We bought an 88p family home in Italy with stunning views – it’s not been easy & beware…some we saw didn’t have a ROOF | The Sun

We bought an 88p family home in Italy with stunning views – it’s not been easy & beware…some we saw didn’t have a ROOF | The Sun

November 28, 2023

A COUPLE bought an 88p house for their family with breathtaking views but they are warning that the Italian dream isn't that simple to achieve.

Sara Bertagnolli and Luca Sguazzini bought a thousand-year-old property for just one euro in Motta d'Affermo, Sicily.

The tiny municipality has a population of only 729 people and is surrounded by beautiful scenery.

The couple has acquired an olive grove just ten kilometers from the village and was looking for a place to live whilst undertaking their project.

They shared their exciting journey with fans on their YouTube channel.

Luca said: "Olive grove is a long-term project and we don't want to keep renting a house.

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"So this opportunity came out and we were like okay lets jump."

Sara added: "You may think that we are crazy and we are a little bit, but we need a place where we can stay while working on our olive grove."

So when they returned from Argentina in 2020, they visited every house, town and village in search of the one euro initiative.

They stopped their choice on an ancient building in a medieval neighborhood of Motta d'Affermo.

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"Noble families were living in here, so its very unique," said Sara.

But the couple are warning their viewers that the one euro initiative isn't as simple as just paying 88p for the property.

They shared that there is still a lot of work to be done before the property is livable.

"The marketing tend not to say everything and it makes everything dream appealing," said Luca.  

"In the end you will never pay just one euro because, you are obliged to renovate the house and you have a limited amount of time to do it."

Sara agreed, saying: "We saw some places where there was no roof, no steps. Just the outside walls."

In the video, they showed the broken pipes, water leaks on the ceiling and damaged walls of their new house.

Luca explained: "This house has been abandoned for 20 years.

"Last time people were living in here was in 2001. 

"Since then it was completely abandoned, that’s why you can see all this damage."

Sara admitted that it was a blind offer and they didn't know what they were signing up to.

She added: "When we put an offer, we didn’t know if the pipes were broken, if the electricity was working.

"So when we put an offer, we said 'okay we like what we see and if it’s not working we’ll fix it in the future step by step'." 

The pair is now focusing to fix only the urgent issues to make the house livable as soon as possible.

"The idea is everything that’s not broken, that’s still working, not destroyed we will keep for now," Sara said.

"And we will try to keep as much as possible. The history of this house. We’ll keep the doors, the floor and everything apart from the broken pipes.

"We want to keep this ancient vibe."

Most of municipalities set strict deadlines on renovation time, or require the buyers to have a residency.

They also warn that the renovation costs can be from 30,000 to 40,000 euros.

The couple admitted that they lucked out with their house needing less repairs than most of 88p properties.

"We have been paying less for this house than 99% of one euro houses because there’s not much work to do on this house to make it livable straight away," said Luca.

Previously, a former Londoner, who moved to Sicily on the same incentive, warned that it is cheaper to buy a normal property for £7,000 than a one euro house.

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