After watching “Under The Tuscan Sun” several times I knew I wanted to one day buy a historic building somewhere in Italy. During the pandemic that’s what I did and this blog series is how I did it. I share every step to show you that if I can do it then you can too.
Follow along on my journey either via YouTube or here on the blog and subscribe to be notified as each one is released.
Once I started searching for everything on buying property in different countries it wasn’t long before I came across the one euro home program. Now, the thought of purchasing an entire home in Italy for just 1 Euro sounded too good to be true but I soon discovered that it’s totally real. And yes, there are some strings attached but they aren’t deal breakers for a LOT of people. Let me explain all about this incredible opportunity and the reasons why I decided not to buy a house in Italy for one euro.
What is the 1 euro home project
If you haven’t heard about the 1 euro homes initiative throughout Europe, let me explain it. Hundreds of towns throughout Italy are currently offering 1 euro homes in the hope to lure people back to their towns and revive their town community. The initiative started in 2019 and has spread with popularity since then.
It’s designed to solve the problem of towns turning into ghost towns. When we were last in Italy, we drove off the main highways and saw it for ourselves. Entire towns almost completely empty of people. Children as they grew up are moving in droves to the larger cities for more opportunities and once vibrant towns are slowly dying off.
How does the one euro home program work
How it works is you get to purchase a home for just 1 Euro. Each town is slightly different but most of them you have to also pay purchasing costs. These purchasing costs can range between 1-4k euros. Then a deposit of 3-7k euros is also required as a guarantee that you’ll renovate the property you’ve bought. They usually have limitations on the time frame too of between 2-3 years to complete your renovations.
You’re not left on your own though to work out how to do the renovations. In a lot of places, the entire town gets behind you to help you make it happen. The town mayor is usually the instigator of the project as they attempt to bring life back into their beloved towns. And for the most part, it’s working really well.
Why I decided NOT to buy a 1 euro house in Italy
I first heard about it the one euro houses in Italy when I saw an article online. It was about purchasing a 1 euro home and it sounded too good to be true but I decided to check it out anyway. There were many days of research and watching YouTube videos from people who had bought them. Ultimately, I made the decision NOT to buy a 1 euro home and here are the reasons why.
The $1 homes need too much work
A large majority of the one euro homes available are completely uninhabitable and you are basically starting with a shell of a home. A beautiful shell with lots of history and a huge amount of potential. But you need to be able to see that potential. And be willing to spend enough on it to make it a reality.
Having never renovated in a foreign country before, and having to do it completely remotely, I decided the undertaking would be too much. So, instead, I’ve chosen to look at properties that only need light renovations for now. Much easier for my first project.
I prefer to do the renovations myself
I absolutely love the idea of renovating an old property with my own two hands. There’s something immensely satisfying about that don’t you think? In a past life I’ve successfully renovated a couple of commercial properties. But they weren’t that difficult, just fit out really and my dream has always been to renovate an old barn or a stone cottage.
I just love bringing things back to their natural beauty. The thing is, I would really prefer to do a large amount of the work myself (partly to see if I actually can). It might be crazy but I want to learn how to work with wood, stone, cement, render, plaster and paint. And renovating remotely just wouldn’t be quite as enjoyable as the work would have to be done by other people.
The one euro homes are in deserted towns
The whole idea of the 1 euro projects is to breath new life back into towns. Towns that have lost a large number of its inhabitants to the bigger towns and other countries. I knew I wanted to support the growth of a small town in Italy as much as I could, but not too small of a town.
I want to have a certain amount of activity and events going on. This is so that there is plenty to do for guests and family to enjoy when they visit. The problem is, the majority of the 1 euro homes are in extremely small and in quiet towns because those are the towns that need people to move into them. And so, I chose a slightly larger town. One with plenty of tourists, and plenty of interesting sites to see but still small enough that I can feel like part of the community.
What if you don’t want a home for one euro
After finding out more about the one euro programs you might decide you don’t want a home for a dollar. But don’t give up on buying your own piece of Italian history. The good news is that if you don’t choose a 1 Euro Italian home, you can still get some absolutely gorgeous. There are amazing properties in historic towns throughout Italy for anything between 10k – 50k Euros. These are Superior Homes.
I’ve created another blog/video on homes for 10-50k euros (see the link below). So you can see what’s possible and be amazed like I was. There are also some available in the 1 euro home towns. So you can still have that small family community experience but with much less renovations needed.
So those are the reasons why I decided not to do a 1 euro home project. But I still recommend checking them out, especially if the thought of renovation doesn’t scare you. One of my favourite YouTube channels who covers (and he visits) 1 euro towns in Italy is Duavo. He talks about everything to do with one-euro Italian homes and also superior homes in Italy too.
In my next blog in this series, I’ll be sharing how I researched and narrowed down my choices to the town I want to own a property in. Be sure to check out my YouTube series here.
Ciao for now.