The idea of selling houses for €1 (approx. $1.40) originated in southern Italy, sometime in the 2010s. Since then, however, the trend has spread, and even in the north of Italy there are these provisions. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about this on sites like Reddit. For Singaporeans stuck in the tropics, this may be an exciting prospect – but is there something hidden and the real value of the property? Here’s what you need to know:
Why would anyone sell a house for €1?
Italy has many small and beautiful towns, but they are disappearing. The population is old, jobs are scarce, all the young people have moved to the cities, and cities like Musomali can be difficult to get to. Therefore, selling homes at reduced prices serves two purposes.
First, it helps to revive the city. These houses can be beautiful to the eye when they have been untouched for years, and revitalizing these places can help revitalize the city. Even if they go as a tourist and use it as a holiday home, it helps to boost their economy. Second, preserving these abandoned houses is part of Italian culture – some of them can go back hundreds of years (this is important for the reasons explained below).
So there are good reasons why the cities do this, and you can be sure – if you use legitimate sites and sources – this is it. not at all Fraud.
How to close a person in Italy
Although not identical to Musumelli, we note that one described in detail the practice of closing a room in northern Italy. This is from an American perspective, but most Singaporeans face similar costs and administrative requirements.
Here is a list of some of the costs:
Listing Agent Commission: €3k plus VAT
Law firm fees: €5,500 plus €450 for the agent to go to the closing.
Notary fees: 4,900 euros
If you want to follow the same path, however, there are some things you should know before you start moving forward.
Important things to remember
Before you rush to find your Italian home, remember that the total cost will not be one euro. Although it is still much cheaper than anywhere in Singapore, you should know:
- Before you buy, don’t forget about the HDB eligibility rules
- A lot of maintenance is required
- These properties can be difficult to resell.
- Proper legal representation is essential.
- You have to protect some aspects of the house
- Property ownership has nothing to do with residency status
- You will probably have to pay for most things in advance.
- There may still be better options that are cheaper
1. Don’t forget about the HDB eligibility rules before you buy
Please remember, to buy an HDB flat, you don’t need to own personal property, either in Singapore or abroad. Similarly, HDB will not allow you to purchase a private property until the five-year minimum holding period (MOP) has passed.
There may be some people whispering that HDB will never be recognized, but we advise against taking that risk. If your apartment is confiscated, we are not sure how viable it will be to move to Italy.
If you want an HDB flat, or are still in your MOP, please do not try to secretly buy any private property abroad.
2. A lot of adjustment is required
Wherever you choose to buy these homes, the sales team emphasizes that you should go see them first. Many of these properties have been abandoned for years or decades – expect everything from dead pigeons in the carcasses, to stairs that are not safe to climb. Some may be so crowded that they are not structurally sound enough to even enter.
This means that in reality the total cost of the house will definitely not be 1 euro. It is inevitable that renovations and furniture will be needed; And like any improvement project, the cost is unpredictable. It depends on how bad the condition of the property is and how much luxury you want to get.
In any case, remember that €1 houses are constantly sold “as is”. You should get a qualified inspector or renovator (in Italy) to look at the houses and give you a quote – this should be done well before you buy, so you have an idea of the price.
Another thing you need to know is how long you have to complete the renovation. Most cities with these programs impose deadlines of up to five months. This is to prevent people from buying the properties as new or hoarding the land and spoiling it. They want you to commit to investing in renovations — that is, after all, part of the deal. If you don’t meet that end of the deal, your deposit could vary from €1,000 to €10,000.
For Singaporeans living far away, this may pose some issues. You must be prepared to take time off to manage the work and ensure that everything is completed satisfactorily and on time.
3. These properties may be difficult to resell.
Keep in mind that you are dealing with property in some very remote areas. And other buyers choose when there is no shortage of other houses (that is, why the houses are so cheap). Don’t expect that you are shopping somewhere in a famous city in Italy.
This means, if you decide you no longer want the property, you may struggle to find a buyer for it. Remember, even if the property is empty, you still pay local taxes and maintenance costs.
Try to work out different recurring expenses, and make sure you’re OK with paying them over the long term – even if you’re not currently there.
4. Proper legal representation is important
Shipping charges in Singapore are between $2,500 and $3,000. However, we understand that the costs are very high abroad – buyers have mentioned costs of more than 5,500 euros, with some additional fees for traveling representatives.
Although expensive, this is inevitable; Not least because the paperwork is mostly not in English and you can’t just rely on Google Translate.
Note that some large law firms in Singapore can handle foreign transactions; You will have to check with different organizations to find out if the EU is in their interest. This is probably preferable if you can find one, so you have a local connection.
5. You have to protect some aspects of the house
According to our checks, every Italian city that offers these deals requires you to maintain its façade. You can’t tear everything down and build a modern house from scratch (doing so would ruin much of its charm and appeal).
Preserving the facade may affect some elements of the interior architecture (for example, you can’t knock in a new window where you need more light.) This makes the property a bit more restrictive compared to an (unprotected) plot of land in Singapore, where you can do whatever you want. This can also increase your renovation costs.
6. Property ownership is not related to residency status
Thanks to the power of the Singapore passport, this is less of an issue for us than many foreigners. Still, Singaporeans should note that owning property in Italy still leaves you as a foreigner.
Singapore citizens do not need a visa for 90 days in the EU. For more, however, you need to take it abroad with customs. Remember, if you plan to spend a good portion of your retirement there, you may need to return every quarter or so.
7. You will have to pay in advance for most things.
Since 9/11, banking abroad has become very difficult. You may find it difficult to get financing from a bank in the EU, especially if you don’t have a residence permit. It can be difficult to even open a bank account there, let alone take out a large renovation loan.
As far as Singapore banks are concerned, there are no improvement loans for foreign properties. You will have to take a personal loan with a high interest rate of six to nine percent per annum.
In reality, most buyers will pay for renovations and furniture out of pocket. So even if the houses are one euro, we advise you to set a budget (for example, maximum €30,000).
If the home you’re looking at exceeds this budget, move on and try to find another one in better condition.
8. There may still be better options that are cheaper
For his help on this point, E. E is from Italy but currently lives in Barcelona; It rents properties in Italy and Spain.
E 1€ notices that the house is just a hook to bring you to the city. Salespeople often emphasize how bad the houses are, because theirs Real The goal is to sell nearby homes that are worth more, though.
For example, there may be a €30,000 house a few streets away from a €1 house. But it is in much better shape; And maybe the more expensive house is actually a better deal after you factor in the cost of renovations.
In practice, many people who started looking for a 1 € house ended up with a more expensive, although more practical, option, he said. This is a bit of a bait and switch; But for some buyers, it really is better.
After all, even if you want to choose the most expensive houses, the price of €30,000 to €50,000 is still very cheap, compared to the houses in Singapore.
If you are interested in some of these properties, here are some sites you can visit:
You can find such €1 houses for sale on 1eurohouses.com, case1euro.it, property-in-sicily.estate and renovita.
In general, Singaporeans who have the means to pay in cash, these houses can be a pleasant holiday retreat; Especially if your ideal location is a quiet rural area. But unless the cities see a sudden change in tourism demand, we don’t call it investment.
Finally, while many things can be purchased online today, this is one of those things that you’ll want to make a trip for yourself. You have to see yourself to make the right decision.
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Cover Image Credit: Source