The Truth About €1 homes in Italy

The topic of the €1 homes has caused quite the stir in the media with mixed opinions and perceptions of the actual truth of what the process involves.

I wouldn’t blame you if when you thought about the €1 homes and the condition they might be in, you might envision a pile of bricks on a block of land resembling something like Hadrian’s wall! But, upon closer investigation it is most certainly not the case. 

There are some beautiful old homes that are still intact, that simply require a light renovation and lots of TLC. 

Yes it is obvious that you will need to invest money into a renovation project, therefore the €1 home is not for everyone, but if you have a creative eye, and a passion for transformation then this would be the ideal project for you. 

To be able to purchase your own slice of La Dolce Vita for less than a cup of coffee has had many people wondering whether this is some kind of scam. But many towns in Italy have been using the €1 home initiative to revitalize their villages and inject new life. 

La Dolce Vita on a shoestring

There is something quite enchanting about immersing yourself into “vera Italia” or real Italy, and living life like one of the locals. A total change from the chaos of your normal life of which you might be itching to get away from and adapt into a slower pace, where “dolce far niente” (the sweetness of doing nothing) is an art form. 

Imagine walking to the nearest farm to collect fresh eggs and milk, to pass by the street vendor displaying all his seasonal fruit and vegetables and then the local baker, picking up warm bread fresh out of the oven.

Countryside living in Italy, where the journey from farm to fork is a short one and they don’t say the Mediterranean diet is the number 1 in the world for no reason. 

Now that I have painted the romantic vision for you of a dream life in the Mediterranean, let’s get down to the facts of what it really means to purchase a €1 home, where they are and what kind of condition they are in.

The Buying Procedure 

The buying process for a €1 home is generally the same as buying a normal property. It will be split into 3 phases:

1.    The proposal of purchase (or reservation offer)
2.    Preliminary Contract
3.    Deed of Sale

However there are a few differences. If it is sold through a comune (municipality) the contracts will have specific rules to complete for deposits etc. 

If it is sold directly from the owner, it is a straight private sale between the buyer and the seller.  The buyer will pay all the closing costs and for any missing documents (should that be the case). 

Where they are

Let us take a trip to Nicosia, a little town in Sicily perched up high on the hill with panoramic views all around the forest and greenery which surrounds the town. Nicosia has a handful of €1 homes on offer and also “gift houses”. A gift house is a good quality but low cost property where the owner(s) no longer wish to have the property and are willing to sell it for a minimum of €1.

Many properties are handed down through inheritance and may be of no interest to the newer generation but continue to cost the family money in taxes and repairs. Often it is better to sell the property onto someone who is willing to restore it and live in it as its intended. 

The beauty of the properties in Nicosia, is that they hold no restrictions. There is no time frame in order to complete renovations and you are not required to set up a residency there. So anyone looking to create a rustic Italian retreat on Airbnb then this could be right up your street! 

The €1 homes are also located in other parts of Italy such as Sicily, Puglia, Campania with other regions soon to be announced. 

What kind of condition are the properties in?

The properties are all in need of some sort of renovation. It would be naïve to think that you could purchase a property for €1 or low cost and not imagine that there would not need to be some sort of investment to restore it to its former glory.

Now as mentioned above, some of the properties are in need of light renovations not a complete overhaul and totally bursting with character which is yearning to be brought back to its original state.