Lake Como, the deep glacial gem of Lombardy, is a land of sharp real estate contrasts that have broadened its appeal to include potential buyers of many stripes.
With the mountains offering shelter from winter storms, the lake area is known for its scenic splendours, mild climate, and luxuriant lifestyle. Today, the lake is well known for attracting an uber-exclusive clientele to numerous locations along the inverted "Y" shape of the shoreline, but there are other areas surrounding the lake that are proving to be a magnet for a different crowd.
There is no shortage of high-priced real estate around Lake Como. The enclaves of the wealthy continue to bring in well-heeled buyers who are willing to part with millions of euros for choice properties.
In the tiny resort of Cernobbio, on the border of Switzerland, a 450 m2 garden home with a view of Lake Como can range from a price of £3,700 / m2 all the way up to £5,850 / m2 for a luxury home that has already been refurbished.
At first glance, the listed prices for the villas in Cernobbio or Bellagio are probably more than enough to put off potential buyers from looking for property anywhere in the lake area, but closer examination reveals another side of the Lake Como real estate market.
Just a short drive to the northeast of Lake Como, for instance, are places-of-interest like Dongo or Sorico, where a renovated two-bedroom home of 100 m2, with terracing, a garden and a view, can be found for between £45,000 - £50,000. Menaggio, on the west side of Lake Como, is another place where careful real estate shopping is yielding numerous bargain property finds.
Lombardy, in general, and Lake Como, in particular, are favourite destinations for both holidaymakers and those seeking second-homes or investment properties. With a steady, and still growing, flow of tourists, short-term and long-term rental income properties can prove to be a solid investment, and these potential money-makers are a hot commodity.