1 euro house Italy: Is it worthwhile?

Expat life
25 Nov 2023
7 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

If you thought finding an affordable place to live was tough before the pandemic, you’re in for a rude awakening.


Rental costs have skyrocketed as cities emerge from lockdown, and there’s no end in sight for the global rental crisis. To add to the doom and gloom – if you’re looking to buy a property, housing prices have also heated up


But don’t despair! There are still some deals to be had out there if you know where to look.


If you’re looking for a bargain on your next home, you might want to consider one of the many Italian towns that are selling houses for just one euro. That’s right, you could own your very own slice of the European dream for the price of a cup of coffee. Of course, there are a few caveats.


In this blog article, we will discuss some things to take note of, before making the decision to buy.


We’ll go over everything from location to renovation needs so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not a 1 euro house in Italy is right for you!


But before that, let’s talk about how this initiative started…

How it all started?

The Italian government has begun selling houses for just one euro, in the hopes that foreigners will buy up the homes and invest money in the country. This is a great deal for the community, as it will bring new life to these abandoned areas and also generate much-needed jobs and income.


Keep in mind that while 1 euro houses are a great deal, there are some things you should consider before jumping in.

It’s a bidding system

When it comes to dollar euro housing, you might think you’re getting a great deal. But in reality, you could end up paying way more than a dollar. In some parts of Italy, homes are actually sold at auction. That means they start at a dollar, but the final price depends on who’s bidding.


In fact, in some cases, the final price can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars higher than the starting price. So if you’re looking for a cheap home in Italy, be prepared to compete with other buyers – and be prepared to pay more than a dollar if you want to win!


For 1 euro, you could be the proud owner of a dilapidated house in a dying town where the economy is practically non-existent and most of the residents are senior citizens.


It’s worth noting that these towns are in some of the most remote and rural areas of Italy, far from any major cities or commercial hubs. And unless you’re fluent in an old Italian dialect, communication with the locals is likely to be challenging.


Well, be prepared to spend a pretty penny on renovations. Most of the time, you’ll need to completely gut the place and start from scratch. That means tearing down walls, redoing the plumbing and electrical wiring, and bringing the house up to code.


And if you think you can do the renovations yourself, you might want to think twice before you take on such a massive project.


Part of the requirements when buying such houses is that you can only hire locals to do the work for you and complete the work between 3 – 5 years.


And because these houses are often located in remote areas, it can be tough to find contractors who are willing to work on the property.


To top it off, euro housing is subject to strict preservation regulations.


You see, these homes have historical value, which means you can’t just hire any old contractor to do the work. You have to hire a specialist trained in historic preservation, someone who knows how to use only certain materials so as not to damage the home’s value.


Yes, your €1 house just became way more expensive than you could have imagined.

High taxes

If you thought the cost of renovations was high, just wait until you get your tax bill in Italy. You will need to pay several fees, including registration tax, notary fees, and property tax.  Property-related taxes are based on the value of your home, location, and the quality of the property.


  • Registration tax is about 9% of the purchase price, but the minimum is only €1000.
  • Notary and legal fees vary but the combined amount usually ranges from 2% to 4% of the transaction value.
  • Annual Taxation Property tax ranges from 0.4% to 0.7% of fiscal value.


So even if you manage to find a 1 euro house that’s in decent condition, you could be facing a hefty property tax bill each year.

Additional costs

For starters, you’ll need to put down a deposit. The amount of the deposit depends on the town, but it can be as much as €5,600. If you start renovations within a year and agree to finish within three years of getting the designs approved, you’ll get the deposit back.


As part of the procedure, you’ll also need to pay a real-estate company €400. So, all in all, it’s not just a case of finding a cheap house and moving in – there are other costs to bear in mind.


Yes, you are definitely buying a front-row seat at the Italian bureaucracy show!


When you buy a €1 home in Italy, you’re not just buying a property—you’re also buying a ticket to the country’s bureaucracy.


You’ll need it when dealing with the mountain of paperwork that comes with buying a €1 home.


For example, it may take weeks to months before getting approvals for simple renovations. And if you don’t speak Italian? Good luck.


You will need someone who speaks both Italian and English to help you translate and navigate the bureaucracy.

Buying the property doesn’t come with citizenship or visas…

And we hate to break it to you – buying a house is still the easy part.


The process of becoming a resident of the country is notoriously complicated and could take up to 10 years to complete. In the meantime, you’ll have to navigate through the red tape for work permits and visas every couple of years.

Is it still worth it?

So, is it still worth it to buy a house in Italy?


It depends. If you’re prepared to deal with the challenges that come with such a purchase – from the remote location to the strict preservation regulations – then 1 euro housing may be for you.


Just remember, it’s not going to be a cheap investment, and it’s certainly not going to be easy. But if you’re up for the challenge, 1 euro housing could be your ticket to owning a piece of Italian history.

Before you go…

And if you are ready to take the plunge… we meant the challenge, don’t forget to sign up for Instarem to send money abroad and pay for your house.


Here’s why:



Low transfer fees enable you to send money to multiple destinations without burning a hole in your pocket.


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Transferring money to other countries is typically an instant transaction.


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Instarem is regulated by nine financial regulators across the globe. Instarem is a trusted licensed service provider with licenses in AustraliaSingaporeHong KongMalaysiaIndiaUKUSEU, and Canada.


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Absolutely no hidden costs. You will be in the know of the exact rates and fees applied to your money transfer.


Try Instarem for your next transfer.


Download the app or sign up here.


*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.

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