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One Year Later, What’s the Deal with Italy’s ‘Dollar’ Homes?

A photo of Mussomeli, Sicily, a city participating in the dollar home project.
Business Insider/YouTube

A year ago a number of small Italian cities made international news with their population revitalization projects: For 1 Euro, a little over an American dollar, you could buy a home. Here’s how things look one year later.

If you missed out on that news back then, don’t worry. The informative 10-minute video below, courtesy of Business Insider, details both the start of the project as well as the reality of actually participating in it.

While the video is worth a watch to get a more nuanced view of the experience and the people moving to Italy to take advantage of it, here are a few interesting takeaways if you’re in a hurry.

The cost is, as you would assume, not just a dollar. Right off the bat, most cities require you to provide a deposit of around $2,500-$5,500 (which will be returned to you upon the completion of the renovations and your residence in the home. Not unreasonable, considering their goal is to get people to actually come live in these small cities and not just buy the abandoned property and do nothing with it. Then, naturally, there’s the expense of fixing up homes that have been abandoned for, typically, several decades.

All told, between the deposit, the renovations, the cost of flying back and forth, and ultimately packing up and moving to Italy, the real cost of the homes is closer to $30,000-$100,000 depending on how extensive the renovations are. While certainly not a dollar home at that point, by any stretch, compared to the cost of housing in the places the interested parties are moving from, it’s a very reasonable expense for a darling home in a quaint little Italian village.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »
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