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Offline Mammamia

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Cost of olive trees
« on: April 09, 2016, 11:09:37 AM »
Does anyone have any idea (or recent experience) of how much we should expect to pay for a small piece of land with 7 olive trees on it? The owner keeps asking us if we want to buy it, but when we say how much he just say "poco" and we have no idea how much we should offer. I also guess there would be fees involved in registering the land and a notary?

Any advice would be welcome!


Offline levissima

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 01:18:20 PM »
I've not done this myself but I think what you need to know is the measurement of the piece of land, proof that he owns it and has the right to sell.

You would then need to reregistering the land in your name, if it not a complete parcel of land you'd need drawings for the registration and then you'd have to pay the purchase tax as well.

You could end up with a small amount of very expensive olive oil 🙂

Offline Allan Mason

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 03:48:04 PM »
I've never bought a small parcel of agricultural land in Italy, but Levissima's explanation sounds about right to me. I'm sure the forum's resident property experts will be able to explain things in more detail and perhaps suggest a realistic price.

What I do have is seven years experience of owning about 35 mature olive trees and getting oil from them.

Levi is right to point out that you would probably end up with a tiny amount of oil for a fairly large expenditure. The quantity of oil you get from one olive tree varies hugely from year to year depending on the weather. Also, like many fruit trees, olives tend to naturally have heavier harvests on alternate years. How the trees are maintained and harvested affects the oil yield as well.

In one good year, we got over 100 litres of oil from around 35 trees; in a very bad year, we - like many in our area - didn't even bother to harvest and so we got no oil; the average over the seven years was something like 40 litres per year. I'll leave you to do the math for seven trees.

There may, of course, be other factors which make buying the land attractive to you. For example, I could imagine doing so if the olive grove was directly adjacent to my terrace and the owner seemed to spend a lot of time pottering about on his land with noisy equipment when I just wanted to enjoy the peace. So it seems to me that buying a small plot might be a perfectly reasonable decision, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in purely economic terms. However, you shouldn't be under any illusions that seven olive trees will produce much in the way of oil even in a very good year.

In fact, it's highly likely that the weight of olives you harvested from seven trees would be so small that the frantoio wouldn't even do your olives as a separate batch. Instead, they would be processed along with olives brought to the mill by others who have only a handful of trees. Therefore, you wouldn't even have your "own" oil, but rather a mixture of oil from your olives and olives that were harvested by random strangers.

Al

Offline Mammamia

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 04:53:12 PM »
Thanks Levi and Al for your replies.

There may, of course, be other factors which make buying the land attractive to you. For example, I could imagine doing so if the olive grove was directly adjacent to my terrace and the owner seemed to spend a lot of time pottering about on his land with noisy equipment when I just wanted to enjoy the peace. So it seems to me that buying a small plot might be a perfectly reasonable decision, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in purely economic terms.
Al

You've hit the nail on the head Al, we don't want the oil. The land is right next to our house (literally), it's an eyesore when he doesn't clear it and a PIA when he does because we end up having to tidy it all up! My other thought would be to offer to rent it for a nominal sum so that we could keep the trees cut and the grass short, might be worth a try especially if he has to pay a tax on it?

Offline Allan Mason

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 06:14:25 PM »
Well, if you're clearing away stuff anyway after he does work in the grove, offering to rent and maintain the land seems to me a very sensible solution if you're willing and sure you'll be able to do what's necessary. One possible problem I can foresee is the owner thinking that foreigners can't possibly know how to do this sort of work properly, so he might regularly appear to offer critiques and "helpful" suggestions as well as continuing to try to persuade you to buy the land.  ::)

Olive pruning is a particularly hot button for some in the country, so he may well have very definite ideas about how that should be done.

Also, if he's like the contadini I got to know, he'll probably want to have a long, serious haggle about harvesting arrangements for the olives and what happens to the few litres of oil they produce.  :)

Al

Offline dolcevita

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 08:55:02 PM »
It sounds like renting it may not bring the peace and quiet you seek as the owner could constantly bother you by pottering about 'helping' you or doing things he thinks you could not possibly do correctly being 'foreigners'

Perhaps offer poco like 500 euros? Just see what he says.Tell him it will cost you thousands in tax fees to buy it so that's all you can offer?
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Offline Relaxed

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 10:06:12 PM »
Firstly, if you have a geometra, ask his opinion on price, and taxes payable on exchange of ownership.

If it looks like a goer, check the taxes payable with a notaio (in case the geometra has got it wrong). There is a minimum tax - iirc around €3500 - which you have to pay even if the land is only 200 square metres, and irrespective of how much you've agreed to buy it for. Add to that (even though they strictly are the responsibility of the seller) costs for a frazionamento, if necessary, and then notaio fees (once again, a minimum charge might hit you hard).

I'll guarantee you that if you do agree a deal with your neighbour, the major financial beneficiary will be the Italian state!

Which doesn't mean it's a bad idea - if you have little or no other land with your house it could well be worth (to you uniquely) quite a lot in terms of added value to your house, and of course it would be comforting for you to 'control' this bit of land. But your neighbour will also be aware of these 'special considerations', so (in my opinion) making him a 'silly offer' would be insulting. Gather your facts together, and then have a pleasant discussion with him, (concentrating on mutual hatred of the tax collector and rip-off notaios!). Good luck with it!

Offline the wrong side of the valley

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2016, 11:07:20 PM »
Yes the transfer of ownership will be the most considerable cost, and as far as I have heard, you cannot under pay the value of the land, the notary will ensure that the going rate is paid.
There is a peace of mind for owning the land that is around your house, it depends if you can spare the money.

Offline dolcevita

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 08:44:39 AM »
Although 7 olive trees will not give you a huge economic return the returns in terms of wildlife habitat that a small olive grove will give cant be measured.Olive groves ( not sprayed with chemicals) are an important wildlife habitat. Old trees develop cracks and holes that are used as nesting sites for Little Owls.

Wrynecks and Hoopoes both love to search for ants and other food at the foot of olives and the blossom is great for bees and other insects. Even in a bad year birds such as Nuthatches and Blue Tits will find the grubs in any olives that are effected.if you hang some fat balls in the trees you'll attract more of the pest eating birds and have healthier trees

Geekos and lizards also love old olives as they offer food and shelter.

You may even see snakes climbing up an olive tree if you are lucky (?)

In Abruzzo many olive groves left unploughed support populations of rare orchids as well as the more common ones that appear in drifts like bluebells do in England.

And finally but not least you'll have a shady spot for that hammock for you to do your bird watcihng from :D
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 08:51:37 AM by dolcevita »
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Offline Allan Mason

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 10:03:56 AM »
...In Abruzzo many olive groves left unploughed support populations of rare orchids as well as the more common ones that appear in drifts like bluebells do in England...
The man who maintained the land around the house for the previous owner of our place was very conscientious in keeping everything strimmed and neatly mowed. I kept him on for the first year after I bought the place.

My maintenance schedule was - to be charitable to myself - much more "relaxed". As far as I could tell, the grove had never been ploughed but it was mowed every few weeks. When I first saw it, the grass beneath the trees looked a lot tidier than the lawn I left behind in Scotland. My approach was to mow it three times a year - once when most of the spring wildflowers had set seed, again before things got very hot and the dry grass became a fire hazard and one more time before the olive harvest.

It was very noticeable that my laziness resulted in a continual increase in the number of orchids blooming under the olives every year. As far as I could tell from looking at wildflower identification books they were common species, but they did look nice.

Al

Offline dolcevita

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 06:15:00 PM »
I think the orchid plants can re-establish themselves even if the area has been quite intensely cultivated.

As you say Allan there is very little profit to me made from even a 'large' olive grove so better let it go a little wild and enjoy the plants and birds  :)
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Offline Mammamia

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 07:25:21 PM »
The land has (had because he's just chopped them all off!) some lovely orchids. He leaves, great tumps of grass and mows down the beautiful flowers, then in the summer when it's like a tinderbox he leaves the grass long and I dread a fire starting.

I think next time I see him I'll mention renting rather than buying and see what he says. He's so lazy that hopefully he won't worry about coming down to 'advise' on matters.



Offline dolcevita

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Re: Cost of olive trees
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 03:11:38 PM »
Keep us updated! Shame about the orchids. :(
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