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The True Cost of Italy’s €1 Homes [Video]

When several small towns in Italy began advertising homes for €1, I was tempted – but also very skeptical. How much would one of these houses cost after repairs, taxes, deposits, bureaucratic hurdles, and all the other things one would need to make a home?

Business Insider recently released a video detailing the costs and headaches that go along with a deal that is too good to be true. It’s a decent video, despite the fact that it talks about the town of Molise (it’s a region).

All of the new homeowners interviewed in the video were not gullible. They knew that these once-abandoned homes would require TLC and extra funds.

“If you buy a house for €1,” says a new homeowner from Belgium, “you can’t expect it will be beautiful. Impossible.”

BI broke down the possible payments (in dollars) for prospective homeowners coming from the United States:

  • $1 down payment
  • $400 taxes
  • $5,600 deposit
  • $60,000 renovations
  • $10,000 flights (over the years)

Total: $76,001

That total still seems like a pretty good deal!

But before you start doing your own research, you need to know yourself and the area. Do you think you can handle living in rural/small town Italy? Do you have the determination to deal with red tape and home renovations for years? Do you want the property as a summer home or do you want Italian residency?

Another thing to consider is this: Is the home in an earthquake zone? The latter is what initially deterred me from dreaming of a €1 home, as many that are being sold were abandoned in the wake of widespread earthquake damage.

On the other hand, if you are prepared for the risks and can afford to make an investment of time and money, why not go for it? It’s Italy!

A new Irish homeowner in Sicily says she has no regrets: “I have a holiday home for life.”

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About Author

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

Before you go, a parting thought...

“Italy and the spring and the first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” — Bertrand Russell