We have all read about the romantic, leisurely life and fashion in Italy. Nowadays, you can buy an Italian house for one euro. This is not an unrealistic fantasy on Instagram, in more than 20 cities and towns in Italy, abandoned buildings and monasteries are sold at meager prices, attracting residents from all over the world to live in these historic manors.
Mussomeli, Italy (Merxwire) – You may have seen the headlines about hundreds of houses in Italy recently sold by the local government for 1 euro. In the past few years, this news have increased the popularity of those small villages.
A manor sells you for 1 Euro, which sounds too good to be true, right? Yes, this is 100% happening.
The main reason is the rapid decline of the native Italian population. Italians used to have more children, but now their birth rate is the lowest in Europe. This means that people inherit “extra” houses from Aunt Lisa and Grandpa Brown, but there are no extra people living in these houses. Or the elderly find that no one wants to live in their house, and their children have moved to big cities or other countries with better opportunities.
Owning a house means paying taxes, so liquidating the remaining houses can alleviate a substantial financial burden. Usually, these “extra” houses are donated to city halls, and many municipalities have to be creative about dealing with them.
Selling houses at a symbolic price-1 euro-in response to the decline in the population of rural towns and villages is a trend that has begun in Italy in the last decade. Nowadays, the movement of selling abandoned houses for iconic fees is spreading. Villages in Switzerland, Spain, Croatia and even Japan have joined this guideline.
In Italy, there are thousands of houses to choose from north to south and Sicily. Most are in poor condition and the municipality sells them for a nominal price of 1 euro, but you must follow the regulations to renovate the auctioned house. One-euro housing, 300 euros in taxes, thousands of euros in deposits and 40,000 to 100,000 euros in renovation costs. By the time the house was completed, the new owner had already spent 50,000 to 100,000 Euros. “I love Italy! It seems to be a good investment, we will have a lifetime holiday home, and the price is only a small part of what we spend elsewhere.”, Gina said.
Is all this beautiful? Perhaps many news media have missed the facts:
- You are best good at bricklaying, painting and roof installation.
- And manage the general contractor in another language.
- And have many months (years?) to do only that.
- And be able to tackle Italian red tape
- And you have tens of thousands of euros in extra money
Each town has different rules, whether that’s the pricing structure, deposit system, number of architects or lawyers you must involve, or time in which you have to complete your renovations to avoid penalties. Make sure to pick the one that works for you.
You should also be aware of the criteria for renovations. In Mussomeli, for example, you can do what you like with the interior, as long as you keep the façade as it originally would have been.
Extended reading: If you like Japan more, you can also find a house for 0 yuan on the Internet and enjoy the scenery of Hokkaido for free for a lifetime.