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Get an Italian House in the Sun for Just One Euro

Could You Really Buy Your Dream Home in Sicily for Just One Euro?

If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to sunnier climes and the idea of living in a beautiful Italian village appeals but you don’t know how you could ever afford it, then we’ve got some great news for you – your dream Italian home could be yours for the rock-bottom price of just €1.

“Shut the front door,” we hear you incredulously say… Is this ‘one Euro house’ deal for real? Well yes, you really could buy the house of your dreams for less than the price of a small cappuccino (which Italian friends say should only be drunk in the mornings BTW)!


The One Euro House – “But why so cheap?” we hear you say

Mussomeli is a beautiful hillside town located 765 metres above sea level, east of the Platani River in the province of Caltanissetta, in central Sicily. It lies 53 km north of the beachside town of Agrigento and 127 km south of the international airport at Palermo. The weather is described as ‘continental’, i.e. cold and relatively dry in winter (with ‘occasional snowy episodes’) and warm and windy in the summer. The temperature varies between 3-11 °C in the winter and 15-32 °C in the summer.

Mussomeli town council is selling hundreds of properties for just €1 Euro (approximately 86p). The town is following the lead of several other Italian towns and villages that are practically giving away local, vacant properties in a bid to beat the severe decline in rural populations due to low birth rates, younger inhabitants moving away to the cities and the heavy taxes charged to people inheriting or owning second homes.

A website www.case1euro.it has even been set up to advertise the properties to English-speaking international buyers.

Town Heritage Councillor Toti Nigrelli told CNN. “Original owners call us each day to dispose of their old houses. There are 100 on sale now and potentially another 400 are suitable.”


Is it really possible to buy a house for €1?

Yes”, claims the case1euro website “it is a project supported [sic] by the Municipality of Mussomeli in Sicily”.

Buy your dream for €1 in the fabulous town of the Sicilian hinterland, just a few kilometres from the enchanting beaches and the historic temples of Agrigento,” the website gushes. “Mussomeli is the city of the Manfredi’s Castle and traditions. In Sicily, you will not only buy a house, but you will have the chance to experience our culture, our traditions, the slow and relaxed life of one of the most peaceful and safe lands in the world.”


Where’s the catch? 

Now, any sane person with their head screwed firmly on should be asking themselves ‘where’s the catch’ because logic tells us that, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is’. It would certainly pay to do some research before you buy your one Euro home because, as you’ve most probably guessed, there are some additional ‘hidden’ costs not mentioned in the one Euro headline price plus some strict terms and conditions to adhere to in order to secure this incredible deal.

  • One condition is that anyone who buys one of these €1 homes must agree to have sought – and acquired – planning permission within a year of completion.
  • The buyers must also start work on the renovations within two months of the date the planning permission is granted.
  • They must also pay a returnable security deposit of €5,000 (approximately £4,300). These funds are held to guarantee the full renovation is completed within three years of signing the deeds or buyers risk losing their security deposit and, quite possibly, the property itself.
  • There are also administrative fees to consider, such as solicitor’s fees, notary and secretarial fees, expenses to cover the guarantee policy, planning and design costs, local taxes, building costs and more…
  • Buyers are also required to view the houses before purchase. We would always advise this anyway, but in this particular case, many of the properties are crumbling or dangerous and need major renovations; some of the listed properties appear house-shaped while some don’t appear to have walls at all! So the cost to fly out, view and chose a property should also be factored into your budget.

On the flip side, developers are advised they may be able to recoup some of their expenses by claiming a 50 per cent tax deduction on the building renovation costs and applying for a subsided VAT rate as well as deductions on their mortgage interest payment.


The whole of Italy is your oyster

Mussomeli isn’t the first town in Italy to adopt the ‘Project Case to 1 Euro’ approach. The nearby city of Sambuca published a similar offer in January, and there are many more municipalities desperate to revitalise and repopulate their beloved regions that have signed up to the project.


Got your own grand designs? 

“ITALY WANTS YOU”: your €1 investment and subsequent redevelopment could feature in a new primetime TV series that plans to follow Mussomeli’s one Euro investors on their journey as they bring the town’s houses – and potentially the town itself – back to life. Are you ready to follow your dream of owning a place in the sun?


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Alex Wright, Editor