Purchasing Property in Italy - Part 3
What 30,000 and 100,000 euros can buy
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 and 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. And this is the view:
Ok, now we’re talking! 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 and there’s mold.
The third and final place we saw was a corner house. This is good!
And with a garage. This is great! (Street parking can be a challenge.)
And several small rooms that look like this. Furniture included.
Wait, how much are the owners asking? Only 30,000 euros? Thirty thousand?? - the same as the first place we saw (and I fell in love with)? For all this space? Hmmm…. What’s the catch? Why would it be 70,000 euros less?
Ok, the bathroom needs work. (Why, for heaven’s sake, do you have to walk past the sink to get to the toilet? And why is the bidet by the door?)
Uh-oh. What is that black stuff on the hallway walls?
Oh damn, it’s in the kitchen too.
But wait, when you go to the rooftop deck, this is what you see: the Lake!
And, since this is a corner house, there is also this view in the other direction:
Aww, man! For the view and the garage alone, it’s worth 30,000 euros! But ugh, the mold! The moisture. The same problem as in the first house.
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:
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.
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!
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