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I've lived in Italy a few times (student visa, then just a normal vacation visa for a few months) and I've traveled quite a bit. I also work in tech in the bay area, and buying a home here seems outside my price range, despite earning a fair amount. I've decided that I'll continue to live in my nice, cheap, rent-controlled apartment in Oakland for a while, and use my extra income to buy a home abroad (either as a vacation/rental home, or eventually to move).

What sort of laws apply to foreigners buying houses in the Eurozone? I'd specifically be looking in either Ireland or Italy (I looked in to getting Italian citizenship, and I'd be eligible were it not for Venice's special status in Italy).

I assume there would be property taxes, and that if I rented it out I'd need to go through proper channels and probably have to pay additional taxes. But, if I decided to move, would I be limited to staying only 3 months out of the year (the US->Euro travel visa limit)? Are there any other restrictions I should know about?

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closed as off-topic by Flimzy, Dirty-flow, Gagravarr, Geeo, Vince Apr 6 '14 at 18:56

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Taxes, laws related to buying a house and long-stay visas are all mostly national matters, unrelated to either the eurozone, the EU or the Schengen area (these are slightly different groups of countries but both Ireland and Italy are part of all three). You might get better answers if you focus on one country. If you want to move to the country (as opposed to short term travel), might be more relevant. – Relaxed Apr 6 '14 at 5:30
Oh man, there is a stackoverflow for everything now. – Mike Manfrin Apr 6 '14 at 5:33
Focusing on the travel question, you can in fact stay longer than 3 months per year. Buying a house is not necessarily restricted for non-citizens/non-residents but working definitely is. You might get away with it depending on the specifics but you most likely need a permit even if you are working remotely for a US employer. Also, if you always stay six months per year, the border guards could become suspicious that you are abusing the visa-free visits to effectively reside in the country and decide to refuse entry. – Relaxed Apr 6 '14 at 5:55
do you have Italian ancestors? if not how do you plan to get Italian citizenship? – Guido Preite Apr 6 '14 at 13:19
Yes, patrilineal descent -- only complication is that we came from Venice, which has some special rules. – Mike Manfrin Apr 8 '14 at 4:59

You can own an house in Italy, read here for some taxes explanation (not really updated, ICI is now IMU) but pretty clear.

BTW I strongly suggest you to use one of the many italian properties websites you can find on the Internet. They can follow you in the whole process.

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