By Dario Mbyeti 12:16 pm PST

Yes, it is real. In Italy, privately owned houses are selling for 1€, approximately one dollar. The owners want to dispose of them, so they don’t have to pay taxes or maintenance costs. These houses are mostly dilapidated or unsafe properties that need renovation. Some of these the houses were built in the 80s and 90s and require less expensive renovations.

But as Italians say, “All that glitters is not gold.”  There are requirements that need to be considered. The buyer has obligations towards the municipality that sells the houses.

The property owners engage the municipality to sell the houses for the symbolic price of $1. The municipality promotes this project and acts as the guarantor of the sale between private citizens.  Purchasers of the 1$ House must provide for renovation and revaluation within a period decided by the municipality.  This period is usually 1 year from the purchase and includes the notary fees for registration, transfers, and stacking.  The buyer must have all the permits and at least start the work within the period decided by the municipality.

To guarantee the correct execution of the works by the buyer, the municipality asks to stipulate a surety policy of a figure between usually € 1,000.00 and € 5,000.00. The policy expires at the end of the completed works, which is around three years.

The houses subject to this promotional sale are not in good condition and require renovation and maintenance. These requirements are mandatory and must be carried out promptly. Buyers have one year to draw up the project, two months to start the work once approved, and three years to complete the project.

Buyers who intend to transfer their residence to the new home and intend to use local labor for renovation are usually accepted and may be privileged.  If buyers find these conditions acceptable, then they will acquire the Italian house of their dreams for just $1.

This project is well known globally. Airbnb bought one of these houses and renovated it.  They advertised for people to live in a 1$ House for a year. There were over 100 thousand applications from all over the world to live a year in the 1-euro House of Airbnb in Sambuca di Sicilia. Italy was outclassed by foreign competition. Five countries showed more interest than the Italians.  22% of the candidates came from the United States, 15% from Argentina, 10% from India, 8% from Mexico and 5% from the United Kingdom. There were also applications from Canada, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, China, and Japan. This initiative is attractive to those who work remotely.

These numbers show that a substantial number of people living outside Italy have the desire to live in the “Bella Italia”.  Many have already applied for the 1$ House Project. Buyers who are not Italian residents, or do not have Italian citizenship, need an agreement between the Italian government and their government of origin. The general rule is that if an Italian can buy a house in Italy, then foreigners can buy a house in Italy.

Buyers need to receive the Italian tax code to pay taxes.  The tax code is the citizen’s identification tool in relations with Italian public bodies and administrations.  It is issued by the Revenue Agency.  The tax code can be requested by Italians and foreigners through the Consular Office by submitting an application along with a copy of an identity document.  The attribution rules of the tax code are available through a special electronic connection with the Fisconline service of the Revenue Agency.  The card will then be sent by letter.

To visit Italy, buyers need one of three documents or status: temporary residence permit, or Italian citizenship.

The first visit will be linked to the purchase. After the purchase and renovation, the visits will be linked to the new home or property.

The final price will be $1 for the house, plus renovation and legal fees. With a modest figure, buyers can own a beautiful house along the coast in Sicily, in the Naples countryside, or in a village in the verdant Tuscany, which is well known for its artistic history.  Buyers can enjoy beautiful wine while basking in the view of the snowy Alps of the Val d’Aosta on the border with France.

The Italian national territory sells these houses for € 1 to dreamers wanting a beautiful area for their dream home.