Category Archives: Real Estate

Spruce up your holiday home on Lake Como

Spring is the right time to spruce up your holiday home on Lake Como

Lake Como is looking beautiful in the spring sunlight and the lake is getting busy as more visitors arrive, so now is the ideal time to spruce up your holiday home and make sure it is in a perfect condition for you and your family and friends, or for any paying guests you may have if you rent your home.

LAKE COMO CONCEPTS suggests that your checklist should include:

  • Make sure the property is fully aired and cleaned, especially if it has been empty and closed for months;
  • Flush all toilets and check drains are working;
  • Open all shutters, test that they work and make sure any insects have not built nests in the warm protected space between the shutters and the windows;
  • Jet wash any patios and terraces so they look at their best;
  • Re-varnish any wooden garden furniture;
  • Check gutters haven’t become full of leaves;
  • Make sure the tv and satellite are working correctly;
  • Check also the alarm, phone line and wi-fi connection;
  • Should you have a pool or a lift it is advisable to have then checked annually;
  • Have the boiler serviced, possibly consider installing a remote connection to control from a distance;

Test the air-conditioning units and lights in each room.

If you follow all these little steps you will be able to enjoy a stress-free home over the summer. If you do find any problems that need repairing from small to large, LAKE COMO CONCEPTS can assist with putting you in touch with reputable tradesmen in the Lake Como area to resolve,


#lakecomo   #propertyforsale


La Provincia (our local Lake Como newspaper) reports that bookings for holidays and hotels on Lake Como are already up by 10 % compared to last year, and that the increase is most marked in visitors from the UK and the USA.

We have examined reasons why this may be:

  • Effect of the tumbling euro? The purchasing power of the dollar and sterling is significant more than 2014, approximately 30% in the case of the dollar!
  • Pre-bookings for EXPO 2015 with many people adding on days to see Lake Como and other areas surrounding Milan? Bookings are already at over 10 million and many more are expected to book prior to the start on 1 May 2015
  • Opening of yet more high quality hotels on Lake Como?
  • The Italian housing market is picking up so many visitors may feel it is a time to buy? Last quarter’s residential real estate transactions were up 5.5%.
  • Beginnings of a financial recovery in the US and UK?


#LakeComo #holidays #hotels

With the strengthening dollar is now the right time to buy on Lake Como?

There is never really a right or wrong time to buy a property – the decision is very personal, but with all things being equal, the strengthening dollar means that it may be worthwhile thinking about buying a property in Europe if your savings or income is in dollars.

We consider a market such as Italy that has yet to fully recover from the financial crisis is ideal for investment and it seems that things may finally be on the turn with the results last week from the Agenzie delle Entrate that the Italian housing sales are positive for the first time in seven years.

For the US dollar investor, as recently as May 2014, the exchange rate was USD 1.39 to the Euro, whereas on Friday 6 March 2015 it was at 1.09.

So what does this mean? Let’s take the average holiday home investor – for example with $300,000 to invest. In May 2014 this could buy an apartment on Lake Como for just under €216,000. Around Lake Como this should have achieved a 2 bedroom apartment. However just 10 months later with the stronger dollar this would be now €275,000 and thus open the door to a greater choice of apartments, and possibly even a small villa! At Lake Como Concepts we have villas starting at €260,000 so every extra euro really counts!

How will it go in the future? Will the dollar continue to strengthen? Who knows – talk to your financial advisor see what they are suggesting.

All we know is that Lake Como has a lot to offer to the investor – prices have held firm compared to other areas of Italy during the crisis and it is well positioned now to take advantage of Milan EXPO 2015! In addition with the news last week that annual Italian housing sales have turned positive, then it may be a perfect moment! So if you are thinking of buying have a look at the real estate we are selling at

#euro #dollar #buypropertylakecomo

Italian Real Estate Market back in the black!

Yes, it’s official – according to the Agenzia delle Entrate – after seven long years in the red, the Italian real estate market has turned in positive results for 2014.

Property transactions in Italy were up by 1.8% in 2014 on a year by year basis, with the fourth quarter showing a particularly strong 5.5% increase. There were a total of 920 849 property transactions in 2014 with the best result coming from the commercial sector (+ 5.7%), followed by residential and manufacturing (+ 3.6%), whilst the service sector remains negative (-4.6%).

Some of the major cities in Italy saw double-digit growth in 2014, mainly Bologna (+ 18.5%), Genoa (15%), Rome (+ 13.9%) and Florence (+ 13.3%), whilst Milan and Turin both recorded a respectable growth of 5%. Interestingly, there was a 12% increase in transactions supported by a mortgage, with 40% of purchasers obtaining a loan and the average mortgage value was Euro 119,000.

So maybe it’s the time to consider investing in that property of your dreams in Italy, particularly if you put this together with the very favourable exchange rate of the euro against the dollar, sterling and the Swiss franc.


Buying real estate on Lake Como is sometimes seem as a property investment for use in the Summer months but really nothing could be further from the truth. From its strategic central location, Lake Como makes a great base for exploring some fantastic ski resorts in the Italian and Swiss Alps.

Under an hour from Lake Como Closest to Lake Como, is Mount Sighignola in Lanzo d’Intelvi, at 1320 metres above sea level and just 20 minutes by car above Argegno. A day’s skiing only costs €20 at weekends and €15 on a week day and the area is great for beginners or children with a short baby slope and then a medium difficulty slope. With only 4km of pistes it is great if you are just starting and looking to try skiing near home. Fantastic views can be enjoyed from the top over Lake Lugano, and the area is known as the “Balcony of Italy”. Otherwise just north of Lecco, on the Lecco branch of Lake Como is Piani di Bobbio at 1700m, a larger ski area offering 35km of downhill skiing. The majority of the pistes are suitable for beginners but there is also challenging black runs if you take the Chiavello chairlift and descend Mount Orscellara. Whilst for cross country skiers there is a 5km ring also used for Italian and international races. Just 20 minutes by car from Lecco and under an hour from Como, and a day’s skipass is €32 at weekends or €26 during the week.

Under two hours from Lake Como Under two hours from Lake Como are some excellent Italian resorts – Bormio with its World Cup run and 50 km of pistes, suitable for all levels and reaching to over 3000m, Aprica again with 50 km of runs and the convenience of the beginners’ slopes right in the town, Chiesa Valmalenco, 35 km of pistes, Madesimo, 50 km of pistes. The choice is really vast and not limited to these more well known ski areas, where you will find excellent skiing, and can enjoy mouth-watering local food and wine at the numerous baitas dotted around. Skipasses around €35 to €40. Changing direction and going north from Como, a Swiss resort that is returning to popularity is Andermatt at the foot of the San Gotthard tunnel, and reachable by car in 1 hour 40 minutes. Famous in the 1960’s and with scenes in Goldfinger, the James Bond film, it has recently seen heavy investment in 5 star hotels and luxury boutiques. It has 125 km of runs to suit all levels and reaches to 3000m

Under two hours, 30 minutes from Lake Como If you wish to travel that little bit further there are some of the most famous ski resorts in the world within a few hours’ drive. Going into Switzerland there is St Moritz, about 2 hours 30 minutes from Como. There are 350 km of runs taking the three main ski areas into account; Corviglia, Corvatsch and the Diavolezza. Having hosted 4 World Cups and 2 Winter Olympics, St Moritz is gearing up for the next World Cup in 2017. Remember, it is Swizerland and a day’s skiing will set you back about €75. Staying in Italy, then try the duty free area of Livigno, with 115 km of downhill runs on both sides of a wide valley. Lifts are linked and a day’s skiing will cost €44 but is well worth it and you can always save with duty free purchases, at least petrol! Known as Piccolo Tibet as it is very cold and may be best avoided in the extremes of January! These are just a taste of the resorts comfortably accessible from Como for the day. If you are going for a weekend there are vast areas to explore – the Dolomites, the Via Lattea with Sestriere at its heart…………there are no limits!

What to do at Christmas in Como

Many people feel that Lake Como is just for Summer vacations – but nothing could be further from the truth. Como town and Lake Como itself make a great getaway at any time of the year.

As autumn, the season of delicious porcini mushrooms – wonderful with pasta, risotto or polenta – gives way to winter, Como gears up to a new challenge. Winter is the time of the Citta’ dei Balocchi, the ice rink in Piazza Cavour, the splendidly lit Duomo, and the street decorations that abound all the pedestrian thoroughfares in the town.

The CITTA’ DEI BALOCCHI – now in its 21st year in Como continues to grow in popularity with more and more visitors each year. Balocchi is an old Italian word for toys – and true to its name, Como dedicates itself to free activities and games for children in this pre-Christmas period, including puppet shows and exhibitions of magic tricks, plus displays of winter cribs and nativity scenes. The whole of Como joins in the fun with dazzling light shows and a spectacular 16 metre high Christmas tree in Piazza Grimoldi, next to the Duomo

CHRISTMAS MARKETS – the place to get those last minute Christmas gifts – stretching up Via Ciao Plinio towards the Duomo are the wooden Christmas market stalls selling the wonderful Christmas fare – gifts, vin brule’, grappas, torroncini, hams and salamis!

OSTERIA CON POLENTA – need some sustenance? Then visit the specially created winter garden restaurant in Piazza Verdi and sample all traditional dishes from around Lake Como in a magical atmosphere of fairy-lit trees. These Como dishes include polenta, Missoltini (sundried small lake fish), i pizzoccheri (a buck wheat pasta from the Valtellina), regional cheese, wines, beers and olive oils.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR – GET YOUR SKATES ON – The ice rink in Piazza Cavour in the centre of Como is open from 29 November 2014 to 7 January 2015, Monday to Friday 2.30pm to 11pm and weekends 10am to 11pm (closed only on Christmas Day)

JANUARY SALES – Christmas shopping is in full swing with many car-parks in Como already filling up early each day. The eagerly awaited January sales officially begin on Monday 5 January for Lombardy, so if you are planning a Lake Como short break that may be a good time, although remember, 6 January is an Italian bank holiday and not all the shops are open!

THINKING OF BUYING A PROPERTY – if you are looking for a new home it’s a great time for your property search – and at LAKE COMO CONCEPTS we are open during the festive period and you can find some special festive offers at

#LakeComo #LakeComoConcepts #CittadeiBalocchi #ChristmasonLakeComo #buyingpropertylakecomo

Looking to buy a turnkey property on Lake Como?

Lake Como Concepts are marketing some excellent value turnkey apartments in Mezzegra just above Lenno that remove all the trouble and worry of furnishing a new property – and even better until Christmas, the furniture package worth over €30,000 will be included in these lake-view apartments, completely free! Details of this offer are available at

If you would like to buy a new property on Lake Como that is ready to move into, then Lake Como Concepts may have the answer. Many international buyers on #LakeComo enjoy spending time furnishing their new homes, but some have such busy lives that it just is not possible!

In the past, it has often been only the very expensive developments that offered this extra service, but these apartments in Mezzegra start at €250,000 and with these ‘ready to move-in’, furniture packages your purchase will be as hassle-free as possible! The developers of Vista Baia development in collaboration with one of the largest furniture stores in the area have prepared some excellent packages with international appeal
The furniture and furnishings are contemporary and sleek with designer names for example Veneta Cucine and Kartell, and as part of the service, each purchaser can spend time with the in-house internal designers choosing their particular colours and layout.

The cost for this turnkey service starts at €30,000. However, for Lake Como Concepts clients who are in a position to agree a sale before Christmas, this service is complimentary!

The stunning Vista Baia development is situated in Mezzegra and within walking distance of Lenno along the Greenway. The apartments have large terraces for outdoor dining and relaxing whilst enjoying breath-taking lake views and benefit from a shared pool. Some apartments have private gardens and garaging is available below.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to buy a villa on Lake Como

We are always being asked how much it costs to buy property on Lake Como, and potential clients are presently surprised to discover that a small villa can cost a lot less than they think!

Take for example a renovated 2 bedroom villa that we are marketing in Nesso – costing just €260,000, it has the most wonderful lake views! Or if you prefer a new build, we have villas for sale above Varenna with lake views, a shared pool and parking.

If, however, you are prepared to do some work yourself there are some real bargains to be had, especially with rustici towards the top end of Lake Como, and we are marketing properties from €60,000. They all require complete renovation, but the lake views are spectacular and for nature lovers you really cannot get better than this!



Yet another luxury hotel on the eastern side of Lake Como……………

Ok, first there was Casta Diva, the boutique 5 star hotel in Blevio and that started the steady influx of luxury hotels that are springing up on the eastern shores of Lake Como.

Next to open we think we be the new boutique hotel of Oleg Boiko, once again in Blevio, just minutes from Como city centre and boasting a wonderful lake front. Villa Belgiojoso was bought by the Russian magnate for a reported €15 million and over the past 3 years has been lovingly and tastefully restored to create a real ‘wow’ boutique hotel.

Slightly further along the lake and on the waterfront,  at the ex – Villa Flora in Torno, building is presently underway on the new 5 star hotel right next door to Villa Berlusconi!

And not to be outdone, up in Brunate the once magnificent Grand Hotel Milano is having a complete renovation to restore it to its once opulent 5 star fame.

So if by any chance, you are not sure where to stay on Lake Como – very soon you will be even more spoilt for choice as great efforts are being made for completion for EXPO 2015!

#casta diva  #EXPO 2015 #Torno #Blevio

Sales up in Cernobbio and Moltrasio on Lake Como

Last week ‘La Provincia di Como’ revealed that in 2013 Cernobbio and Moltrasio were the clear winners for year on year number of sales with a colossal 30 % increase. The area of Tremezzina came in with a very healthy 10 % increase and the eastern shore showed its growing popularity with Blevio, Torno and Faggeto reporting a respectable 3% increase in volume of sales. These figures are particularly strong taken in comparison with the average for the whole Como Province of 13% decrease in volume of sales.

The statistics were compiled by Borsino Immobiliare / FIMAA Como and indicate that much investment has been in the lower basin of Lake Como. This was our perception but it is always good to see market statistics support this!

The report continued to say that most agents saw 2014 as a year of consolidation with the real recovery coming in 2015. Value wise – new builds and ecological properties have been holding their prices across the Province, although there has been a decline in value of 1960/70s apartments.

So what does the future hold? We are always asked by buyers which areas will perform well in the next few years and interestingly we have been saying for some time that the eastern shore is relatively undiscovered and has some wonderful villas for discerning clients. Therefore, we think that the eastern shore through to Faggeto Lario will show an increase again this year, especially with the new 5 star resorts set to join Casta Diva.  Whilst Cernobbio through to Laglio will always be a safe strong bet.

Our recommendation – The fantastic Liberty villa pictured above in Cernobbio, untouched for many years and containing original features. At a realistic price of €980,000 this has great investment potential or could be made into a lovely family home with the addition of a pool. Contact us if you would like to know more at