€1 House in Italy – Our Story – Zungoli #8

€1 House in Italy – Our Story – Zungoli #8

€1 House in Italy – Our Story – Zungoli #8

As we are now into February 2022 I am still waiting for vital information from the Commune di Zungoli so that I can hopefully move forward on this purchase. Still no internal images/pictures of the property in Zungoli but I have been told I could have an extension before committing to signing our contract of purchase whilst I wait! I had also asked for estimates of the renovation costs – I know this is difficult, so I have asked for contacts with local builders/contractors from the Commune. I really do feel in limbo, as if nothing is happening or if it is then at the rate of a “snail’s pace”……..I guess if you want something for just €1 what can you expect?

During the Xmas and New Year break I had the time to ‘reflect’ on my €1 House project in Zungoli, and here is a short summary on a few of the ‘components:

I first emailed the Comune of Zungoli back in August 2019. They invited me to make an application for a €1 house in September 2019 (the third ‘batch’) and I completed and submitted the formal application pack on 5/10/2019. I received the notification I had been successful in having a property allocated on 19/03/2021.
And then nothing else until my visit in July 2021. And then the notice 26/11/2021
And then here we are today still waiting……..

I’d hate to guess how much time I have spent so far – many, many hours. And this is before we start the legal process of the transfer of ownership! From what I have been told, I think the legal process for transferring ownership is also likely to be pretty drawn out. I guess the answer is you need the patience of a Saint to get involved in acquiring a €1 house…..

I’ve visited Italy twice in pursuit of my €1 house. I travelled from France in a motor home on both occasions, so probably the cheapest way of visiting a neighbouring country and I combined my trips with vacation time and business meetings. I have had some unforgettable experiences. But total costs were €6-7,000, so a big expense to date. I have also spent over €500 on translation services. I’ve also paid a €2,000 security deposit which I should get back when the house is renovated or made habitable. So almost €10,000 spent so far.

Other costs will be legal and transfer costs, so maybe up to €3,000.

An architect will be needed to plan the renovation works and I expect this to be €1,500 to €3,500.

Then the costs of the actual renovation – this is difficult to estimate. I have been told by an Italian real estate expert to expect between €700 to €1,500 per square meter depending on the extent of the renovation and also the finish etc. So, for a house with a “foot print” of 30 square meters you could be looking at between €42,000 to €90,000 for a two storey house or €63,000 to €135,000 for a three storey house. These figures are pure estimates, and the final figure could be a lot less or maybe even more.

So make sure you are aware of all the possible costs involved before moving forward on a purchase.

Expectations and disappointment……
When you acquire a house for renovation you generally want to complete the acquisition in a reasonable time scale and then crack on with the renovation so you can then live in the property or use for a holiday home or whatever other purpose you are hoping for, maybe run a business like an art gallery or even a bed and breakfast. I wanted to get this house renovated, use as a base when I’m in Italy and then rent out as an Airbnb to hopefully increase and promote tourism for the town.
But I have to say so far the experience has been disappointing due to the drawn out timescales and lack of activity.

And finally, I know we all live in a digital world where we may be constantly connected and our expectations on communications have changed. If we send an email we expect a reply in a reasonable timescale. If we make a call we hope to connect with someone that can help us or get a colleague to call us.

However, I have to say communication has been the hardest part of this whole journey. Unanswered emails, not just a few but the majority. Phone calls from a translator that are never answered or acknowledged. Paying a deposit of €2,000 in good faith and never receiving a receipt……?

I hope for some more positive news soon so we can crack on and start renovating, fingers crossed!


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