Would you be happy to pay 1 euro for a house in Italy? It’s a dream for many, mostly the youngster who find it difficult to buy a house. It’s a dream that can come true thanx to the initiative of some Italian “comuni”, municipalities, that want to combat the desertion of some towns and revive abandoned areas. The houses are property of people that want to get rid of them and they ask the “comune” to help them find a buyer: the building costs only 1 euro, but you have to pay for its renovation.
The costs for the renovation can be reduced due to government and European subsidies, especially if you are a young couple. If you are really interested, you should also consider that normally there’s a time limit for renovations, that goes from 6 months to a couple of years.
Where you can find them
Salemi, a town in Sicily that first had this idea with its mayor Vittorio Sgarbi, has failed in carrying out the project for various reasons. Also Carrega Ligure (in Piedmont) and Lecce dei Marsi, despite the initial enthusiasm, had to give up the project due to the Italian bureaucracy.
Other towns succeeded.
In Maremma a Montieri, Grosseto, 2 of the 10 available houses were sold. Truth is, they didn’t cost 1 euro, but 12,000. Nevertheless, including the renovation the new houses cost about 50,000 euro, which is still a deal, considering today’s real estate market.
In more recent times, Locana, a picturesque village in the Piedmontese Alps, became part of the project, too.
Success in the islands
The most successful projects seem to be those on our islands.
In Gangi, Palermo, the municipality received about 1,000 requests, and 100 old houses were sold. Officials are sure this will bring back to life this old town.
Regalbuto, at the foot of Mount Etna, has already received many offers before the official announcement was made.
In Sardinia, Ollolai with its 2,000 inhabitants has already sold the first house at one euro, and is expecting to sell two more. The municipality of Nulvi, at just 15 minutes from the beach, has 6 available houses. Here you are also asked to use local people to renew the house, but with 20,000 euro you could have the house of your dreams at only 500 meters from the sea.
Taranto: the first city to sell houses at one euro
In January 2020, Taranto, a picturesque town on the Ionian sea, in the region of Apulia , decided to give it a go, too. The city, which is the capital of the homonymous provincia, has seen the number of residents diminish in recent years and decided to take example from other — albeit smaller — settlements.
Francesca Viggiano, Taranto’s heritage council, spoke to CNN Travel recently, explaining the city will soon begin offering council-owned homes in the Old Town area of the city at the price of only one euro.
As for other, similar initiatives, buyers will have to commit to renovating their new homes. At the moment, 15 buildings in Taranto’s historical centre are available: all of them have plenty of potential, but currently lie in neglect. Listings should go up in about a couple of weeks, with more homes becoming available at a later stage.
Taranto represents a break in the trend of the houses at one euro in Italy, as it is the first larger settlement to embrace the project.
And so… all this might sound impossible, but instead of letting buildings fall down and towns disappear, municipalities in Italy are ready to sell their houses at really low prices.
With a little investment and a bit of luck, you could become the owner of a newly refurbished house in your dreamland. If you are serious about it, you can check out all that’s available on the 1 Euro Houses website!