The application process for a 1 Euro home is made to the council where the property is located.
You will be presented with a whole raft of forms to fill-in written in Italian and invited to carefully review the notices in the Urban Planning office of the council - also in Italian.
You may also be required to create an Italian company for the purchase. So before progressing you might want to engage a lawyer to protect your interests.
The process varies slightly from council to council but in general, when you buy your home will have to pay a deposit to the council (approx. 5,000 Euro) This is held until the work is completed.
Renovation and Closing Costs of a 1 Euro House
A renovation project has to be presented to the council, so you will need to engage a geometra (architect/surveyor) and probably council approved. The average cost of drawing-up project plans for renovation is around 3,000 Euro.
You will also have to sign a contract with an approved builder provided by the council.
The work has to start within a couple of months from once the project is approved, and completed within three years - if not, you lose your initial deposit. So you'll need your cash ready for the initial instalment to the building company.
It is unlikely that you will be able to use the house until the work is completed which may mean waiting for up to three years or even longer if there are delays with the work schedule.
And since the renovation will be carried out without you being present, you are completely dependent on the building company to carry out the work to the correct standard.
Please refer to Realpoint's' guide to renovation
You become legitimate owner as long as you:
- Plan a renovation project within a set time (depending on the municipality);
- Pay notary fees for registration and cadastral expenses of the purchase.
- Start work a few months after all permits have been issued.
The process sends buyers down one particular avenue, so you lose control of the process. Once you are locked into buying and a renovation contract you will have little chance of any redress in the case of a dispute, unless you are prepared to go through a lengthy and costly court case.
Work out your renovation costs. The average cost of renovation when a house needs structural work is 1,000 to 1,250 Euro per square meter. With 1 Euro houses, the renovation may come in cheaper, but does that mean a trade off with quality?
Geometra fees are usually charged at 15% of the total cost of the work.
Then there are costs to update the property's registration in the land registry, notary fees and purchase taxes.