nostalgic....

What would you do with the property? Rent it?
Is it a house, or just land?

If it's a house, and you'd rent it, do you really want to be a landlord for someone halfway across the globe?

If it's land, I think renting the land to the adjacent farmer is much less problematic.

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124671 of 127464
Subject: Re: Purchasing Real Estate Abroad Date: 2/5/2013 4:11 PM
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The property is still owned by a second cousin, but he has been approached by some outside buyers and is thinking about selling. He wanted to offer it to us as a courtesy before he sells it out of the family.

Sounds like it might be a sucker play, with you as the sucker.

Have you ever seen this property, and do you know first-hand what the condition is?

What part of Italy? The good part (North) or the not-so-good part (South).

Italy is undergoing a demographic crash. From what I've seen in movies (granted, not neccessarily a source of true facts) and documentaries (probably are true), the population is declining and houses & villages are becoming vacant and empty, because of no people.

Your 2nd cousin may be trying to sell to you -- the ignorant American -- a property that he couldn't even give away.

I was going to do some research on buying real estate abroad, but I don't even know where to start. Do any of you have experience here and can point me in the right direction? I have expressed caution to my relatives - we don't want to buy a money pit or a lemon just because it's nostalgic....

Laws vary greatly in different countries. One potential danger is that owning property there makes you subject to some laws that you've never heard of.

For sure, you'd have to pay property taxes, right?

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Author: richinaz Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124678 of 127464
Subject: Re: Purchasing Real Estate Abroad Date: 2/5/2013 8:00 PM
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I can see wanting to keep a property in the family. Obviously the best thing to do is to consult an attorney who has experience in that field. Definitely don't rely on friends/family for advice. Also investigate any attorneys you hire in Italy to make sure they are experience.

I found a couple of links that may be worth looking at.
http://www.lifeinitaly.com/real-estate/buying-in-italy.asp
http://www.keyitaly.com/article/legal-process/

I often watch House Hunters International and am amazed at how much money and/or risk people take in buying vacation homes or relocating to a new country. I mostly watch it to see various types of homes and their costs.

If you can afford it and after researching the risks think it is worthwhile there isn't any reason not to do so. Just don't buy it thinking you will make money on it.


Good Luck
Rich

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124681 of 127464
Subject: Re: Purchasing Real Estate Abroad Date: 2/6/2013 3:56 AM
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I often watch House Hunters International and am amazed at how much money and/or risk people take in buying vacation homes or relocating to a new country.

One thing I've noticed in many of those shows is that usually foreign purchasers have to pay for property in cash - there is no financing.

That would be something to look into.

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