Are you thinking about moving to Italy? Maybe you have always dreamed of retiring there or maybe you just want to live somewhere that’s sunny, inexpensive, and full of great culture and food. Well, it might be your lucky day.
Right now you can buy a house in Italy for 1 Euro. Yes, this might sound too good to be true. But in the last few years people from all over the world have been snapping up these deals and making homes for themselves in villages and cities across Italy.
So, what’s the big deal? Why are people selling homes for only 1 Euro? And how can you get involved?
In this blog we’ll be exploring a number of topics to help you learn how to buy a house in Italy for 1 Euro, including:
- Why Italy is selling houses for €1
- Is it too good to be true?
- Who can buy a €1 house?
- How can you buy a €1 house?
- The areas in Italy that are running €1 house schemes
- How Small World can help
Why is Italy selling houses for €1?
With property prices rising in the UK and many other countries around the world, why are houses available in Italy for €1?
Well, in the last few years many young professionals in Italy have been migrating to the city in search of modern, cosmopolitan jobs and other urban vocations. As a result, many of Italy’s remote villages are becoming abandoned with only small aging populations keeping them going.
Some elderly Italians who have no children or grandchildren are choosing to bequeath their properties to local authorities because they have no one to leave their house to. The young Italians who live in cities often do not want a second home because that means paying more taxes. Therefore, these houses are falling into the hands of local governments.
Today, there are around 25 Italian municipalities that are selling homes for the symbolic price of €1. The benefit of selling these homes for €1 is that buyers will improve and occupy these homes thereby elevating neighborhoods that would otherwise be abandoned. Local authorities in regions like Sicily, Piedmont and Abruzzo hope that new homeowners will help to stimulate the local economy by employing local construction workers, buying local produce and boosting tourism.
Is it too good to be true?
So are you really buying a house for only €1? Well, not really.
In reality, you won’t be buying a brand new villa. Most of the houses in these schemes require major improvements to make them livable homes. That’s where the money comes in. You’re investing in a project, rather than a home that is ready to move into right away.
In general, the cost of renovations is relatively low compared to other countries. In most cases, it will set you back between €20,000 - 50,000 to fully renovate these €1 houses depending on the size and state of the property.
You will also have to factor in legal fees, which can amount to around €3,000-4,000. However, Italy does provide a tax exemption for buyers that will cover 110% of qualifying building expenditures.
The renovations are not an optional choice either. New owners of these €1 houses must submit details of a renovation project within a year of the purchase. Then you must start work within a year and have the work completed within three years.
So, while in reality you can’t buy a house in Italy if you only have €1 in your pocket, it is possible to own a property for a relatively small amount of money if you are willing to invest some time to renovate.
Who can buy a €1 house?
Almost anyone can buy a €1 house in Italy. Ultimately, if most regions that run these schemes it comes down to financial requirements. For example, if you want to buy a €1 house in Sicily, you must have the financial and practical means to:
- Support all expenses (i.e. registration, transfer, etc)
- Start renovating the property within one year of purchase
- Finish the renovation work within three years
- Put down a “guarantee policy” deposit that will be forfeited if the work is not completed within three years.
Depending on the region, you may also have further requirements about what you can and cannot do with the interior and exterior of the property. You will have to be thorough and check the specific requirements of the town you want to buy in. Some towns will ask you to keep the facade the same and others will require you to live in the house after the renovations have been finished.
While not essential it also helps to speak Italian and to have Italian residency. This will help the process go quickly and will help to reduce the amount of hurdles you have to overcome.
How can you buy a €1 house?
If you’re still keen to get your hands on one of these €1 properties then the easiest way to get started is online.
There are number of reputable websites that will help you buy these €1 houses, including:
You can also learn more about specific €1 houses schemes on the local government website such as the Citta de Triona’s in Sicily.
Although you must usually start your search online it is vitally important that you go in person and visit before you make any commitments. Viewing your potential house in person is important as you will need to examine the foundations and the state of the property and understand how extensive the renovations will need to be.
There are also several useful ‘How we did it guides’ on Europe.properties. These guides are a great place to start and will help you understand all the practical elements that you have to consider.
Some of the areas in Italy running €1 house schemes…
- Le Marche
How Small World can help
Small World is an international money transfer service that helps millions around the world get their money where it needs to be. If you need to make quick and reliable money transfers across borders and into other currencies then Small World can help.
Our money transfer services to Italy include Bank Deposit, Anywhere Pickup and Cash Pickup. You can send money to leading Italian banks like PosteItaliane, Banco BPM, Monte dei Paschi di Siena and many more. If you want to support your loved ones in Italy, choose Small World.