Firm seeks to make foreign investors out of New Yorkers by linking up with a partner in the old country to sell everything from vineyards to rustic stone houses. Dire state of Italian economy, and bombed-out real estate prices, help broaden the appeal.
By Joe Anuta
Updated: August 4, 2014 4:02 p.m.
While many real estate brokerages in New York have prospered mightily in recent years by advising overseas-based buyers on their purchase of property here, a Staten Island family firm with roots to the borough dating back 50 years hoping to do well by doing the exact opposite.
Cangiano Estates, which bills itself as an outfit that “strives to differentiate itself from other local real estate companies,” has come up with a novel way to do so. It has partnered with Perugi and Associates, a law firm located in the historic Italian city of Perugia*, southeast of Florence, to make it easier for New Yorkers to buy residential property in the old country.*
“Being a company with Italian heritage, we are opening a door for local residents to invest there,” said the firm’s owner, Traci Cangiano. “It’s not incredibly lucrative—it’s more of a heritage thing.”
The campaign began in the spring. Currently, the Staten Island broker has about a half dozen property listings in Italy. They range from rustic stone houses, to ranches and vineyards, though no deals have closed to date. The idea behind the arrangement was to ease stateside investors’ anxieties about working in a totally unfamiliar market with its own rules, regulations and way of doing business. What also helps is the dire state of the Italian economy in recent years, a condition which has helped drive real estate prices downward. ”Right now the economy is tough in Italy, and it’s actually easier to sell an Italian property in the United States,” said Nick Cammarano, a Staten Island native who works for Perugi in Italy, and visits sites on behalf of Ms. Cangiano and her New World clients.
The partnership will help translate documents into Italian and navigate the real estate regulatory environment there. Ms. Cangiano, who was past president of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, is also partnering with a second Italian law firm to market commercial properties.
* city of Viterbo