RealtyCast Global #6: Innovative Strategies for Buying Property in Italy with Piero Lorenzo

RealtyCast Global #6: Innovative Strategies for Buying Property in Italy with Piero Lorenzo

Welcome to episode #6 of RealtyCast Global – a global connection to all things real estate, hosted by Hugh Gilliam, president of Global Property Pros.

The allure of Italian real estate has been a longstanding fascination for international investors, with its rich culture, exquisite cuisine, stunning landscapes, and historically significant architecture. The latest episode of RealtyCast Global delves into this captivating market, with seasoned real estate professional Piero Lorenzo providing invaluable insights and innovative strategies for buying property in Italy.

Lorenzo, who boasts a blend of Californian and Italian expertise, introduces a unique perspective of merging Italian and American real estate tactics. His revolutionary approach has proven to be a game changer for international buyers seeking Italian properties. Lorenzo’s strategies enable investors to immerse themselves in Italy’s captivating lifestyle while earning passive income via short-term rentals.

One might find it hard to believe that you can purchase an Italian property without setting foot in it. Yet, Lorenzo confirms that this innovative strategy has been a hit during the pandemic, allowing buyers to secure their dream properties from the comfort of their homes. He assures listeners that every aspect of these unseen property transactions is handled with caution, resulting in happy and satisfied clients once they finally set foot in their Italian homes.

The podcast episode also explores the nuances of property pricing and investment potential across Italy’s diverse regions. Lorenzo showcases a range of listings, from a fully furnished property in Umbria for $120,000, a two-bedroom apartment in Sardinia for $180,000, to a stunning apartment in Lake Como for $315,000. He mentions the potential for Airbnb rentals, adding that one of his clients has already found success with this approach in Sardinia.

In an intriguing segment of the episode, Lorenzo introduces listeners to a remarkable project, “Living the Italian Way.” This venture offers a distinctive fusion of sustainable apartments and an authentic Italian lifestyle experience. The properties, set in beautiful areas like Montepulciano, Palermo, and Salento, are designed to be environmentally sustainable and help the buyer integrate into the local community. Moreover, they can be purchased using the rent-to-buy formula, making them an attractive investment option.

Looking ahead, Lorenzo predicts a stable market for Italian real estate in the coming years. He expects price increases in areas with high demand for second homes, but notes that the overall market remains an attractive investment opportunity. His in-depth knowledge and passion for Italian real estate shine through, making this episode a treasure trove of information for anyone considering an investment in this market.

Overall, the episode presents a compelling case for investing in Italian real estate. With Lorenzo’s expert guidance, insider knowledge, and innovative strategies, the dream of owning an Italian property seems more achievable than ever. His insights not only demystify the process of buying property in Italy but also illuminate the potential for passive income and an enriching lifestyle experience. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting your property journey, this episode is sure to provide you with valuable insights into the Italian real estate market.

Make sure to listen to other episodes of RealtyCast Global.

For real estate agents looking to expand their business internationally, expose existing listings to a global pool of buyers, and connect with new clients, check out Global Property Pros.

For Property Buyers & Sellers seeking assistance in the international market, check out RealtyHive’s property marketing solutions.

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About the Guest – Piero Lorenzo:

Piero was born and raised in lovely Tropea, Calabria. He lived in Florence for 21 years, where he was a Real Estate Broker for 13 years. In 2015 he and his wife moved to Santa Cruz, California (USA). 

Piero has been a California Realtor since May 2015.  In 2017, he received his California Broker license and is now Broker-Owner of  Lorenzo International Real Estate. In April 2021, he became an American citizen, so he now proudly has dual citizenship: Italian and U.S.A.

He lives in California but travels to Italy for long periods with his family at least twice yearly (totaling 3-4 months per year). In this way, he lives in two worlds, which also helps his family’s quality of life because they receive the best aspects of both countries, cultures, customs, etc.

Living on two continents, North America and Europe is the best gift you can give yourself – for your mind, culture, and well-being.

Piero’s website:

Connect with Piero on LinkedIn:

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About the host – Hugh Gilliam:

Hugh Gilliam co-owned a national transportation company, created a land development business, and worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for over two decades. Hugh also co-founded an international distribution company and successfully negotiated and contracted with 135 sales representatives in the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Today, Mr. Gilliam is affiliated with RealtyHive, LLC where he serves as Director of International Real Estate and President of Global Property Pros. His duties include involvement in commercial and residential transactions, plus promoting marketing systems and lead generation platforms.

He is also co-founder of the luxury digital magazine, DOORWAYS INTERNATIONAL, powered by RealtyHive, which serves as a platform for Brokers and Buyers throughout 70 countries.

Hugh’s Designations Include:

  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Certified Distressed Property Export
  • Certified International Property Specialist
  • Certified International Investment & Immigration Specialist
  • Transnational Referral Certification

Hugh’s Memberships Include:

  • Georgia Association of REALTORS
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-USA)
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America


How to Buy International Real Estate

A beautiful Bahamian bungalow or a Spanish seaside condo? An apartment in Toronto or a modern house in Ecuador? 

Once you find the international property you want, you’ll know. But then what?

Countries Where Americans Can’t Buy Real Estate

Vietnam is the only country where you flat-out cannot buy a property. This is because all land is owned collectively — even native Vietnamese citizens cannot own property.

However, there are a few countries where, while not impossible, it’s pretty tricky for a US citizen to buy real estate overseas.

  • Greece: A bit easier if you’re part of the EU, not so much if you’re an American. The birthplace of Rome has tons of zoning restrictions due to its archaeological history. Mortgages in Greek are also notoriously hard to come by.
  • Thailand: The only way a foreigner can own land in Thailand is if they form a corporation, which requires 51% ownership from Thai nationals.
  • Mexico: Probably the least tricky of the four, but purchased land must be in an unrestricted zone.

Best Countries for Buying International Real Estate

There are a lot, but Belize is pretty popular for US citizens. It’s a gorgeous country with phenomenal beaches and marine life, it’s not too far from the states (less than 2½ hours flying from Houston, direct!), and it’s an English-speaking country.

Paying for International Real Estate

Nearly always, you’ll need enough money to buy the property outright (or enough to almost buy it outright). Financing is typically challenging or met with insanely high-interest rates.

What to Look for in a Foreign Property

Just like buying in the US, you want a property in good condition and in a solid location (or at least, a location that meets your needs). 

However, you also want to make sure you’re buying a freehold property (a property that you own entirely and that you have rights to use as you please, as long as it’s in accordance with the law).

Buying a freehold property isn’t always possible, and that doesn’t have to spell impending doom. Just know what you’re getting into and understand the limits in place for a property that’s not freehold.

Who to Hire When Buying Foreign Property

Here’s who to assemble when buying property overseas:

  • Local lawyer: Someone local to the area where you’re buying.
  • US accountant: Someone who specifically has experience in international real estate (if they have experience with your country of preference, even better).
  • Local real estate agent: Use RealtyHive to find an agent — we can find an experienced agent in practically any location.

What to Use Foreign Property for

Most often, people use foreign properties for vacation or rental purposes. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t relocate to a new destination — we applaud your adventurous spirit!

Some people even purchase land abroad solely for protective purposes. If buying near a coral reef or forest, you could speak to the local authorities about conservation efforts. Whenever we have the means to help the environment, we should do what we can.

Beginning to look for international real estate? Check our overseas listings! Ready to make a purchase? Let us help you find an agent! Get started on buying property overseas today with RealtyHive.