Property in Italy to renovate


Mesmerizing views, old-world charm, wholesome surroundings, and wondrous investment perks. The bounties of buying period countryside property in Italy are countless. The downside? Timeworn plumbing, rickety window and door fixtures, confusing bureaucratic issues and, possibly, complicated intercommunication with not-necessarily-English-speaking local agents, contractors and builders. 

So, why should a foreign investor embark on this time-consuming venture?

renovations property management

Why should an entrepreneur choose to purchase and renovate a venerable Italian farmhouse?

Apart from the spectacular vistas, and the delightful lifestyle one is bound to enjoy within the sturdy stone walls of a time-honored property in the Italian countryside, there are three serious, matter-of-fact, pragmatic reasons to do so. 

  • Sustainability. Renovating an old farm can be your explicit firsthand contribution to a waste-free society. In fact, living sustainably, being eco-friendly means making well-pondered green-minded choices: if you choose not to build a new house, but use one that already exists, you are directly and unequivocally not “consuming soil”, and not adding to world-wide pollution. As of today, Italy is the perfect place to present your personal contribution to a better and more sustainable world. In fact, a great number of Italian cities are moving towards a sustainable urban policy with the support of regional regulations.
  • Tax relief. Renovating a weathered casa colonica (farmhouse) or countryside cottage is certainly a demanding task, but it definitely allows for consequential satisfaction from an economic point of view. Standing Italian legislation as concerns period property renovations provides for substantially cost-effective conditions. Indeed, these kinds of restoration and renovation projects enjoy considerable cost reductions, both as regards the property purchase price and the price of the actual building works. A foreign buyer aiming to renovate period property may easily apply for tax exemption for all costs sustained for restructuring, and obtain a very interesting state reimbursement. Provided he/she has a reliable and proficient Italian legal and accounting advisor familiar with directives as established in Art. 16 of Legislative Decree 63/2013 to assist and facilitate proceedings, because Italian red tape on these deals can be quite complex. Another perk stands for foreign investors intending to purchase and renovate an old farmhouse to establish and carry on a hospitality-related business on the premises. In this case an entrepreneur can incorporate an Italian company – to make use of it in running the business – and hence have easy access to tax subsidies and incentives.
  • Historical importance. Perhaps the most significant and consequential of all the “matter-of-fact” reasons. Renovating a ruin means seizing a life-changing opportunity: that to experience life in a truly special place, within ancient responsive walls filled with character and energy. Living in historical premises implies you will own a home that “speaks to you”, telling you about local culture, history and tradition. A unique spot, with an atmosphere that no brand-new dwelling could ever provide. Hence, realizing that renovating an old house, to implement its facilities and/or restore what needs doing over, does not necessarily mean altering the original layout is essential. Qualified professional assistance, i.e. architect, contractor and builders, can dexterously enhance pre-existing architectural details, and preserve the home’s charm while completing the needed changes. Time-honored Italian properties are generally endowed with splendid typical colors and graceful details, so simple touches of color will be enough to enhance the rough surfaces of traditional lime plasters and make the light vibrate. This said, foreign buyers aiming to renovate should be careful, and make sure they know who they’re contracting to do the job: the purchased property may be subject to restrictions, depending on its age and historical relevance. Caution, and trustworthy local advisors, are the key to a successful, cost-effective and worry-free renovation.

Renovations property management

Renovating a rustic building: the style of the interior

Thinking about “what it’s going to look like” starts just as soon as one selects the property to purchase, renovate and restore. Choosing the right style, one that feels good and at once matches the environment and premises is very important. Just because it’s an old farmhouse the style of the furnishings does not necessarily have to be classic, or age-old. Actually, picking a style that envisages reusing traditional or vintage features in a new way, such as period industrial style, can make for fetching results. Take the US-born furnishing trend which reuses disused work spaces, for instance, employing obsolete or rusty furniture and exposed screws. It can bring to a simply fascinating outcome! To enjoy the innate simplicity of an architectural recovery we recommend relying on its natural country character. One gets great results by enhancing the ceilings’ exposed wooden beams, weathered stone walls and original doors, for example. Simple furniture, checked upholstery with a touch of eclecticism adds to countryside charm too. All one actually needs is to complement and add to the building’s pre-existing character, keeping the place’s cultural and environmental identity in mind.

Renovating a farmhouse: incentives and tax benefits

As previously mentioned over the last few Italian state policies aiming to promote the recovery of old buildings have greatly increased. A great example is the renovation bonus, which may be requested for buildings classified as residences. Also, there are novel local measures devised to limit landscape degradation, such as municipalities granting volumetric bonuses, and even offering buildings in ruin to those who intend to redevelop it free of charge, which can offer convenient options. How to find out? Prospective buyers can get an overview, and possibly a welcome surprise, by visiting a municipality’s website. Take Tuscany and Lombardy, for instance, both excellent illustrative cases. In Tuscany, Regional Law n.3 of 7.2.2017 developed an ad hoc policy for the recovery of abandoned rural buildings, and managed to transform the rural landscape in a single year. Lombardy, on the other hand, started funding aimed at carrying out calls for urban redevelopment back in 2018. Again, caution and foresight are crucial: whatever one’s aim, all renovation and restoration works of a ruin or ancient farm building must necessarily be entrusted to professionals.  An owner/investor can in no way do without a pro’s in-depth analysis of a building’s condition, for instance as concerns roofs and beams, nor without expert knowledge as concerns compliance of standing rules and regulations.

Our Services

Want to buy Italian property to renovate? Our proficient pool of professionals – real estate specialists, qualified architects, engineers and surveyors as well as well-versed lawyers and savvy accountants – prides itself of being able to assist prospective foreign investors in all aspects of property purchase, renovation, and business implementation. 

From finding the ideal real estate asset, restoring it and reaping the benefits of tax subsidies, to turning it into a fruitful business enterprise we are fully committed to our clients’ happiness and hence provide dependable consultancies, straight-to-the-point advice and proficient comprehensive services.

In detail we help by:

  • assisting our foreign clients in finding a suitable farmhouse/agritourism/old house in the Italian countryside;
  • drafting a detailed business plan as concerns potential business development of an old farmhouse, offering local insight, highlighting critical issues and considering all relevant factors: local market, type of tourists, infrastructures, local regulations etc.;
  • suggesting the best way to proceed for the development of a future business considering tax planning, type of Italian business entity to incorporate to benefit from Italian tax relief policies, costs planning, assistance in the management of, and handling accounting for, the Italian commercial entity;
  • renovating the property as required for future business purposes, providing detailed cost estimates (in English of course!);

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