Those $1 villas for sale in Italy could cost you over $100,000

Since January 2016, a growing number of small, rural towns in Italy have been selling villas for the symbolic price of one euro, or just 1.13 dollars. Ollolai (Sardinia), Sambuca (Sicily), Cantiano (Le Marche), Mussomeli (Sicily), and Zungoli (Campania) are just a few on the list, and an increasing number of municipalities are considering offering similar deals.

Anna Corradi | www.forbes.com | 20.06.2019

Since January 2016, a growing number of small, rural towns in Italy have been selling villas for the symbolic price of one euro, or just 1.13 dollars. Ollolai (Sardinia), Sambuca (Sicily), Cantiano (Le Marche), Mussomeli (Sicily), and Zungoli (Campania) are just a few on the list, and an increasing number of municipalities are considering offering similar deals.

So far, about 200 houses have been sold, according to the official 1€ Houses website. However, most of these “fixer-uppers” will require significantly more capital, on top of the initial one euro, to get them into shape.


Many of those buying up these bargain-basement Italian homes are looking for more than relaxing retirement digs. Maurizio Berti, the creator of a website called 1€ Houses -Cheap Houses In Italy explains that a number of buyers in the town of Ollolai (Sicily) are starting small businesses: "mostly Bed & Breakfasts, one couple set up a Fashion Atelier, and another an Artists' Atelier."


Marije Graafsma and Ovan Abdullah, a Dutch couple who purchased a one euro property in Ollolai, in the mountainous Barbagia region of the island of Sardinia, opened a “Sleep & Experience” boutique hotel called Amkina. Their three-bedroom house has been transformed into a Bed & Breakfast designed to showcase their fashion brand, which features influences from their Dutch and Kurdish backgrounds.


According to their website, guests are invited to not only spend the night but will also receive a clothing item designed by the pair. Graafsma and Abdullah have so far spent no less than 100,000 euros on their renovations, and charge between 80 and 100 euros per night to stay in one of their B&B rooms. Since its opening last month, their occupancy rates have been high and their two open rooms are mostly booked for the summer.


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