1 Euro houses in Italy: Too Good To Be True?
In recent years, to combat dwindling populations in rural areas of Italy, a number of Italian villages, have launched charm offensives by putting a number of houses up for sale for the symbolic sum of €1.
The aim of local municipalities is to attract Italian and foreign investors to revitalise their areas.
Cinquefrondi in Calabria, is the latest Italian town to launch 1 euro houses in Italy for sale. Situated on the north-western edge of the Aspromonte National Park, picturesque Cinquefrondi enjoys views of both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts.
Now that COVID-19 travel restrictions are being eased across the globe, Cinquefrondi, which has remained Coronavirus-free is hoping to draw in home buyers.
How to buy a 1 Euro house in Italy
Whereas other towns selling homes for €1 have required a deposit of up to €5,000 that buyers will forfeit if they fail to renovate the house within three years, Cinquefrondi is instead requesting an annual €250 fee for an insurance policy, payable until renovation works are complete.
The €1 houses are roughly 40 – 50 square metres in size and are located in the historical centre of Cinquefrondi. New owners will be liable to a fine of €20,000 if they do not complete their renovation projects within three years.
As with all €1 house schemes around Italy, it should be noted that sales are carried out via public auction (vendita con incanto). €1 is the opening bid for properties included in these schemes.
It is impossible to tell what you are taking on just from looking at a few photos of a property. Unlike in some other countries, when a property is sold by auction, the vendor’s lawyer does not prepare a set of documentation known as a “legal pack” for inspection by would-be bidders and their legal advisors. Legal packs containing essential information including official titles and searches, property information and planning permission are not available. In effect, you are responsible for conducting property-related searches.
To avoid buying what seems like a bargain but subsequently becomes a renovation money pit, it is advisable that you go and look before you decide to make a bid. Obviously, this may not be possible because of time constraints and it can become costly. As you may not speak fluent Italian or have the expertise to assess what you are bidding for, we would recommend that you seek independent legal advice and professional expertise in Italy to evaluate the property before your submit a bid.
Although these €1 property schemes seem attractive, it may be wiser to pass on them. The €1 schemes are widely advertised and with so many people expressing interest in these homes, there are always more applications than homes available. Often properties end up costing at least €20,000 at auction and then you are legally required to renovate within a specific time frame. These properties can often end up costing a minimum of €50,000.
There are plenty of other reasonably-priced houses in Italy not attached to the terms and conditions of €1 property schemes. These properties may be a better option for you.
If you are thinking of applying to buy a 1 Euro house in Italy, or any other property in Italy, at De Tullio Law Firm, we can help you with everything from property checks and searches, to facilitating the transaction, liaising with construction companies, obtaining Italian residence and providing tax and inheritance.