Having purchased a home in Italy several years ago, friends have told me “You could’ve gotten one of those homes for only a euro.” Could it be? Did I make a mistake? Could I have saved a ton of money? Or, is there more to the story?
At first, I figured that it must be “too good to be true”, but it kept coming up. Even houses in my region were listed for next to nothing. Stories of Italian home ownership dreams coming true. Maybe, I should look at these more seriously.
Having been in towns with 1 euro houses and doing lots of research, I realized -YES YOU CAN! It is possible, and it’s a viable option to realize the Italian dream. Of course, it’s not your only option. There are other ways to get an affordable property in Italy. If you travel the 1 euro path – there a few things you should consider.
There’s limited inventory. You may find a wonderful town, and the perfect home, only to have someone move faster than you. Use the 1 euro home as a starting point – not the destination.
You are signing a contract. You get something – a house for a euro, but, the towns are expecting something back. There will be requirements for renovations, residency etc. You might think it’s just your money that they are after, but I don’t think so. The Italians truly appreciate the community that you’ll bring. They desire relationships and friendships to sustain their villages. They are looking to not only secure future tax income to keep up the town, but they really want the human component. Someone to become a vibrant part of their community.
So, don’t think of it as a cheap house. It’s an opportunity to have a home in the best place on the planet with the best neighbors you’ll ever find. Embrace that and be the best neighbor they’ve ever had. Ask not ‘what will they give me’, but ‘what might I give them’.
Eatalianos know it's not the price, but the value!
If you’re looking for resources, there’s plenty – just google for more current information.
One site that I like is https://1eurohouses.com/. The authors are Italian, and seem to have a good handle on the how, where, and why of the 1 euro properties. Paula and Mauri explain things both from the perspective of the sellers and of the buyers. The site offers info on each of the localities details of acquisition. The deal in each village is different. How much time do you have to complete renovations, how much time must you spend there, do you own it free and clear? One bonus to their website is that they also list train stations, lighthouses and towers!!! Wouldn’t that be amazing to pick up a lighthouse in Italy? More than a euro, but heck… Anyone looking to be my financial backer?
A paid membership site is https://www.1eurohouseproject.com/. Steve Atkinson and his wife came to Italy 15 years ago and share their love and experiences. It’s only $25 / three months, and you may find help there. They list many ‘low cost’ (more than a euro, but still inexpensive) homes too. A big focus on their village in Sicily.
On FaceBook – Nikki Taylor runs a group – How to Confidently Buy Property In Italy, and also trainings around the 1 euro houses. She’s fun and loves what she does.
There’s a vast amount of anecdotal advice out there. Some good, some questionable, and some downright wrong. Damien O’Farrell is a great resource for honest, factual information about many things related to living, working, driving and running a business in Italy. He’s focused on keeping you out of hot-water!