Please sign in to post.

More One-Euro Houses, This Time in BASILICATA

See my March 10 post for info on a participating village near Matera in Basilicata.

See my January 30 post for info on opportunity in Puglia.

Troina, a town in northeastern Sicily, is selling abandoned houses in its upper historic district for €1 to those who will renovate them and take up residence. There are some additional financial incentives.

This might be an attractive option; the lower town sounds very lively.

Posted by
1811 posts

Kind of enjoyed Lorraine Bracco's 'My Big Italian Adventure' on HGTV, knowing full well that she had the bucks (hers and/or HGTV's) to renovate and had carte blanche from the village. It was TV, after all, and pretty entertaining, even with Bracco's squeals, which got old after awhile coming from a 67-year-old woman (full disclosure, I'm 64 meself!).

acraven, you've spent ample time in Sicily, how true do you think the show was (if you've seen it)? I've only spent time from Messina through Taormina to Catania, all on the eastern coast, a little bit up into the hills to Savoca, Forza D'Agro and Castelmola. I saw villages like that, and this was 2010.

Posted by
4390 posts

So buyers gave 3 years to complete the renovations. We Non-Schengans would have less time to be on-site. And what’s legally involved, for an American to obtain Sicilian property?

I wonder if any of these, once updated, would be destined to be rentals?

And if you wind up selling the place, you’d have to get more than double your purchase price - imagine that kind of return percentage - on just €2 !!!

Posted by
18119 posts

Jay, I haven't seen that show, but inland Sicily feels quite different from the coast. Lots fewer tourists, for one thing.

Posted by
1811 posts

Bracco's show was entertaining, but these rehabs are essentially
complete do overs of what is there, and the beautiful job she had done
in her property had to have run in the mid 6 figures, and left me
wondering if she wanted to sell if she could recoup the investment? It
took an army of craftsmen and workers to get that place into shape,
and clearly she had "help" finding the right people to oversee and do
the work, something that would be all but impossible unless you lived
there and knew the local people, too.

Yep, I was thinking about that as well. I'm no construction guy, but some of the work processes that had to be done on a centuries-old structure were quite involved indeed. I have a buddy that is negotiating on an older building in Le Marche that if he buys it will need tons of work, and he doesn't know if it's ever going to get to square one, or whether it's worth it.

Me? I'll rent, thank you. And I'll stay less than 90 days to be Schengen-compliant...

Posted by
1555 posts

I believe the show's producers and the network kick in for the costs, and likely try to make arrangements with the contractors for exposure in lieu of payment.

Posted by
1811 posts

When I heard Basilicata I got excited. Not only from their wonderful strawberry-growing prowess (I've had their berries from a Rome market, and they're fabulous), but I was hoping that the el cheapo houses reached all the way to the tiny coastal town of Maratea, an idyllic place I want to visit one day on the way from Naples to Sicily. But Laurenzana is much farther inland.

Again, not that I'm going to buy anyway. Too much 'lost in translation' BS that would make me wish I'd stayed home and bought a boat instead!

Posted by
45 posts

Interesting. My first thought - is this.
Why is it on the market for one Euro? Why abandoned? Is it possible that the location is - in fact - a deserted town?

If it is indeed deserted - where would you find craftsmen to execute your renovation ?
What type of existing infrastructure is in place - like grocery stores and running water - electricity?

Transportation - what exists in a deserted town?

I love the idea of bring back to life a typical Italian environment to something empty and broken- I can understand the desire that residents still living there would have to revitalize the town - but - I have no desire to wander deserted streets.

Give me Florence - no offence.

Posted by
18119 posts

As far as I can tell, none of the towns (villages) doing this are deserted. A deserted town wouldn't have a mayor, would it? Or people who care about bringing in fresh blood. In at least one case (I don't remember which place it was), it seemed it was just the hilltop historic area that was seriously depopulated. There appeared to be many people living in the surrounding, more modern houses. The local folks were proud of their history but probably didn't have the money to renovate the crumbling structures to make them habitable.

Many of the participating locations do seem to be rather isolated, which could be a negative factor for a lot of people. For example, how far would one have to go for medical treatment?

Posted by
1724 posts

More than anything this is a great marketing campaign and would encourage more historic towns lacking name recognition to participate.

The goal is to drum up interest in the town, if the newcomer buys a house for 1 euro and puts 25000 euro into it ; great for the town. But even better is how many will fall in love with the idea but fear the work and buy a move in ready place i the same town for 50000 Euro.
Worst case, they increase only tourist visibility to their town/region based on the 1 euro press they get!

Posted by
60 posts

The Towns are not deserted but have a history of depopulation with younger people moving away to find work and more exciting lives in bigger more prosperous cities, leaving an older demographic behind. Properties are abandoned, with the villages being owed back taxes and the properties are slowly deteriorating, becoming eyesores and dangerous. Most of these villages are out of the way, smaller, so don't expect tourism or a rental market to supplement ownership.

This has been an interesting experiment, there doesn't seem to be a landslide of successful experiences being reported so far, non-refundable deposits with very short timelines with quick starts required and completion of renovations no longer than 3 years, large expenses in paperwork, while good for the town doesn't bode well for someone actually trying to make this happen. This first wave got a lot of press and hype, lots of activity but doesn't seem like much actual property changing hands, the 2nd wave underway now seems to reflect a re-evaluation by the towns trying to sweeten the deal, some are easing deadlines, some are helping reduce the paperwork costs and red tape, they got lots of inquiries but not enough actual buyers so back to the drawing board.