Incredibly cheap sales of homes in several Italian towns made the news earlier this year with the Sicilian towns of Salemi and Tronia as well as Laurenzana, about 2 hours southeast of Naples, offering la dolce vita for anyone who has €1, and quite a bit of time up their sleeve.
If you feel as though you missed out big time in the deal of a century, now you have a second chance to purchase a €1 property in the town of Pratola Peligna in the Abruzzo region. Only an hour and a half east of Rome, red wine drinkers will surely have heard of the mountainous region that dates back to before the renaissance.
So, what’s the catch?
Surely a €1 property surrounded by stunning landscape would be snapped up before the ink on the advertisement was even dry. Well, yes and no.
There is a huge interest in these cheap chip properties, but the €1 purchase price is only the beginning.
“Our goal is to make them all shine again,” said local councilor, Paolo Di Bacco of the almost 630 abandoned buildings in the town, “and recover the beauty of the old center, even if that may take a while.”
Of those 630 buildings in dire need of a second life in Pratola Peligna, around 250 are on the crazy €1 sale. The incredibly tiny price tag is possible due to previous owners deeding their home to local authorities rather than taking on the burden and cost of maintaining the building themselves.
The initiative by town officials to stimulate growth while preserving the town’s glorious history requires that purchasers renovate their new property- bringing the building, and town, back to its past glory.
This has been the M.O. of all recent €1 house sales throughout Italy, however, other town sales also required the new homeowner to move into the town full time and/or fork over something between €2,500 to €6,000 as a renovation fee.
Laurenzana’s mayor offered discounts to bring fees under €1000, however, Pratola Peligna officials will not charge at all.
But…there has to be a catch.
Yes, the property MUST be renovated, as per the fine print on the house sale contract. If the new homeowner fails to register a restoration plan with the town council within 6 months, they will be fined €10,000 euros.
“This is really a worst-case scenario,” Di Bacco said of the threatened fine. “We just want to make sure buyers actually follow through on their commitment and don’t simply purchase a house for 1 euro and then disappear.”
Serious renovators need only apply.
Applications are open and the properties for sale run the gamut of needing modernizations to completely new foundations and walls/rooves.
Are you willing to take on such a project to live in a medieval Italian town? If so, I’ll see you at the local Brico (Italy’s answer to Ace Hardware) store!