Beyond the Bargain: Unraveling Italy’s One Euro Home Phenomenon!"

Exploring the fine print of Sicily's tempting offer - is it the investment of a lifetime or a pitfall in paradise

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Hi ,

Imagine waking up and walking just a few feet to your balcony, where a beautiful sunrise awaits you. The view below reveals a quaint town lined with bakeries, bike shops, and cafes, evoking a feeling of serenity. This is not merely a vibe; it’s a lifestyle. And it was all made possible because you decided to buy a house in Sicily for just one euro. That’s right, the initial cost of your new Sicilian home was only one euro. While the view and price tag sound incredible, there’s more to this story. In our latest newsletter, we’re covering some key takeaways from the one euro housing program, featured in CNBC’s Make It channel on Youtube. 

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One Euro Housing Program

For the past several years, different cities in Sicily have been selling dilapidated properties for only one euro, which equates to 1.05 cents in USD. The intention was to attract out-of-towners to invest in the crumbling properties, renovate them, and increase the population of the towns. It sounds cool, right? — buy a cheap ass house in a quaint town in Sicily, it’s giving Under the Tuscan Sun vibes…IYKYK. But cheap doesn't always mean easy; even Diane Lane struggled to get her Tuscan home together. The home might cost one euro, but that doesn’t cover all the work that has to be done to get the house up and running. 

One homebuyer noted that there was a ton of pigeon poop to clean, no running water, and no electricity. Not to mention that there’s a contingency: The renovation must be completed within a certain window of time, typically three years. While the idea of purchasing a one-euro home in a town like Sicily is enticing, it’s still costly. The renovations can range from 20,000 to hundreds of thousands of euros. So, are these one-euro investment properties worth the money?

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You’ve got options! Splurge a little.

We’ve established that you can buy a house for one euro in Sicily. However, we can’t ignore all the additional costs of purchasing a one-euro home.

In the town of Mussomeli, they not only have the one euro housing program, but they are also selling premium homes that start at around 5000 euros. These homes require fewer repairs. One homebuyer spent a little over 15k on a premium 4-story home with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 4 additional pieces of furniture. The view from his home is priceless. By spending 5K-20k for a premium home, you could potentially save thousands of dollars on renovations. It’s always good to weigh your options. 

Courtesy of CNN Travel

Win-Win: Cheap Homes and New Citizens

Whether foreigners purchase a home for one euro or fifteen thousand euros, the benefit of making these financial and geographical moves not only benefits the buyer but also to the community they’re moving to. For the town of Mussomeli, the housing programs have helped increase tourism by 3000%-that’s remarkable 🤯. 

Not only has it increased tourism exponentially, but it has also boosted the economy. The large-scale renovations naturally create job opportunities for construction workers. The influx of foreign investors means more business for local enterprises and restaurants. The new homeowners can trade their former hectic lifestyles for something more quiet and relaxed. Some of the homeowners use their homes as a retirement retreat, and others use theirs as a permanent residence. 

Courtesy of Danny McCubbin via LinkedIn

It’s not a Revival, it's a Renaissance

While the one euro housing program has helped boost the economy of the cities, there remains a goal to maintain the culture and integrity of the town. One homebuyer does not want to encourage people to buy these homes just to turn them into Airbnb’s. She believes in preserving the essence of the town she has moved to, so much so that she intends to donate her home back to the town when she passes away. 

Danny McCubbin was a one-euro homebuyer, but he had to sell it back because his renovations were delayed due to the pandemic. However, that didn't stop him from pursuing his passion: the Good Kitchen, a community kitchen he manages. This organization is a social project that allows volunteers to rescue surplus food and deliver food to families in need. The Good Kitchen has served over 6,000 meals. He hopes to expand the business so that he can employ locals and help them generate income.

Courtesy of DALL-E

Are you next?

Now that you have a little more knowledge about the one euro housing program, you might be looking at your significant other thinking, maybe we should say “screw it”, and drop one euro and then some to buy a house in Sicily. If that is how you’re feeling, we encourage you to pause and carefully weigh the pros and cons of this potential investment. 

Let’s start with the pros. The cost of living is significantly cheaper, and the cost to renovate is much lower than in the States. Your money can go a long way in many of the small towns. This is an opportunity to have a retirement home or a family home for future generations. Another positive is how your investment can impact the local community by helping to revive the economy and create job opportunities while maintaining the cultural essence of the town. 

Okay, now for the other side. Let’s be honest, a quaint town in Sicily sounds appealing, but remember it’s quaint for a reason. This means it’s not the metropolitan city you may be used to; it’s quite remote. You have to be prepared for the quiet lifestyle, slow pace, and limited social opportunities your new residence provides. Another thing to consider is the limitation on resale. You typically can’t flip these purchases, which means you have to be willing to commit. 

So if you’re eager to take the leap and participate in the housing program, just remember to be strategic and ensure it’s the right choice for you. 

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