Q – What is the cost of living in Calabria and Italy?
A – Generally speaking it is lower than the UK or Ireland. However, northern Italy is more expensive than southern Italy and in places such as Calabria with its agricultural economy is cheaper still.
Q – Can I receive my pensions or benefits if I live in Calabria or Italy?
A – Yes, your pension and benefits can be paid directly into your bank account at home or abroad.
Q – Should I learn the Italian language?
A – If you are planning to work in Italy then it is essential that you speak the language. If you just intend to reside or visit your enjoyment will be greatly enhanced if you can speak some Italian.
Q – Can I work in Calabria and Italy?
A – Yes. The single European Act of January 1st 1993 created a single European market allowing all EU nationals to work in all member countries.
Q – How can I find suitable employment in Calabria?
A – Calabria is a rural economy. Most of the job opportunities are to be found in the Italian cities to the north. However, the development of the tourist industry and the building of holiday homes is creating new opportunities. As numbers increase there will be a need for property management companies, airport transfer services, tour guides, etc. Also many business’ can be run over the internet from anywhere in the world. Calabria is on the great trading routes with shipping services linking all the Mediterranean countries.
Q – What is driving like in Italy?
A – It only takes a few days to adjust to driving on the other side of the road. The main roads in Calabria are very good and less congested than in the UK. The Italian government is spending millions of euros in building new motorways to improve the Calabrian infrastructure. The smaller roads into the mountains are charming but need to be treated with a little care as they can turn into tracks more suited to 4x4 vehicles.
Q – What about Healthcare in Calabria and Italy?
A – The Italian National Health System or Servizio Sanitario Nazionale offers low cost, high standard health care. A residency permit allows you to register with the local health authority – L’Unita Sanitaria Locale. As a visitor you should obtain an E1-11 from www.dh.gov.uk
Q – Can I use my UK electrical appliances in Italy?
A – Yes if you use an adaptor. However, it is easier and cheaper to purchase appliances in Italy for your new home.
Q – What are the annual running costs of my new home in Calabria likely to be?
A – This depends on the price of your property. However, for an average 2 or 3 bed property allow £1,000 to £1,500 per year including local tax, insurance, maintenance fees, gas, water and electricity.
Q – How should I furnish my property from scratch?
A – Italy is famous for its stylish and low cost furniture. We can discuss with you and arrange furniture packs to suit your requirements. Alternatively we can introduce you to local shops and suppliers in Calabria where you can make your own arrangements.
Q – Living in the UK but buying in Italy in Euros – How can exchange rate variations be managed?
A – Sterling and the euro have maintained a reasonably steady relationship over the last few years. Some people will accept the risk and take the exchange rate on offer at the time. However, you can lock in today’s rate by buying forward so taking away the risk – important if you have budgeted you purchase on a given rate of exchange. If you are planning to rent out your property then by opening a euro account and paying in any such money you can build up a euro fund from which to pay the bills.
Q – How do the Calabrians treat foreigners living amongst them?
A- Calabrians are some of the friendliest people you can meet. Local crime rates are low and the streets are safe. Overlooked for so long, Calabrians recognise that you are helping them to prosper just as much as they are helping you to enjoy your new home.
Q – Do I need permission to purchase in Calabria or Italy?
A - No and as an EU citizen you are free to come and go as you please.
Q – What are the costs of purchasing a property in Calabria or Italy?
A – The costs of completing a new property purchase are lawyer’s fees, the notary, VAT & Taxes, bank charges, etc. which are approximately 13% of the property valuation.
Q – Do I need to be present in Calabria or Italy to complete the transaction?
A – No, you can give power of attorney to your lawyer.
Q – Can I transfer money in and out of Calabria and Italy?
A – Yes, money can be freely transferred between EU countries.
Q – In whose name(s) should I purchase the property?
A – You can decide. For example a) in your own name b) in joint names with your spouse and/or friends and co-purchasers c) in the names of adult children who would anyway inherit from you d) in the names of UK or Irish limited companies.
Q – Should I make an Italian will?
A – Once you have purchased a property in Calabria or Italy it is strongly recommended that you instruct a lawyer to prepare and have witnessed a Will. Wills are strictly private and confidential and do not interfere with any main Will made in your own country.
Q – Is there Inheritance Tax in Calabria or Italy?
A – In October 2001 the Italian government approved law 383/2001 abolishing inheritance tax and gift tax between spouses and other relatives to the fourth degree of relationship. If there is no relationship then gift tax is payable on the value of the asset gifted currently over and above euro 180,760.
Q – Can I own freehold property in Calabria or Italy?
A – Yes.
Q- If I buy a new property will I be able to inspect it before I complete?
A – Yes. On completion you will be invited to inspect the property and point out any aspects not to your satisfaction. Until the full terms of the contract are met you do not have to make the final payment. Even after you have the keys any faults you discover can be brought to attention for correction.
Q – Are mortgages available in Calabria and Italy?
A – Yes. Local Italian banks offer mortgages, usually to 75% max of valuation, subject to proof of income. Some Italian branches of UK banks are starting to offer mortgages, in one case to 65% of valuation. Other private UK financial institutions will offer euro mortgages to 80% of valuation, subject to proof of income.
Q – What deposits are payable on purchasing Italian Connection properties in Calabria?
A – Reservation fees of euro 3,000 secure the property until the main contract is prepared and signed 4 – 6 weeks later. Then 50% of the purchase price ( less the reservation fee) is payable upon signing the main contract. Nothing else is then payable until you accept delivery of the property to your satisfaction on completion.
Q – What happens with regular bill payments such as water and electricity?
A – Your lawyer will ensure that all services are connected before you take delivery of the property. In addition you will be guided through the process of setting up direct debits etc. with your local bank for payment of these services.
Q – What if I want to live in Calabria permanently and become an Italian resident?
A – As an EU citizen you are entitled to reside and work in Italy as long as you like. You will need a Codice Fiscale which is a National Insurance/ Social Security number. If you want to work in Italy you will need a Carta di Soggomio. You will be given all the necessary guidance on this.
Q – What are the schools like in Italy?
A – Education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16 years. For very young children there are Scuole Materna or Kindergartens.
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