The Italian program, codenamed “House for 1 Euro in Italy,” designed to help solve demographic problems, became known more than ten years ago. Since then, despite many conditions, a number of nuances and rather contradictory reviews, this program continues to gain popularity among foreign investors.
In each Italian municipality, this program has its own subtleties, but there are rules that are the same for all. A potential buyer must be aware that his costs will not be limited to one euro, and this symbolic price obliges him to fulfill several requirements at once, the main one of which is the repair or reconstruction of the building.
Within 3 months to a maximum of 1 year from the date of registration of the purchase and sale transaction (all associated costs are borne by the new owner), it is necessary to submit a construction plan to the local authorities, and no later than two months after its approval, to begin to their implementation. Sometimes restrictions are imposed that may prevent the implementation of plans. For example, if a house is recognized as having architectural value, then most likely the owner will be forced to return it to its previous appearance, using the same materials. In such cases, construction work is carried out only by specialized companies, which also affects the final price.
Often, a separate clause specifies the minimum investment amount, which can vary between 10-30 thousand euros, although in reality it turns out to be two to three times more. To this should be added the payment of taxes, services of a notary, realtor, lawyer and translator (usually 3-4 thousand euros in total), as well as a deposit of 3-5 thousand euros, confirming the seriousness of intentions, although it is returned after successful completion of the work.
Due to the fact that the main goal of the “House for 1 Euro in Italy” program is to combat the outflow of population from villages and small towns, it is not uncommon for a person to move to a permanent place of residence within a certain period of time to be called a prerequisite. This is beneficial for local authorities, because new owners usually open their own businesses, thereby reviving the economy. Sometimes visitors are provided with work, and in exceptional cases they are provided with various benefits and subsidies – as, for example, in the town of Albidona in Calabria, where entrepreneurs under the age of 40 will be paid a monthly allowance for 2-3 years.
The Italians themselves are in no hurry to take advantage of this opportunity, since most of them do not want to waste time and nerves going through bureaucratic procedures and waiting for the completion of repairs, which are not without reason equated to a natural disaster. In addition, young people are accustomed to the fact that in cities all the necessary infrastructure is within walking distance, while in “problem” villages there may be only one bar and one store, and for everything else they will have to travel several kilometers away. This, in turn, makes you dependent on the car and entails additional costs for gasoline, which continues to rise in price almost every week.
However, the Italian “House for 1 Euro” program is still popular among foreigners, among whom citizens of the USA, Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany, France and Russia prevail. This is also evidenced by the fact that auctions with a starting price of 1 euro are increasingly being held. In some cities and villages – especially those located next to lakes – such facilities have simply run out.
In total, there are now more than 400 houses for sale in almost 30 municipalities in Italy, and most of them are concentrated in Sicily. In particular, these are Pettineo in the north of the island (1,500 inhabitants), Sambuca di Sicilia (winner of the competition “The most beautiful city in Italy” – 2016), Castiglione, Canicatti, Cammarata, Leonforte, Racalmuto, Bivona. Other interesting proposals include such settlements as Ripacandida, Chiaromonte (both Basilicata), Ollolai, Bonnavaro (both Sardinia) and Santi Cosma i Damiano (Lazio). Every year the number of participants in the “House for 1 Euro in Italy” program is growing, the conditions generally remain the same, so in the foreseeable future the purchase of such a house without “pitfalls” seems quite realistic.