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1 Euro Houses in Italy (Italy is Giving Away Houses)

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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Have you heard about the 1 euro houses in Italy?

Well, it’s true.

Italy is giving away houses.

You can buy a house in Italy right now for 1 euro.

And…

I’m going to tell you how to score one.

Why is Italy giving away houses for 1 euro?

You’ve probably seen the headlines about the hundreds of homes being flogged for pennies in Italy recently. They were even unloading castles last year for practically nothing!

Sounds too good to be true, right? Some fake news making the rounds?

Whether it’s too good to be true is something I’ll get into in a minute, but fake? Nope. This is a hundred percent actually happening.

So the big question is: WHY?

Houses in Italy for $1

The main reason is Italy’s rapidly shrinking native population. Italians used to have more kids, but now they have the lowest birthrate in Europe. That means people are inheriting “extra” houses from Auntie Gina and Grandpa Roberto that once would have gone to siblings or cousins. Or the elderly are finding themselves with no one to leave their houses to. Their kids don’t want them — they’ve already moved to bigger cities with better opportunities.

Owning houses means paying taxes, and so liquidating surplus homes can be a huge financial load off. Often these “extra” houses are donated to city hall, and many municipalities have had to get creative about what to do with them.

Mayors already scrambling to backfill their dwindling populations have come up with an innovative way of killing two birds with one stone — sell the houses for super cheap to anyone who is willing to commit to restoring them, with the long term goal of bringing life and tourism back to these areas.

The trend started a decade ago when the mayor of Salemi, a small town in Sicily, came up with the idea of selling homes that had lain in ruin since a 1968 earthquake to anyone who would agree to renovate them for just one euro. For reasons ranging from the buildings not being earthquake-safe to the homes being repossessed because of mafia infiltration, the Salemi project was ultimately a failure. But it inspired other communities to create similar initiatives that have been quite successful — nearby Gangi received 1000 applications and had sold 100 houses by 2016.

Of course the international media — including CNN and Travel + Leisure — has been all over this news. After all, owning a vacation property in Italy would be a dream come true for a lot of us!

So how does it all work?

How can I buy a house in Italy for 1 euro?

You’ll need to fill out an application to buy a house in Italy. Applications can be found on individual municipalities’ websites.

A list of the towns currently participating in this initiative can be found here. The applications and all of the info are, of course, in Italian, but you can do some preliminary browsing by googling some of the areas taking part, like Patrica near Rome, Lecce di Marsi in the Abruzzo region, and the Tuscan towns of Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri.

The latest Italian town to give away houses is called Ollolai on the amazing island of Sardinia — it’s about an hour away from this stunning beach I visited last summer. Also in the last few days, the town of Sambuca in Sicily announced it’s deal and the mayor has been shocked by the response, his offer has gone viral and they’ve been inundated with requests.

The recent success that towns like Ollolai have had (120 requests by late 2017 from all over the world) have spurred other villages around the boot to start their own 1-euro projects, so it’s worth checking the Case a 1 Euro website often to read up on the ultime notizie (latest news).

So what’s the catch?

When I received the third text in a row from a client asking for advice on how to get in on the deal, I knew I needed to outline some realistic expectations for anyone actually thinking of doing this.

We’re a team of Italy experts who either own property in Italy or live and work there full time, so we’re not only able to read the Italian fine print, but we’ve experienced Italian bureaucracy, permissions and wait times first hand.

While it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say this offer is too good to be true (it is a pretty sweet incentive!), to suggest that all it will take is some reno money and it’ll all be easy peasy is just not true either.

It’s a bit like buying a horse. The actual animal might be relatively cheap. It’s the vet, hay and barn that can do a number on your finances!

(Not that that deterred me from begging my mother for a horse for six straight years, but that’s another story.)

These are the hard facts many news outlets are leaving out:

You’d better be insanely good at bricklaying, painting and roof installation.

And managing a general contractor in another language.

And have many months to do only that.

And be able to tackle Italian red tape (which is so long and sticky it would make your head spin around a Tuscan hillside).

And have alligator-style thick skin.

When I was telling my husband about this initiative, he immediately pictured some poor foreign souls at the whim of the Italian tradesman, engineers and surveyors he knows. He shook his head and muttered something eloquent like, “Ahhh ha ha e farsi inchiappettare” — the Italian translation of which involves rear ends and getting shafted and… you get the picture.

But… oh, I GET you!

Even knowing about the red-tape torture chamber… a girl’s gotta dream, no?

A pile of stones with an epic view could have so much potential, amiright? 😉

How about we all pitch in 100 bucks and get ‘er done, no?

Seriously though, if you do want to buy a home in Italy, there are other ways to go about it. And you don’t need to wait for news of Italy giving away houses.

Plus, you can still travel to Italy every year and stay for a few months as a tourist. Just rent an apartment long-term and ditch all of the headaches associated with owning the home.

If you REALLY want to own a home in Italy and can see yourself making that lifestyle choice, you can see what’s available on immobiliare.it.

Or better yet, spend some time road tripping around the country, keeping your eyes open for places for sale in the cute spots you visit. Listings are everywhere, peeking out from behind those iconic Italian green shutters.

P.S. Just in case you think we can help you turn this Italian dream into a reality, pronto…

Know that we’re just a travel company, not real estate agents.

AKA we’re just doing our part to spread the word (because it’s so awesome!) but we are in no way your go-to people to help you purchase an Italian home on this crazy discount. We’ll leave that in the hands of the pros.

Leave a comment! Have you ever thought about buying foreign real-estate? If you could buy anywhere, where would you buy?

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Tracey Harris
Guest

Hi Bianca, great blog, I really enjoy reading your newsletter, Can you tell me what I need to do to open a bank account in Italy, I will be in Florence early July and want to find out all I need to know to open a bank account whilst I… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Thanks for the info Bianca!
What website would you recommend to look at to rent a long term apartment?

Thank you

Kathy Kearns
Guest
Kathy Kearns

Thank you Bianca,
Very interested in spending 2 weeks- 1 month in Italy either this, or next summer.

Tzvetanka Kovatcheva
Guest

I am interested of a property in Italy,
Please send me offers and the way to do it. Thanks

Saee
Guest
Saee

Great information.. very interested in this. How can I talk to you people in private? I need more information and would like to know the process as well

M arif
Guest
M arif

Hi this arif from uk, I want know what are risks involve and which one is better place from all of them

Khalil
Guest
Khalil

Hi everyone!
How can i buy the house for 1 euro in Italy??

Minhajul
Guest
Minhajul

Can BANGLADESH passport holder buy it. I have not Italian residential card

Ari Kinnunen
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Ari Kinnunen

Hi, we are intresting buy House from Italy (1€). Can you send offer to me? Can you Tellervo me what is include prices?

Pardeep
Guest
Pardeep

I m from India I want to buy this property plz send me whole process and expenses information about this

trackback

[…] I’ve already told you about the 1 euro houses in Italy. […]

Simin Nafis
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Simin Nafis

I am very interested in having a property in Italy, particularly Sicily. Please send me details, if possible. Oceans of love and thanks. Simin

Emily Kliemt
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Emily Kliemt

I would love to purchase one of these homes. My husband had his own construction company for 30 years so he knows a few things about construction and home building. What ever the catch I’m going to send this to my husband and we’ll see. Fingers crossed.
Emily Kliemt

Tanvir Kabir
Guest
Tanvir Kabir

Dear Sir,
Good Evening, Can you please tell me how can I buy a home by 1 Euro? Or give me the link where I could register.
Thanks!!

trackback

[…] may remember our blog post on the 1-euro houses being sold in places like Sambuca in Sicily and Montieri in […]

Salman
Guest
Salman

Hi Miss,
How r u 🙂 .. can u tell how can I pay 1 euro to buy a property in italy’s this beautiful village .. I mean we have to go italy or can pay online too and if yes then how n whrre).. very long na < lolz..

Mahmood popalzai
Guest
Mahmood popalzai

Hi how can I buy it plz

Nidhan
Guest
Nidhan

How can i buy this house? Pls send me all the term and conditions

SHIMUL
Guest
SHIMUL

please tell me that can i try it from Bangladesh & How is it possible?

Sarfraz Ahmad
Guest
Sarfraz Ahmad

Hi.this is sarfraz from Uganda I am interested buying house in Italy. Plz giude me

Gurdeep singh
Guest
Gurdeep singh

I interesting this property I want to buy one euro house how can I buy right now I m in india

Twinkle
Guest
Twinkle

What are the paper works needed to be done if someone is from Indian origin

TAHIR ur Rahman Ali
Guest

Dear Sir,
Good Evening, Can you please tell me how can I buy a home by 1 Euro? Or give me the link where I could register.
Thanks!!
From: TAHIR

zeev saar
Guest
zeev saar

Sounds good, but I need more details to how is the process. Whats important is how to choose the house and where.

jawad
Guest
jawad

Hi

I am interested in availing this offer. how much amount I can expect for a small house renovation ?

I am a freelancer by profession so moving is not a problem for me.

saman
Guest

hey…it’s sanam from Pakistan how can i buy property there in Italy ?

Michael Lee
Guest

It is fascinating that they are selling homes for $1 in Italy. It would make sense as a way to incentivize people to move there. I would be interested to look at the properties for sale.

Cecelia
Guest
Cecelia

Possibly anywhere

HOMEiA
Guest

I am interested of a property in Italy,

Guizoka
Guest
Guizoka

‘0’

Darasat Ali
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Darasat Ali

Hi Darasat Ali I am from u k how can I buy one eur please send information

Tracy Gregori
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Tracy Gregori

Hi Bianca Love your sense of humour!!!! Lol I’m Australian on an Australian passport My father is italian my mother Australian Having a difficult time getting an italian passport or dual citizenship Doing more enquiries now again! There’s that red tape ha ha I’m in the UK But want to… Read more »

trackback

[…] was even a fuss fairly recently about the Sicilian town of Sambuca giving away houses for a euro […]

Susan Sparks
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Susan Sparks

Definitely interested in more information

mohamad tabatabaie
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mohamad tabatabaie

hi,i want to know how could i start.

HOMEiA
Guest

here is the way we learn how to buy a house! Thanks for nice share !

Hewa gamage dinushka
Guest
Hewa gamage dinushka

Hi I like to get giving way house please help me

Muhammad irfan
Guest

Hi I am living in dubai last 12 years but now I am trying to move from here.

Beatrice
Guest
Beatrice

Really would love to do this but what are the glitches and re red tape

Babe
Guest
Babe

This is a great article! I knew if the mayor is involved, this would be some kind of govt scheme to revitalize their communities. The only requirement I don’t possess from your list is the willingness to deal with bureaucracy! I get enough of that in Indonesia. I’ve been in… Read more »

Alison PIKE
Guest
Alison PIKE

Awesome blog Bianca and thanks so much for being so honest. Of course there is a practical side to this venture BUT I would be in like a robbers dog BUT my hubby’ s head is not so much in fairyland like mine 😊 All the same I will investigate… Read more »

Frances
Guest
Frances

Thank you!!

Muhammad Aamir khsn
Guest

I need home in Italy

Sonia Barber
Guest
Sonia Barber

Are there any houses left ?

Monique Taljaard
Guest
Monique Taljaard

Thanx a lot on advice

Monique Taljaard
Guest
Monique Taljaard

Any advice on long term rental and websites?

nikki zanchi
Guest
nikki zanchi

Hi Thank you for this great blog post. My Grandparents were Italian and it’s been a dream of mine to have a home in Italy preferably where they came from in Tuscany. I have very little to invest which of course is why I was drawn to this idea of… Read more »

Rita Farugia
Guest
Rita Farugia

I want to buy a cheap house in sicily

Rita Farugia
Guest
Rita Farugia

Can you help me to buy a cheap house in sicily

Daniel Walker
Guest
Daniel Walker

Hello! Did anyone actually do this? I would love to do it…..

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