Home Life & CultureLifestyle How to get a mortgage in Italy as a non Italian

How to get a mortgage in Italy as a non Italian

by Sam Dunham
Before Restoration

Our Abruzzo retreat on our first visit

Casetta Lucciola on our first visit and before our restoration

If you are a foreigner and considering buying and restoring a house in via a to put it simply it is not something to consider if you don’t like stress, bureaucracy, introspection.  If you are a thinking about a restoration as an option don’t unless you have an amount of ready cash available to help pay for works.

If you are a UK based buyer do make a note that unlike if buying in Spain or France UK banks do not recognise Italian property.  Barclays is a high street bank who has an international division located in Italy who will think about it – but as a cautionary warning  we were turned down for not apparently having saved enough for our mid-30 age!  Your mortgage application will be processed in Italy and they don’t  seem to factor in any cultural differences, namely that as UK citizens  we don’t live at home with our parents after the age of 18 unlike Italians, and in affect have less cash in the bank than your average Italian.

Unless you are a big-shot in the city with a bank balance that will make any bank manager salivate at the prospect of your account there is not a lot of point going down this road; instead try a broker.  You will have to dig deep and find pieces of paper from years ago and answer what seemed quite very pedantic questions but he does get results and offer you a choice from the top banks that offer these mortgages for foreigners in Italy.

The terms of a restoration mortgage are quite simple if still somewhat weird.  You will receive up to half of your restoration mortgage towards the work after you have actually bought the house; do not rely on this type of mortgage to purchase your house in Italy.  You will not receive the rest until your project has been completed and you have received a certificate from your local town hall to say so.  After this the bank will ask for every single invoice to be sent to them so that they can see that the 70k euros, (the minimum amount that all banks lend for a restoration mortgage), do tally up to what they are giving you. After this they will send a Surveyor to assess the total value of your property once work has been completed and only then will they issue the final cheque, so just to reiterate once again you need available funds of your own to fund your work or a very patient builder.

Euribor® – what does it mean?

Euribor® – Euro Interbank Offered Rate is the rate at which Euro interbank term deposits within the euro zone are offered by one prime bank to another prime bank. It is sponsored by the European Banking Federation (EBF), which represents the interests of some 5000 European banks and by the Financial Markets Association (ACI).  The rate is  published at 11.00 a.m. CET for spot value (T+2). Click here to read find out more about Euribor®

Useful Italian vocab

Mortgage – ipotecare

Pay by monthly installments – rata


Anna 10/09/2012 - 21:18

Any advice for a young couple,who have found a house in Paglieta,who need a mortage,and will be restoring the house as and when,and still living in the UK. The idea is to turn the house into a business, after 2 years work on the house.
Is it possible to change a house from residential/holiday home to business and full time residents of Italy???? help x

Jade G. 07/06/2012 - 10:55

If foreigners would not take away all our houses for overpriced prices, maybe alos the over 18 years old italians would be able to afford their own houses!

Richard 21/05/2012 - 12:10

Great advice, The general point I think is make sure you have plenty of cash available up front, which essentially goes against the whole reason for getting a mortgage in the first place. We embarked on our restoration project with no clue and no money, and succeeded with personal loans and credit cards in the initial phase, definitely not recommended for the faint hearted, Be aware of fees and taxes, I would suggest 15% of the final project at least, and the most useful asset we had was an english speaking geometra who was invaluable at the start.

Sergio 15/01/2010 - 18:29

I am born and living in Canada all my life, HOWEVER, I am also Italian Citizen and looking to buy a home +- 150.000Euro.

Can I get a mortgage in Italy, and is so, WHO can I speak to?

ariella kristianson 26/10/2009 - 18:36

I too am looking for a mortgage and Barclays actually take a 1% arrangement fee plus a fee each month for the mortgage

To be honest taking 1% off the mortgage right out of the gate is nothing short of stealing

Victor Pavlov 22/07/2009 - 14:32

I am buying a house in Calabria (to the south of Tropea). Could you give me please names and e-mail to contact your office in Calabria for a mortgage. Thank you.

Sammy 04/06/2009 - 13:34

Please note the Barlcays office in Abruzzo has been closed as from Spring 2009. The nearest Barclays office is in Rome or deal with HQ in Milan.

maureen boyek 03/06/2009 - 20:41

want to know about repossession in abruzzo mortgage with barclays

Ugo Vagniluca 22/10/2008 - 14:18

Hello Giuliano
With regards to your comments following on from this article may I suggest that before you comment about my fees, perhaps you can take some minutes of your time to read our Italian financial laws regarding "mediatori creditizi", especially the documents required to finance non-Italian buyers, these are the documents required by the bank that you work for too by law. You can see how these are applied to the letter of the law on the transparency page of my website, Foglio informativo. i advise you of to read with better attention the documents list required by bank for you work. Ugo (lifeinitaly)

Sammy 21/10/2008 - 15:53

Hi Giuliano

Perhaps matters have changed, this was our personal experience in 2005 when mortgages with Barclays were with BancaWoolwich and were dealt directly from Milan nothing was offered via Abruzzo. We have had a subsequent friend who too was turned down by Barclays hence him too turning to the 'paying broker' system in an attempt to secure a mortgage in Italy.

With regard to the comment regarding savings this was given to us as the reason on the telephone by the Scandinavian representative of the bank who said that things were different in Italy to for example in the UK.

Our comments regarding Italians living at home, I think that you will find there are a great number, which was confirmed last year (2007) by your previous finance minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, who said it was vital to get reluctant Italians to fly the nest and become more independent.

Currently, eight out of 10 Italians aged under 30 still live at home, and the average age for moving out is 36.

"Let's get these big babies out of the house," said Mr Padoa-Schioppa, who left home himself at the age of 19 to work in Germany.

"If young people stay with their parents, they do not get married or have any independence," he added.

Italian men make up the bulk of those staying at home, at around 67 per cent, and a mocking phrase has even been coined to describe them: "Mammoni" or "Big Mummy's boys". – read the article in full

giuliano foresta 21/10/2008 - 15:33

Dear writer,
my name is Giuliano Foresta and I'm a Barclays Bank agent for Abruzzo.
I read the article and I would like to have my say about the matter:
I'm sorry you had problems with your mortgage with Barclays, but it's not true you need to have a lot of savings for a mortgage request.
I'm making mortgages for foreign people and so far I never had problem to finance them.
I do not apply any fee for the service ( as you said Mr. Vagniluca does) and do not ask papers from years ago, but just the same documentation needed for an Italian.
I believe the all process is easy and I don't agree with your "pessimistic" point of view.

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion.

p.s. The most of Italians don't live with their parents after the age of 18..

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All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog