Purchasing Property in Italy – Part 3

In my last post about 1-Euro homes in Italy, I shared how I found a place I absolutely loved but knew I couldn’t purchase. And you agreed with me. The moisture problem was too great and I needed to listen to my friend, Giuseppe, who is not only an architect and deputy mayor of Sambuca di Sicilia but he started the 1-euro home auction there and knows those homes better than anyone.  Okay. Bummer, but that house is off the table.

But there are other properties in Sambuca. My friends showed me two that had previously been occupied by their mothers. Fully furnished. In both cases, you would think the mothers had only just stepped out – the homes were filled with photos and personal items. They were both standard homes, nice in their own way, but not really what I want.

The same guys who showed us the first place showed us two others. Both were larger than the first one that I loved. The first of the two was listed at 100,000 euros. One Hundred Thousand? Whoa! That’s a huge jump from thirty thousand! But okay, let’s see what a 100,000-euro house looks like.

It’s the upstairs property. The ground level is a different home. So far, this looks okay. Pretty typical.

 This is the first floor. Pretty cool, good light, and lots of room! I’m not so sure about the split-level steps and this kind of tile but again, so far, so good.

Up the steps and this is the next room:

Nice tile! It always amazes me though how random things are left. Whatever the owners don’t want, they leave for the next owners to discard. Again, so far this looks good.

Not my ideal bathroom, but I’ve seen a lot worse. I could work with this. But then, on the top floor, this is what we saw:

Really? For 100,000 euros? The entire top floor needs major renovations. But wait, there is still the rooftop.

Ok, now we’re talking! This view is great. And with a little work, the rooftop deck could be amazing. But again, for 100,000 euros, we would still need to spend a lot of money to make the home livable. Not just cosmetic renovations and installing a kitchen. As you can see from the photos, the ceiling needs major repairs.

The third and final place we saw was only 30,000 euros but a whole lot bigger than the first place I had fallen in love with and in far better condition. In fact, it looked a lot like the second place, but for 70,000 euros less. Hmmm….

It’s a corner house, which is good, and it has a garage, which is great. Street parking can be a challenge!

Lots of small rooms like this, with the furniture included.
Ok, the bathroom needs work. Why would you have the bidet by the door and the toilet at the other end, past the sink??

Uh-oh. What is that black stuff on the hallway walls? Oh damn, it’s in the kitchen too.

But then there is the rooftop deck and here are the views!

Aww, man! For the view and the garage alone, it’s worth 30,000 euros! But, the mold. The moisture. The same problem as in the house I love. The house I really love (still) and know I cannot buy.  I can’t do it. It’s tempting as heck but I refuse to take on the problem of mold.

So, we saw five houses in Sambuca in one day and none of them fit the bill. Disappointing.

But the experience did clarify two things:

  1. I’m not up for a huge restoration project. A 1-euro home is out of the question. And so are 30,000-euro homes that have moisture problems.
  2. Finding a livable place for 40,000 euros or less is probably not realistic. Yes, there are a few out there. Lorraine Bracco found one next to her 1-euro home but for someone like me, it’s probably a pipe dream.

Time to regroup and rethink my budget. Which we did, and the house hunt continued. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what do you think? Do you think either of these places is worth the price of 100,000 or 30,000 euros? Do you think I can still find an inhabitable place for 40,000 euros or less? And, of course, the obvious: do you think I’m crazy for even considering a home purchase in Italy?

Be honest and leave a comment below!

The same guys who showed us the first place showed us two others. Both were larger than the first one that I loved. The first of the two was listed at 100,000 euros. One Hundred Thousand? Whoa! That’s a huge jump from thirty thousand! But okay, let’s see what a 100,000-euro house looks like.

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