Family OfficeFinanceMortgagePropertiesCan you buy a € 1 house in Italy?

24 October 20230
A complete guide to the procedure, costs and locations

The concept of buying a house for only 1 euro may seem too good to be true, but it has become a popular phenomenon in some regions of Italy. These unique opportunities have caught the attention of people all over the world, sparking curiosity and enthusiasm. In this post we will explore the reality of these 1-euro houses and what you need to know if you are considering this seemingly affordable option. So let’s dive in and discover the possibilities that await those who are eager to embark on their Italian dream.

The origin of the 1-euro housing system

In recent years, several small Italian towns have attracted attention for their unique initiative of selling vacant houses for only 1 euro. But where did this concept originate? The idea grew out of the increasing migration of young Italians to urban areas, leaving behind picturesque remote villages with aging populations and declining communities.
As a result, many older Italians found themselves with properties to be bequeathed to local authorities, while younger citizens inherited homes in areas they had no intention of moving to. As a result, these abandoned properties presented a challenge to local authorities, prompting them to explore unconventional ways to breathe new life into their communities.

The goal of the “1 euro house” program

The main goal of the “1 Euro House” project is to revitalize these abandoned villages and preserve their cultural identity. By selling these unused houses at a symbolic price, small villages aim to attract potential owners who will invest in the renovation and occupation of these properties. This not only stimulates the local economy, but also helps recover the unique character and history of these abandoned towns.
In addition, the program provides an opportunity for local authorities to generate revenue through taxation of these renovated properties. By making these homes available at such a low cost, small hamlets can attract people who previously would never have considered buying a second home in Italy.
Small boroughs participating in the House for 1 euro program hope that the influx of new homeowners will create a ripple effect by stimulating the local economy. These homeowners are expected to make a significant contribution by purchasing local products, employing local construction workers, and supporting local businesses and tourist attractions. In addition, some individuals may also choose to turn their properties into boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts, further boosting tourism in the region.
Although homes available under this program may require substantial renovations, the cost is still relatively low compared to other countries. Depending on the size of the property, estimated renovation costs typically range between 20,000 and 50,000 euros. It is important to note that these are often “fixer-upper” houses rather than move-in ready houses. Therefore, potential buyers need to be prepared for the investment and effort required to restore these properties to their former glory.

The process of buying a € 1 home

To find available €1 homes, one can start by researching Italian municipalities that offer these properties. Many cities have initiated these projects to revitalize their communities. Websites, official government portals, and real estate agencies specializing in these projects can provide information on available homes.

The application process

Once you have identified the 1-euro house you are interested in, you will need to follow the application procedure. The municipal government of the respective town manages the sale of these houses. They ensure the regularity of the sale, which always involves private citizens.
You will have to submit an application in which you express your interest in purchasing a particular property. The municipality will review the applications and, if yours is approved, will notify you of the next steps. Keep in mind that the demand for these houses can be very high; therefore, it is essential to be thorough and timely in submitting your application.

Bureaucratic requirements and legal aspects

When buying a €1 house, there are several bureaucratic requirements and legal aspects to consider. The exact requirements may vary by municipality, but common obligations include:
– Planning a renovation and revaluation project for the property within a specified time frame (usually within 365 days of purchase);
– Covering notary fees for registration and transfer of ownership;
– Starting renovation work within the time frame set by the municipality, once all necessary permits have been obtained;
– Providing a surety policy, usually between 1,000 and 5,000 euros, to guarantee the proper execution of the renovation work. This policy usually expires after completion of the renovation work, which is usually within three years.
It is essential to know the specific legal requirements and obligations set by the municipality in which the 1 Euro House is located.

The renovation commitment

A crucial aspect of buying a € 1 House is the restoration commitment. As the new owners, you will be responsible for renovating and restoring the property to an acceptable standard. The extent of the restoration will depend on the condition of the house, but you should be prepared for significant renovation work.
Before committing to a €1 house, make sure you have a realistic view of the restoration process and associated costs. You should consult with architects, engineers, and contractors to assess the feasibility and estimated expenses of the restoration project.
Remember that the goal of these projects is not only to provide affordable housing, but also to contribute to the revitalization of neglected areas. By restoring the property, you will actively participate in the preservation and revitalization of Italy’s cultural heritage.
Purchasing a €1 home in Italy can be an exciting opportunity, but it is essential to fully understand the process and the obligations involved. By carefully following the application process, meeting bureaucratic requirements, and committing to the restoration project, you can turn a neglected property into the home of your dreams or a profitable investment.

Renovation costs

One of the main factors to consider when buying a €1 home in Italy is the cost of renovation. These homes are often in a state of disrepair and require significant work to make them habitable. Exact renovation costs vary depending on the size and condition of the property, as well as your personal preferences and the extent of the work you wish to undertake.
It is essential to consult a professional to evaluate the property and provide an estimate of renovation costs. This will help you determine whether the total investment, including the purchase price and renovation costs, is in line with your budget and expectations.

Legal fees and taxes

Another aspect to consider is the legal fees and taxes associated with buying a €1 home in Italy. When purchasing a property, there are certain legal procedures and fees that must be considered. These fees may include notary fees, registration fees, and other legal fees. It is essential to consult an experienced real estate attorney who can guide you through the process and provide you with an estimate of these costs.
In addition, it is important to be aware of the various taxes you may be required to pay when purchasing and owning property in Italy. These taxes may include property taxes, local taxes, and any taxes applicable to renovations. Understanding the tax obligations associated with your purchase will help you avoid any unexpected financial burdens in the future.

Cost of living in Italy

In addition to the upfront costs of purchasing a €1 home and the associated renovation costs, it is critical to consider the cost of living in Italy. This includes factors such as utility bills, maintenance costs, insurance, and daily living expenses.
Although Italy offers a rich cultural and culinary experience, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of living can vary depending on the region in which you choose to settle. Urban areas, such as Rome or Milan, may have a higher cost of living than smaller cities or rural areas. Researching and understanding the cost of living in your desired location will help you assess whether it is in line with your budget and long-term financial plans.

Places where € 1 homes are available

If you have ever wondered where you can find 1-euro housing projects in Italy, you are in luck! Italy offers several locations where you can find these affordable properties. If you dream of owning a home in Puglia, Sicily, Sardinia or Tuscany, there are opportunities waiting for you.

The pros and cons of buying a € 1 home

If you dream of owning a home in Italy without spending too much, the idea of buying a 1-euro home might seem like a dream come true. However, before embarking on this seemingly incredible opportunity, it is important to weigh the pros and cons.
Advantages of buying a €1 home
Buying a 1-euro home in Italy can offer several advantages:
1. Affordability: The main appeal of a 1-euro home is undoubtedly its low price. It represents an incredible opportunity for individuals or families on a tight budget to own a property in a picturesque Italian city.
2. Renovation potential: Many of these 1-euro houses are in need of extensive renovation. For those with a do-it-yourself attitude and a passion for property restoration, this can be an exciting adventure. It is an opportunity to customize and create the home of one’s dreams, according to one’s tastes and preferences.
3. Investment potential: If you are not planning to relocate, buying a €1 home can be a potential investment opportunity. With the growing popularity of tourism in parts of Italy, particularly in picturesque and historic cities, renovating a 1 euro house and offering it for vacation rental can generate income or serve as a long-term investment.

Challenges of buying a 1 euro house


Although the idea of buying a 1 euro house is intriguing, it is essential to consider the challenges involved:
1. Renovation costs: Although the initial purchase price of a €1 home can be incredibly low, it is essential to consider renovation costs. Depending on the condition of the property, repairs and renovation costs can be significant. Before diving in, make sure you have a realistic estimate of renovation costs to avoid financial surprises along the way.
2. Bureaucratic processes: Dealing with legal and bureaucratic procedures in a foreign country can be a complex and time-consuming process. From obtaining permits to dealing with local regulations, it is important to be prepared for the administrative hurdles involved in buying a €1 home in Italy.
3. Location and accessibility: Not all 1 euro houses are located in prime areas. Some may be in remote villages or towns that lack services and infrastructure. Consider location carefully, especially if you intend to use the property for investment purposes, as it can affect demand and potential rental income.
4. Time and commitment: Renovating a home, especially if it requires significant repairs, requires a significant amount of time and commitment. Make sure you have the dedication and resources to commit to the project, as delays or unexpected problems can occur during the renovation process.
In conclusion, buying a €1 home in Italy has both advantages and challenges. It can be an affordable opportunity to own property in a beautiful location, but it also requires careful planning, financial considerations, and a willingness to go through the renovation process. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision and determine whether buying a 1-euro home is in line with your goals and aspirations.

The impact on local communities

The House for 1 euro initiative has had a profound impact on local communities in Italy. Here are some noteworthy effects:
1. Economic revitalization: The influx of buyers has breathed new life into struggling regions, providing a much-needed economic boost. From renovation materials to local services, the increased demand created by buyers has stimulated job opportunities and local businesses.
2. Population revitalization: in several cities, the “Housing for 1 euro” program has succeeded in countering depopulation problems. As new homeowners move in, communities are experiencing a revival of vitality. Schools have reopened, cultural events have increased, and a sense of community pride has been rekindled.
3. Preserving cultural heritage: Many of the participating cities are rich in history and possess architectural gems that were at risk of abandonment and decay. By attracting buyers who commit to renovating and restoring these homes, the program effectively preserves the unique cultural heritage of these areas for future generations to appreciate.


In conclusion, although the idea of buying a house for 1 euro in Italy may seem tempting, it is important to approach it with caution and realistic expectations. While it is true that some municipalities in Italy offer these properties at a nominal price, there are several factors to consider. Typically, these properties require extensive renovation, which can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition, there may be some eligibility criteria to meet, such as a commitment to renovate the property within a certain time period. Before embarking on such an undertaking, it is advisable to research thoroughly and understand the specific terms and conditions of each municipality. As with any real estate investment, it is always advisable to consult a professional and conduct thorough due diligence.

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