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Posted by
6697 posts

Doesn't that go without saying? It's a real estate transaction that will cost someone well north of 100K in the end. Personally, I think these are teaser gimmicks, and one is better off sinking 250k-350k into a habitable place versus a shell that will have to be brought back from its moribund state. If these depopulated rural areas are not connected economically and infrastructure-wise to larger regions, you will lose your shirt.

Posted by
12251 posts

Definitely a marketing gimmick.
The €1 investment will require anything between €50k to €100k of renovations in the best of circumstances. An amount that you will never be able to recoup in an eventual sale of the property, assuming you will be able to download it at all. I have a similar property (inherited) in the historical center of a Tuscan village and although it is in decent condition (we remodeled it albeit decades ago) there is no way I’d be able to sell it for over €50k, even if I invested a fortune in more updated remodeling. Most of those dwellings can be bought for under €40k, with no need of major renovations. And that is Tuscany, so I can only imagine what it would be in other regions especially in the south. There is really no market for those properties, unless located in some famous tourist destination like Capalbio, Pienza, Montepulciano and the like. And believe me, none of those towns offer that €1 deal.

Posted by
2125 posts

“ If you don’t remain within the legal time limit, there can be penalties, including having to return the property to the original owner."

The original owner is the city, otherwise they couldn't sell those houses either for 1 or for 1,000,000 Euro. If the owner of the estate is not the city, it's just an ordinary sale agreement between two private parties who are free to decide anything they want. Why should the seller ask only € 1? And why on earth should the buyer accept a deadline to finish the restoration of his possession?

Let's put aside the typical, "pleasant" suspiciousness versus the treacherous locals who, in your mind, seem to behave like the the villain's aides in James Bond movies...

...if the seller is the City, there is no way that warning could be used to void a contract between an individual and a public body. Not because of delays in the restoration works beyond the control and the will of the buyer. That piece on ItalyMag must have been written by someone who studied Roman Law in Duckburg and thinks that the Godfather II is a realistic depiction of post war Sicily.

Sometimes I wonder if these people writing on on-line magazines have ever taken a single class about law in high school, it really seems they have no idea what a deal is.

The €1 investment will require anything between €50k to €100k of renovations in the best of circumstances.

In Sicily? € 20k to € 70k seems more realistic. I renovated a 150 sqm house in northern Italy with € 45k and it was before 2008.

An amount that you will never be able to recoup in an eventual sale of the property

True, but it doesn't change those € 1 sales into scams. It's obvious that the real estate market in depopulated areas far from railway lines and motorways won't change because someone buys and renovates an old dilapidated house. Otherwise they wouldn't ask for € 1 and those villages wouldn't be depopulated.

Posted by
448 posts

The bottom line is that for any major purchase, anywhere, the old adage "buyer beware" applies.

Posted by
5197 posts

I have seen many articles on this, and to be honest, I did not read this one, other than a quick glance.

I think the main point that is overlooked, is that while these articles and the headlines are written to appeal to, or warn, Americans and others who watched "Under the Tuscan Sun"; that really was not the intended target of the cities that started these campaigns early on.

They really do not want a bunch of minimal part-time residents, or even retirees, in town, they would be better than nothing, but their hope was to lure families, even some who might open a business. They are not really trying to sell to investors, people who buy, fix up, then sell for a profit. From their standpoint, they might be a bit overoptimistic, but have few other options for these properties.

I wholeheartedly agree that these deals are not much of a bargain, they do serve as fodder for peoples unrealistic daydreams, but little else.