I've been living and working here in Piedmont for 20 years. 2 years after we moved to Italy we decided to buy a house. We bought with a local agent and they were.... let's be kind and say useless. It got me thinking, as I knew foreign people were buying here - how on Earth do they do it having to work with these agencies? So, I got started, and to cut a long story short, I'm still doing it 18 years later - helping foreign people buy houses in the Piedmont (Piemonte) region of Italy.
For American buyers, well yes, it's irresistible. Here are the factors that lead us to say this:
The Area is Amazing. I love all of Italy (that I've so far seen) but we always come back to Piedmont and say 'Yes! This is it'. Last week we did a trip to Verona, Vicenza and the Dolomites. All fantastic but.. Verona, nice, but full of tourists, rip-off cafes and terrible food. I'm sure in the surrounding countryside there are great places to eat but I don't think the area is so beautiful. Vicenza I love, so sophisticated, but similar issues. Also, these places are horribly expensive to buy in. I love the Dolomites, it's my drug, but not to live there. No way. Tuscany? Yes, it is beautiful, but the tourists and the high humidity in Summer? Not for me, for sure.
Piedmont has it all - stunning scenery, the best foods and wines and not so many places will rip you off. It's easy to find where the locals eat. We had an 11-course meal recently in a restaurant close to Asti. It was the best we'd ever eaten. It cost €35/person! Wine included. You're still waiting?!
The Real Estate Market Curve The property market since I've been here has been a big curve up, then down, now shooting up. 2006 when I started it was the savvy buyers that had really done their homework. If you buy now you might as well get a tattoo as well (God help us!), but seriously, it's well on the map but you're not discovering the New World. Back then, we were mostly selling houses around the €150,000 - €200,000 mark. 2008-9 next to nothing happened then just before Covid things really got hot after a steady incline. During Covid? Crazy. We were helping people buy houses on Zoom. People that had never been to Piedmont before were buying online, not even seeing the €600k house they were buying. I can say for sure that none made a mistake - quite the opposite in fact.
Exchange Rates. Today €1 can be bought for $1. And here you get a lot for your money. I just did a quick search in Florida. $1.2m in Fort Lauderdale will get you this - House in Fort- LauderdaleA house made of plasterboard and, I don't know, but I would guess an area with at least some crime.
Here you can have this - Former Convent for sale A historic convent in a beautiful area and the only local crime is being charged €1.20 for a coffee instead of €1. I also have a winery of very high-quality wines and a private house with a swimming pool for €1.6m or $1.6m - negotiable...!! I could go on, but you already know this.
The Help You Need I have to say I'm English as I was born there, in London, but in fact, my blood is Welsh, Irish, Italian and American. We've no idea who the American was.. but I love working with American people - straightforward, don't take themselves too seriously and like to get things done without fuss. For sure, I have American blood.
I believe I'm your best option for buying here. We already talked about local agents.. One of the big German agencies has moved into the area but because they are so massively over-staffed they are pushy to sell and charge a whopping 8% commission..!. The Scandinavian agents here won't make you laugh and the experience might be a little.... icy. I'm relaxed, organised and well connected. Some people say I'm also funny - my wife says annoying. Oh well...
The bottom line is it's happening now. Despite all the world's problems, maybe even because of them, we are seeing things we've never seen before. Buyers from all over, houses selling fast that have been on the market for years and I rarely get a moment off.
So here's the deal - I have access to a lot of houses but I'm no longer working with anything below €400,000 (unless something really gets me excited). Not much is on my Website at the moment but send me your requests - especially for things around €1m to €2m plus and I have a lot I can tell you about.
Piedmont is fantastic. We love all of Italy but this has it all.