He Bought a House in Italy After Reading About One-Euro Homes

by | May 22, 2024 | Lifestyle, Tourism, Travel | 0 comments

Latronico in Southern Italy
In a whirlwind turn of events, Paul Millet, a television editor from Los Angeles, made history on his first trip to Italy by securing a new home within just 24 hours. Unlike the typical lengthy and complex process of buying a house, especially in a foreign country, Paul swiftly acquired a picturesque abode in Basilicata, a region known for its stunning vistas. Initially intrigued by one-euro properties after reading a CNN article in 2015, he decided against these due to the extensive renovations required.

Instead, Paul focused on moderately priced, move-in-ready homes, drawn by their charm and affordability. His careful consideration and astute judgement led to a swift and successful acquisition, despite being new to the Italian real estate scene.

Establishing a Foothold for the Future

Paul Millet in the House that He Bought
During a tailored property tour in Latronico, Paul fell in love with the village’s charm, scenic beauty, and the warmth of its locals. Reflecting on his swift decision, he envisions the property as a sanctuary for temporary escapes from his busy life, with plans for annual visits to unwind and recharge. Although he doesn’t plan a permanent move, he sees it as a retreat and a base for exploring the European Union, possibly using it as a vacation rental for friends and family.

Paul purchased a one-bedroom, 60-square-metre house for 12,000 euros (about $13,000) and plans to spend up to $35,000 on renovations. Despite its modest size, the property features a balcony, storage attic, rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and two basements—one being converted from a livestock dwelling into a functional space and the other housing a restored ancient bread oven.

As renovations near completion, Paul has transformed the house with structural enhancements like reinforced concrete flooring and a revamped electrical system. The ancient stone walls are now brightened with whitewash, and the stained, sealed concrete floor adds contemporary elegance. With the addition of a half-bath, final touches, and furnishing, Paul eagerly awaits welcoming guests to his tranquil Italian retreat.

Savouring Sunset Moments

The House That Millet Bought
Paul is transforming his new home in Latronico by preserving its vintage tiles and adding modern accents. The exterior will be refreshed with new paint, and elegant tiles will adorn the rooftop terrace and entrance steps. Anticipating hosting friends for sunset cocktails on the terrace and cosy dinners in the kitchen, he cherishes the tranquil ambiance of Latronico, a stark contrast to the frenetic pace of Los Angeles. Embracing the village’s unhurried lifestyle, Paul looks forward to unwinding and escaping the constant demands of work and social commitments.

Despite the challenges of navigating Latronico’s remote locale, Paul has been welcomed warmly by the locals, fostering a sense of belonging. He fondly recalls moments of camaraderie over coffee and the genuine hospitality of his Airbnb host, Franca, and other residents. Immersing himself in the rhythms of southern Italian life, Paul finds solace in leisurely lunches and the simplicity and serenity that Latronico offers, a refreshing change from his urban lifestyle.

Navigating Village Life

Millet, with Latronico’s Former Deputy Mayor, Vincenzo Castellano,
Paul recognizes the allure of remote Italian villages like Latronico, understanding that perspectives vary regarding their appeal. While some may cherish the solitude and picturesque surroundings as an escape from urban life’s hustle and bustle, others may find the tranquillity less enticing, craving the vibrancy and accessibility of city living. However, Paul highlights Latronico’s unique position within Italy, offering a blend of peaceful retreat and convenient access to neighbouring historical sites and scenic beaches, catering to both preferences.

Navigating property acquisition in a foreign land presents challenges, especially for those unfamiliar with local processes. Paul emphasises the invaluable assistance he received from Vincenzo Castellano, Latronico’s housing platform founder and former deputy mayor, in facilitating the transaction and overseeing renovations. Reflecting on his experience, he advises prospective buyers to conduct thorough research, immerse themselves in local culture, and understand municipality programs and renovation costs to ensure a profound connection with the property before making any commitments.

Buying an Italian House for €1: A Quick Guide

After reading Paul’s story, you too night be are interested in buying a home in Italy. With UK property prices high and the appeal of a second home in Italy, the idea of purchasing an Italian house for €1 is indeed enticing. Read the rest of the section to learn more.

Why Italy is Selling Houses for €1

As young Italians move to cities, many rural villages are abandoned. Local authorities inherit these vacant homes, finding it more beneficial to sell them cheaply rather than deal with taxes on unused properties. About 25 municipalities are offering homes for €1 to encourage renovations and economic stimulation.

The Catch

These €1 homes require significant renovations, costing between €20,000 and €50,000. Legal fees can add up to €3,000, and some towns require a guarantee fee (€1,000 to €10,000). Italy provides a ‘superbonus’ tax exemption covering 110% of qualifying building expenditures. Buyers must submit a renovation plan within a year, start work within a year, and complete it within three years. Popular properties may be bid up to €5,000 or more.

Who Can Buy

Buyers must:

– Cover legal expenses
– Submit and execute a renovation project
– Pay a refundable guarantee deposit

Non-residents can purchase but face higher taxes and limited stays. Post-Brexit Brits can stay up to 180 days per year but not more than 90 days in any 180-day period without residency.

Getting Started

Websites like 1eurohouses.com and case1euro.it list these properties. Visiting potential homes in person is recommended to make informed decisions and check for structural issues.

Locations with €1 House Schemes

– Emilia-Romagna: Modigliana
– Abruzzo: Casoli, Santo Stefano di Sessanio
– Campania: Pietramelara
– Sicily: Mussomeli, Sambuca
– Piedmont: Borgomezzavalle
– Le Marche: Cantiano
– Liguria: Triora, Pignone
– Puglia: Tarento
– Sardinia: Romana, Nulvi

Exploring these options can lead to owning a charming piece of Italy, ready for renovation.

Paul’s journey highlights the allure of Italian village life and the unique charm of remote locales like Latronico. As he transforms his new home into a sanctuary, blending modern comforts with historic charm, he savours the tranquillity and warmth of his surroundings. Navigating the intricacies of property acquisition with the support of local experts, Paul’s story serves as an inspiration for those seeking their own slice of Italian paradise. Whether drawn to renovate a one-euro house or explore move-in-ready options, the possibilities in Italy’s real estate market are as diverse as its landscapes, offering a chance for adventure and a place to call home.


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