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To drink, or not to drink: Making Italian water potable.

Here in Italy, especially in rural areas it is quite common to not have local treated mains water and so many houses have their own water sources, either via their own well or other communal source that is untreated.

It is also a fact that many Italians prefer to buy bottled water rather than drink mains water due to a mistrust of municipal water but thankfully this habit is changing in part because of growing attention plastic waste is getting in the news.

If you don’t have mains water or you simply want to be sure your mains water is drinkable then below are a couple of good options to treat your own water. These options are quite dependent on the quality of the source water so always get your water professionally tested first to be sure the option you choose is up to the job.

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO).
    Good : Can be used on most types of water.
    Bad: Expensive, high maintenance cost, not suitable for whole house disinfection.

    Probably the most common and most advertised method of sanitising water, these systems typically consist of a debris filter, a high pressure pump and an RO membrane.

    The water is pumped at high pressure and forced through the RO membrane which blocks almost everything except for the pure water from passing though. Typically these are sold as under the sink systems which give you a separate tap just for drinking water.

    They are very good at purifying even quite dirty water but are wasteful and not all water passes through and the rest goes to the drain, they have generally high maintenance costs and are not suitable for whole house water due to their low flow rate. They also remove not just bad stuff but also most of the good minerals from the water so you may want to invest in a post filter to re-add some of those good minerals.
  • Ultra Violet (UV).
    Good : Low cost, suitable for whole house water disinfection.
    Bad : Must have reasonably clean water to start with.

    Becoming more popular due to its low cost and reliable LED UV bulbs, a UV system consists of a few pre-filters (typically a washable debris filter, a carbon filter and a 1 micron filter), these filters remove any large particulate in the water where bacteria and viruses could hide and allow the next stage UV lamp to disinfect the water properly.

    One of the advantages of a UV system is it can process a large amount of water and so is suitable for providing whole house water disinfection, it also does not remove the beneficial minerals and salts or waste any water like RO does. It also should have considerably lower power draw and maintenance due to only consisting of a UV lamp that needs replacing once every year at most and a couple of low cost pre-filters.

    One of the disadvantages is that the source water should be fairly clean to start with, a TDS (Total dissolved solids) reading of under 800 ppm is recommended.

We personally picked a UV system as it allows us to fill a large water reserve tank with clean water for use throughout the house which we do a couple of times a week and also allows us some autonomy in the dry periods when our water supply can be restricted by the commune.

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Buying a property in Sardinia or Italy : Property finder services

Today I would like to introduce you to our Property finder service.
It’s a service we offer to help house buyers, and especially foreign buyers,
navigate through the un of buying property here in Italy.

Our property finder service is especially useful for people who have limited time to house hunt or don’t live locally or where the client does not speak Italian.

When a client uses our property finder service, they receive a number of important benefits that they wouldn’t normally get from a traditional estate agency or when searching on their own, because:
1 – We scan the market
2 – We provide interpreter service
3 – We help you with the bureaucracy and save precious time.

So I will explain in more detail.

Firstly we scan the whole local market, not just online adverts, but also searching for private sellers, and properties selling at other local agencies that might not be advertising online, so you should get a much wider range of properties to choose from.

Another benefit is that we provide English to Italian translation services and accompany you to viewings with a fluent English speaking consultant who can provide interpreter services.

It is important to get help if you don’t live locally.

Searching for suitable properties even close to home can be a time-consuming chore, so imagine the difficulty when you are searching in another country let alone in a country with Italy’s notorious levels of bureaucracy.

Our service makes this process much easier as we are on the ground
and working on your behalf making sure that when you are ready to visit
you won’t be wasting your precious time and WE’ll be working through the bureaucracy on your behalf.

What if you see a property that you like with another agency?!
No problem!
Our service applies not just to our agency’s properties, but also to those at other agencies.

And …as long as you allow us to make the first contact with the selling agency, our service will be at no additional cost.

The reason we can do this is that in Italy, it is normal for both buyer and seller to pay commission.

As a buyer, you should expect to pay 3% of the purchase price as a commission.

Our service comes at no additional cost because as the BUYER’S agent we take the fee that the buyer would normally pay to the SELLING agent.

So this is why it is important that we make the initial contact with the selling agent.

Anyway, I hope you found this information useful.

If you are looking for a property here in Sardinia, you know who to call, please do get in touch.

Don’t forget to click like and subscribe so you get notified of my new videos.


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Buying a property in Sardinia or Italy : Taxes, Fees and Budgeting

The first step when you buy a property is to work out the budget.

I am asked frequently by foreign buyers; what expenses will I incur when buying property in Italy. There are three main costs you need to factor in when working out your budget:

1. Estate agency fees

In Italy, it is normal for both the buyer and the seller to pay a commission to the estate agency. As a buyer you should expect to pay about 3% of the total purchase price.

2. Notary fees

Notary fees are usually calculated with a tiered system and the fees will depend on the market value of the property. As the buyer, you pay the notary fees so therefore you get to choose the notary and you will need to ask them for a quote to determine the final cost.

Some indication of price are:

Property of 200,000 Euros.
you would pay 3000 (TAXs included).

Property of 300,000 Euros
you would pay 3650 Euros of notary fees (TAXs included.)

Because the notary fee is not a %, it is not going to increase a lot with the increase in the value of the property.

If you don’t speak Italian then you should also take into account that you will incur additional costs for either a translation of documents or to give power of attorney to a lawyer or person you trust who can translate for you.

3. Taxes

Tax amounts will be different depending on a few factors, including your residency status and if you buy the property from either a private owner or a constructor.

If you are resident, you pay a lot less, but remember that you have up to 18 months after the purchase to become a resident if that is your plan.

There could also be to scenarios where buy from an individual or from a building company.

If you buy from a private owner the tax is called Registry Tax, Imposta di Registro

If you are resident the tax is only 2% of the cadastral value, however, if you are not resident you can expect to pay 9% of the cadastral value.

Mind you, the tax you pay is a percentage of the cadastral value and not on the purchase price.
This is quite good news when budgeting, because the cadastral value of the property set by the state, is usually set a lot lower than the actual purchase price, typically is less than a quarter of the purchase price.

The second scenario would be buying from a building company, in this case you don’t pay a Registry Tax, instead, you pay VAT which in Italy is called IVA.

Unlike the Registry tax, VAT percentage is calculated upon the full purchase price and is set at 4% if you are resident and 10% if you are not resident or it is a second home.

In order to calculate the imposta di Registro you need to find the Rendita Catastale (Cadastral Income) of the property. You will be provided with this information either from the agency or the owner.

If you wish to have more detailed information about calculating the Imposta di Registro, please visit our website you find our link on the description.

As you can see Italy lives up to its reputation as the land of red tape, “crazy burocrazia”, which is why if you are new to buying in Italy it can be a great idea to hire a local property guide like myself to lead you through the buying process.

I hope you found this information useful.

If you are looking for a property here in Sardinia, please do get in touch and why not watch my video below for more info.


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Viewing Sardinian properties during Winter

As I sit down to write this post, I look out of my office window at a small rain shower, it is the end of January, the coldest time of year here and I feel glad I am in a warm room sipping herbal tea.

However, Winter is actually the best time for international house hunting and here is why.

In general flights are much cheaper as airlines try to attract more customers in low periods, as are things like car hire and you won’t be crammed in with summer tourists, so hunting can be much less stressful.

The other big thing is you get to see a property in its worst light, if they look good now then you know they are going to look amazing in the summer sun when you’re relaxing and sipping a G&T on the Veranda.

Also, Sardinia is a completely different place in winter, while in summer the landscape can look parched and brown as plants shrivel away from the baking summer sun, in winter everything becomes green and lush, flowers bloom and the fields grow.

So, dust of those walking shoes, grab a rain coat (just in case) and contact me to arrange some viewings. Happy Hunting

Saluti Valeria