Many of us dream about having a place in the sun, our own overseas property near a beach or in a quiet village where we can relax. Spain, Portugal, Turkey and the Unites States have all been very popular in recent years and they will very likely be always up there as popular locations for British buyers. One location I personally love and can recommend and which you might want to consider yourself is Sicily, Italy.
Sicily is a very sizeable island and has yet to capture the interest of the mass public, yet Sicily has many amazing beaches, great restaurants and food, the weather and a fascinating history and stunning countryside. It is true that because tourism is not so developed on the island, it also means the infrastructure could be greatly improved but this perhaps plays into the hands of those of you looking to buy real estate or property in Sicily. The fact that Sicily is under-devloped in many respects means that property prices are lower than what they might otherwise be.
The prices in Sicily have fallen in the last 5 years due to the economic difficulties and this means that some properties can be bought for up to half of what they cost 5 years or so ago. This might be a great time to buy property in Sicily, but it depends in many respects, as to what currency you are dealing in. Will the Italians one day revert back to the Lira? If so – how would this affect those of you with GBP sterling mortgages on their home abroad? If you could purchase real estate in Sicily but with a Euro mortgage, you might be better off? The decision needs some careful thinking.
It really depends on what type of lifestyle you are looking for but the area of Taormina is a location which tends to attract several British, Ireland and investors from several other European countries. Taormina is a stunning hill top village and within an hour of Catania International Airport and has a lovely beach, plenty of shops and restaurants and yet is a quaint and outstanding location with wonderful views.
If you do plan to get a mortgage in Italy, be sure to have with you someone who speaks perfect Italian (if you do not speak Italian very well). It may seem obvious but some people do get over-excited and try to rush when buying in such locations and the truth is that you are better to lose the chance of a purchase, rather than to rush it and end up with problems much later on.
If you are unsure as to whether a GBP sterling, Euro or perhaps in the future, a lira mortgage might be the best option, the truth is that it might be better to wait 12 months and see how the economy pans out. In the meantime, start to evaluate the property prices and take 1 or 2 fact finding missions to Sicily. You can learn more about property in Sicily from investsicily.com and which is dedicated to Sicilian real estate both for commercial and residential needs. This article on checking Euro mortgages might be of interest to you, from the Independant Newspaper.
Travelling to Italy – learn about buying travel insurance for Italian holidays.