Residents and authorities of some Italian villages started to see the power of investment in local areas. That’s why in the latest few years they launched schemes to sell old and/or abandoned dwellings to buyers for a symbolic € 1 fee! Can you believe it? And it seems like this is a growing trend.

What is the 1 euro house project?

Since 2016 a growing number of rural villages have joined the project of selling dilapidated homes for €1 in an effort to repopulate their historic centres.

The first was Salemi in Sicily, but since then many other municipalities have followed the example:

  • Biccari in Apulia
  • Pratola Peligna, Casoli and Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo
  • Carrega Ligure in Piedmont
  • Sambuca di Sicilia, Augusta, Castiglione di Sicilia, Bivona and Mussomeli in Sicily
  • Maenza in Lazio
  • Laurenzana in Basilicata
  • Bisaccia and Cammarata in Campania
  • Montieri in Tuscany
  • Ollolai in Sardinia

How to buy 1 euro houses in Italy?

The specific regulations may vary according to the municipality proposing the houses but below you can find few basic rules that always apply:

1 – the buyer must begin the restoration of the property within a specific time limit (usually one year) from the purchase
2 – the buyer pays notary fees and cadastral fees
3 – the buyer must complete the restoration works within a specific period of time, usually 3 years.
4 – there is a deposit (from 1000€ to 5000€) that must be paid to show real interest in the project and guarantee the respect of the rules.

Let’s see some advice on 1-€ houses from Joe Guida, English-speaking agent, dealing with international customers at ‘My House’ real estate agency in Sicily that is still managing the sale of 1 euro properties in Bivona. Take a look at three properties now for sale there.

Q: What would you suggest to a person interested in buying a house for 1 €?
A: I would suggest that, if possible, they come in person to see, not only the house, but also the town, to see if they like the area where the house is situated.
Q: Since the house is a ruin (1€ house), do you also help the buyers with additional services, like reliable contractors or architects?
A: Yes, when people buy a house that need work, we arrange quotes from different building firms based on their requirements. So they choose a quote for the building and if they want us to supervise the work, for example, if they are not able to be here in person, we offer a work supervision service.

Pros and cons of buying a house in Italy for €1.