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Posted by
24883 posts

What does it say, Frank II?

Six months or a year from now somebody might search on this worthy topic and the link not work....

Posted by
24883 posts

That's not my point. What I said was it may well work now, but will it in the future when somebody investigates the same topic and when they search and find this thread they then get to a dead end with no idea of what the knowledgeable CNN reporter's words of wisdom were in 2021.

It might be courteous for a precis to go with the link ....

Posted by
18154 posts

Biccari is a town in Puglia selling habitable dwellings as well as shells. The original CNN article from late January is here:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/biccari-italy-cheap-houses/index.html

The map in the article indicates Biccari is in northern Puglia, due west of Foggia and fairly near the Gargano Peninsula.

The newer article provides an update on the progress of the effort. It seems that 20,000 people have expressed an interest.

Posted by
12125 posts

My experience (I happen to own some of those ancient homes in villages in Tuscany) is that it is not cheap to renovate them (and there is quite a bit of bureaucratic process to get the proper permits) and, in most instances, it is hard to sell them at a price that will allow you to recoup those remodeling costs.

As a matter of fact, unless they are located in some highly regarded destination (like some world renowned Tuscan village) they are difficult to unload AT ANY PRICE.

Posted by
368 posts

(I happen to own some of those ancient homes in villages in Tuscany). ...As a matter of fact, unless they are located in some highly regarded destination (like some world renowned Tuscan village) they are difficult to unload AT ANY PRICE.

But you keep buying? Not trying to sound like you don't know what you are doing but have to ask, why?

Posted by
12125 posts

Where did I say I bought any?

Is buying the only way one can own things?

One can own things through inheritance, gift, seizure, eminent domain, theft, and a few others.

Posted by
1938 posts

The theft of disrupted houses in the Tuscan countryside would deserve further discussion.

Eminent domain? Were your ancestors part of the Medici bunch?

Posted by
12125 posts

Hey Dario,

It's been a long time since I took my civil law course at the University of Florence, but I remember that article 922 of the Civil Code lists several ways one can become owner of a property.

Purchase is only one of them, and that was not my case. I inherited mine.

Theft is hard with real estate, but "usucapione" (usucaption or acquiescence in English), comes close.

There is no way I would bother to shell out money for one of those pieces of junk for sale for a euro (which is never one euro, anyhow). Unless it was a located in a town where it would be worth for me to invest in it. I know what it takes to remodel them, and I think there are easier ways to make a profit. Even slot machines in Las Vegas are better investments.

Of course it's a different story if one does it for love of a place or for emotional reasons (like an ancestral home).

Posted by
368 posts

Roberto da Firenze, why don't you talk with 3ddana from the other post on this subject? Maybe you can work out a deal with her. Then maybe we can get this forum back on topic of travel rather than real estate. Don't get me wrong, I understand why people ask these questions but do they really belong in this forum?

Posted by
1938 posts

Did moderators actually delete Nigel's post because he wrote about the Medici's coat of arms? What have you got against balls of such an historic relevance? All humans depend on balls after all.

Posted by
1938 posts

Wait, that women has actually declared herself liable by registered letter for all unpaid bills, property taxes, garbage fees and possible damages to third parties linked to an house she hasn't seen in ten years? Wow... it seems almost a trap organized by the major to lure insolvent owners out. That guy must be a genius!

Posted by
60 posts

I've been reading extensively about these 1 euro homes selling all over Italy, being a contractor and having personal abilities and means for renovations the idea is intriguing. One thing I have found startling is my misconceptions on how towns are going about this whole process. I falsely assumed these homes being offered had been condemned and were the property of the towns, however, apparently this is not the case at all.

The process is quite different. Town's are identifying properties they would like to sell, they are properties that appear abandoned, have unpaid taxes, and such, they then advertise they have homes for 1 euro, get inquiries and then 'match' potential buyers to these potential properties on a list they have created. Only then with commitments do they start the process of acquiring the property. Now there are starting to be published articles about families living outside Italy that are discovering their family's ancestral homes are trying to be acquired by the town to be sold to another party. I was not aware that the towns didn't already own these properties, but apparently, the towns do not want to take ownership of them because then the tax liabilities disappear and the towns are owning a hundred abandoned properties forever, instead, they would rather leave the properties as they are, with tax liabilities still on the owners somewhere, only when they have interest in a specific property do they start any procedures to condemn the property.

What this is doing is adding another layer of bureaucracy to the process, with a potential buyer having a long process to actually acquire a property and the one they want may ultimately never happen due to the town has a long process of actually trying to now acquire the property if ever, buyers lose interest and deals that were never really very solid in the first place disappear into the ether. Not exactly the best process, but knowing how Italy has always functioned, not very surprising. Apparently, numbers are hard to come by but the 1 euro houses are more hype than reality with few properties exchanging hands.

Posted by
12125 posts

Mike, aside from the long bureaucratic process to get the permits, even if the transaction does happen, the cost of renovations are unlikely to be recovered in a sale. The only exception may be iif the property is located in famous tourist towns. Outside of those high demand tourist locations, they are hard to download or even rent. Long term rents hardly fetch more than €300 a month, and there is no market for short term vacation rental unless it’s a tourist destination. But if you are a contractor with the necessary skills and willing to put the time in the project, maybe it’s worthwhile for you.

Posted by
1938 posts

Mike if you don't like Castropignano's procedure find other homes on sale for 1 €. It's not rocket science.
Frankly, after Katrina's management and the Assault to Capitol Hill I wouldn't dare to write about other countries way of "always functioning", but it's just my two cents.

Posted by
4981 posts

being a contractor and having personal abilities and means for renovations the idea is intriguing.

I am the same, but in my reading, part of the deal is also using local tradesmen, like is usually the case for Licensed Trades in the US (Electrical, Plumbing, etc.) and the requirement to use traditional techniques for stonework, roofing, and structure, at least the exterior...way different than how we build in the US.

Despite my wife's pleading, I see the whole thing as a non-starter. Buy a lemon in a out of the way small town, invest "new house" prices to refurbish a pile of rubble, end up with a couple hundred thousand euro in a property that would be very nice...but no hope of ever recovering, even renting or doing AirBNB (most of these places have minimal transport connections).

Now these reports of people claiming issue (I cannot fathom why someone thinks they can just leave a property to fall down for decades, not pay taxes or other fees, then expect that they still "own" the property with no liability), to add litigation to the mess after you invested money really messes up the equation.

As I told my wife, all this is a hard "no" for me.

Posted by
12125 posts

Since 2008 there are very strict restrictions on who can do renovations in:
Any electrical work
Plumbing work
HVAC and Gas
Fire escapes
All need a certification of conformity by a licensed professional.
If you are a contractor with masonry skills however you can do some work yourself, like some concrete work, tiling, sanding and painting (although in those buildings you need sand blasting equipment).
€200,000 is a figure too high, unless you are buying a large farm house. Any in town property in such disrepair will likely require work costing on average from €50k to €100k max. The cost of labor in Italy is really cheap compared to what a contractor costs in the US. Nevertheless it’s money that is not recoverable outside of high demand locations, so it has to be something you do for your own sake for the love of the place.

Posted by
1178 posts

For those dreaming of these opportunities, I suggest Nicky Pellegrino's fiction book, A dream of Italy. Closer to the "Chick Lit" genre (I hate that term), it captures the fantasy of buying one of these homes and it changing your life. I've read it twice -- the second time on a sunny day in my backyard surrounded by flowers and several glasses of wine. Bliss!

Posted by
60 posts

Blockquote
Despite my wife's pleading, I see the whole thing as a non-starter. Buy a lemon in a out of the way small town, invest "new house" prices to refurbish a pile of rubble, end up with a couple hundred thousand euro in a property that would be very nice...but no hope of ever recovering, even renting or doing AirBNB (most of these places have minimal transport connections).
Blockquote
Now these reports of people claiming issue (I cannot fathom why someone thinks they can just leave a property to fall down for decades, not pay taxes or other fees, then expect that they still "own" the property with no liability), to add litigation to the mess after you invested money really messes up the equation.
Blockquote
As I told my wife, all this is a hard "no" for me.

It would be nice if this was more a 'bohemian' process and endeavor as a few movies have portrayed it like Under the Tuscan Sun, but alas it would never be like that for a foreigner, maybe a local. I think the 1 euro houses are great party discussion material as it pops up now and again over wine and talking with friends about Italy. But as you and I know even doing this in the USA is possible as the endless HGTV television shows like to portray it, however, you'll most likely be in a crime-infested part of the city to buy a $1 property instead of some dreamy Italian hill town.

It's a nice fantasy but I think Italy needs to cut some red tape and smooth many of the processes to really spur this program, right now it either attracts dreamers with no idea what they are really getting into as those with the means will simply buy a 2nd home ready to move into with no desire to go through this process, or it attracts those wanting to make a TV show like the recently aired My Big Italian Adventure with Lorraine Bracco. I think these 1 euro homes would make for a great Italian production company TV series following 3 or 4 foreigners actually doing this from start to finish, following them through the real down and dirty full process would be interesting to see.

This might not generate a lot of actual buyers and renovators, but all the press might do some good to shake loose some families abroad nervous about losing their family property and bring some back taxes current, but Italian owners are pretty savvy on how their own country works and aren't likely to get too worried if they are able to judge whether there is any real possibility of any real threat or not. Since the towns aren't going after condemning and owning all the abandoned properties but only one that would have a real interest in, Italians I imagine are not going to get too worried too quickly by any of this.