In the last few years, several towns in Italy have gained internet fame by selling houses for as low as EUR1 ($1.21). This trend is growing stronger with Hollywood stars making a profit and offering additional incentives to attract potential homeowners from all over the world.
Reviving Italy’s Dying Towns
Italy’s small towns and villages were struggling economically and faced a shrinking population. They needed to do something drastic to bring new life and hope into their communities. They sold some of their growing collection at ridiculously low prices but agreed to undertake restoration work.
The trend started with cities putting their abandoned houses up for sale at a price that is comparable to a cup of coffee. Many towns in the south of Italy adopted this scheme, including Zungoli in Sicily, Mussomeli, and Sambuca.
Hollywood Goes To Sicily
The EUR1 houses in Sambuca di Sicilia have attracted international attention. In Sambuca, 16 properties were up for sale two years ago. All have been sold while others were purchased through private sales. The scheme is becoming more popular, even in Hollywood. American actress Lorraine Bracco bought one of Sambuca’s homes, and then restored it for “My Big Italian Adventure”.
Online journal eHabitat claimsthat the scheme has “decidedly helped to revitalize the village”, which is now “destined for a second existence”.
Sambuca will now offer 15 additional properties starting at EUR1.
The next batch of vacant houses in Sambuca is likely to sell quickly as it has many things to offer to new homeowners. Sambuca has been designated one of the most beautiful villages of Italy and was named “Village of Villages” in 2016. This is due to its panoramic views, archeological remains and Saracen District.
Get Paid To Renovate
Troina, another Sicilian municipality, started the EUR1 program last year. Now, Troina is offering additional properties. Over the past few decades, residents have fled the historic district of the town. To revive the dying historic district of the town, these abandoned houses are being sold cheaply.
“I want the preservation of our old district and to restore its lost glory, when it was the Norman capital in Sicily,” Mayor Sebastiano Fabio Venezia stated to CNN. “The old urban setting must be completely redesigned, and I plan to do this quickly.”
The town council offers incentives to homeowners who choose to live in the town, including subsidized renovations. For those who purchase and agree to restore the most expensive properties, bonuses up to EUR15,000 are available.
The local authorities also made sure that the services of an estate agent and legal counsel were available in different languages. This is a significant step given the interest from overseas. According to Venezia , “In recent weeks, many requests for properties in our historical center have come from all over the globe, including the United States of America, Germany, France and Belgium, Turkey and Turkey, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Peru.”
An online agency, HouseTroina has been created to make the process more pandemic-friendly. At the end of January, the site will be updated with a collection of EUR1 homes. Anyone interested in purchasing a Troina property must prepare a plan to renovate it for the town council.
Venezia, who is writing on the website about Troina’s potential benefits for new homeowners, says, “Discover joy of the fine life in our cradleof serenity, an ever-new vitality, and a positive energy that never ceases to amaze.”
It is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It’s rich in culture with walls dating back to Greece, Roman baths and Norman churches. The town is located in the lush Nebrodi Park. You can also admire the majestic Mount Etna from afar.
Find the right partner for your dream home
Castropignano began selling properties starting at EUR1 just before the holidays. This is in the often undervalued region Molise. The property must be submitted and completed by interested buyers. They also need to start work within two months of the issue of the building permit. A deposit of EUR2000 must be paid to Castropignano for three years as a guarantee of the restoration of the property.
Sellers participate in the scheme, as is the case in many towns, to avoid the costs of estate agents or demolition costs for a house they don’t intend to restore.
Castropignano has selected around 100 properties, but the selling process is slightly different. Nicola Scapillati has decided to match potential buyers to properties rather than sell them off. Although the process is slow, it prevents a sudden flood and can help in the long-term if new homeowners decide to live in the town.
The EUR1 scheme is gaining popularity and is being improved to be more accessible to foreign investors.