Buying property in Europe
Prices: Average home purchased by a U.S. buyer costs $372,922 to $628,204 (about 289,000 to 487,000 euros) (The Property Finders).
Transaction costs: 7.6 percent to 18.5 percent of purchase price (Global Property Guide). Includes cadastral tax, which is typically 1 percent or a fixed fee of $211 (168 euros) for new property.
Restrictions on foreign property ownership: No.
Buying process: Typically, a 5 percent deposit is due when you make a purchase offer, plus another 20 percent at the signing of the preliminary sales contract, according to real estate agent Valerio Valle of Studio Immobiliare Valle in Bergamo, Italy.
Tip: To purchase property, open a bank account and do other financial transactions you'll need to obtain a fiscal code through the local tax office in Italy. But getting this credential is a simple process, according to Valle. "You can have it in five minutes with your passport," he says.