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Mon May 3, 2021, 07:20 PM

California woman who bought THREE of Italy's $1 houses warns about the REAL costs of renovating

not really surprised. surprised she won't have to spend more. that's how it works with $1 houses.

California woman who bought THREE of Italy's $1 houses warns about the REAL costs of renovating the budget properties and reveals she'll have to spend at least $60,000 - and all within three years

Solar consultant and business owner Rubia Daniels was one of the first to buy a bargain-priced house in Mussomeli, Sicily, in the spring of 2019

On her first-ever trip to Sicily, she bought three €1 houses — including two for her children

She later brought along friends and family to buy their own homes, and she intends to retire there
She made the purchase because of 'how the people make you feel and 'how welcoming the town was'

Daniels said others should do research before arriving; in Mussomeli, buyers must renovate within three years or face losing a reported €5,000 deposit
Renovations prices can range between €100 ($121) to €700 ($844) per square meter, and homes range from 11 to 190 square meters in size
She has spent $12,000 on one house so far and expects to spent about $20,000 per house


In recent years, Italian towns have been fighting depopulation by selling vacant homes for just €1 each — and one California woman decided it was such a good deal that she bought three of them.

Solar consultant and business owner Rubia Daniels was one of the first to buy a bargain-priced house in Mussomeli, Sicily, in the spring of 2019, and went on to buy two more for her children.

Daniels later returned with a group of friends and family, several of whom bought their own Sicilian houses, and she now plans to retire in the town, which sits two hours southeast of Palermo.









https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9538157/California-woman-traveled-Italy-1-house-ended-buying-THREE.html

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Reply California woman who bought THREE of Italy's $1 houses warns about the REAL costs of renovating (Original post)
Demovictory9 Monday OP
OAITW r.2.0 Monday #1
Rorey Monday #2
Demovictory9 Monday #5
Rorey Monday #7
TheBlackAdder Tuesday #54
Hekate Monday #33
WarGamer Monday #44
Hekate Monday #46
WarGamer Monday #47
Captain Zero Tuesday #52
SoCalNative Monday #3
Rorey Monday #11
LisaL Monday #21
TallMike Monday #4
Shermann Monday #6
RussellCattle Monday #10
Shermann Monday #18
greatauntoftriplets Monday #31
Disaffected Monday #8
Shanti Shanti Shanti Monday #37
WarGamer Monday #45
JI7 Monday #9
lpbk2713 Monday #12
dhol82 Monday #13
Demovictory9 Monday #27
no_hypocrisy Monday #14
LeftInTX Monday #15
Mr.Bill Monday #17
Mr.Bill Monday #16
Demovictory9 Monday #24
moonscape Monday #19
Demovictory9 Monday #26
Newby2 Monday #28
moonscape Monday #43
Newby2 Tuesday #50
DenaliDemocrat Monday #35
spinbaby Monday #20
LuckyLib Monday #22
FakeNoose Monday #23
Coventina Monday #25
uponit7771 Monday #29
StarfishSaver Monday #30
LisaL Monday #32
Demovictory9 Monday #34
LisaL Monday #36
WarGamer Monday #41
ShazzieB Monday #48
area51 Monday #38
sarcasmo Monday #39
WarGamer Monday #40
hunter Monday #42
smirkymonkey Monday #49
dilby Tuesday #51
superpatriotman Tuesday #53
MineralMan Tuesday #55
Wingus Dingus Tuesday #56

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:23 PM

1. Sounds like a great investment....Only 1 of 3 needs to be worth the minimal down-payment.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:25 PM

2. Looks like a nightmare to me

I've had my fill of fixer-uppers, no matter how great the deal is.

That said, $20,000 doesn't sound bad at all.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #2)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:29 PM

5. i just don't care for unreinforced bricks... need to put some rebar in there

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #5)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:34 PM

7. Agree

I think I'd be in constant fear of a collapse.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #7)

Tue May 4, 2021, 08:34 AM

54. Some look co-dependent on each other. If one goes, there might also be a domino effect.

.

That first image shows a first floor with excessive mortar.

.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #5)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:06 PM

33. No kidding. This Californian wouldn't spend a night inside one of those as they are. nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #33)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:10 PM

44. they've stood for 300 years... you think they're gonna fall next year?

They could... and sometimes do...

But it's exceptionally rare.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #44)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:23 PM

46. The mortar looks about 300 years old & the wood fittings are rotted. Rebar, sir, rebar. nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #46)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:26 PM

47. They do...

Many of these homes have "Earthquake retrofit"...

but I'm just saying that they've been standing for a LOOOOONG time.

It's kinda like walking into the Colosseum in Rome and being paranoid that it might fall on your head that moment...

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #47)

Tue May 4, 2021, 06:09 AM

52. I know nothing about them, but by the looks, I wouldn't be surprised if some it was WW2 rubble

that was reassembled after the war. There's really no way to tell.
Lots of heavy fighting in Sicily.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:25 PM

3. Really?

She's complaining about having to spend a total of $20,000 per house to renovate them? That wouldn't even get you a kitchen or bath reno here.

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #3)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:47 PM

11. I wonder if she's being realistic about the renovation cost

In the article it says:

"...renovations prices can range between €100 ($121) to €700 ($844) per square meter. Since house sizes range from 11 to 190 square meters, the total cost of renovations can be as much as €133,000 ($160,451)."

Maybe the houses she bought are very small.

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #3)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:12 PM

21. She isn't complaining. She is sharing her experience.

NT

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:25 PM

4. good luck sister!

I wouldnt spend 10k on any of the ones pictured.
Are those open graves in the last pic?
Did she not think to purchase a $30 level first?
WTF?

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Response to TallMike (Reply #4)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:30 PM

6. No upcharge for one with a view of the open graves! nt

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Response to Shermann (Reply #6)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:39 PM

10. It does kind of look like open graves at first glance, but it's just a building in the foreground...

.....and the odd perspective. Look at the tail light on the car parked below.

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Response to RussellCattle (Reply #10)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:05 PM

18. I'm out then

I want to wake up with the windows open and have my morning latte and smell the rotting corpses.

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Response to RussellCattle (Reply #10)

Mon May 3, 2021, 09:53 PM

31. Agreed. It's an old stone wall.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:36 PM

8. There's a reason (probably many)

those places sell for $1. They look to me like money pits.

And pray for no earthquakes.

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Response to Disaffected (Reply #8)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:40 PM

37. I see structure cracks in the outside walls that look bad, one good shake u are buried in rubble

Pretty much all of Italy is in an earthquake fault zone, Sicily is no exception

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Response to Disaffected (Reply #8)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:11 PM

45. they require the work be done by local craftsmen...

With "special rates" for Americans.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:36 PM

9. Did she not do any research ? I read just one article on this

and knew what the real costs would be. It's a good deal for some people like maybe those retiring that see it as a place they want to retire to and have enough money .

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:47 PM

12. Watch that first step on the balcony.



Good way to do a Wiley Coyote impression.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #12)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:52 PM

13. Yeah, saw one of those in Buenos Aires.

Thought it was the mother in law room.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #12)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:36 PM

27. noticed the floorless balcony. also the climbing bars from the slanted roof to the top roof

careful...

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:53 PM

14. If it sounds too good to be true . . . . . . .

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 07:56 PM

15. How old are those places?

They are built on, built over, built over

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #15)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:04 PM

17. Recently renovated.

In 1620.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:03 PM

16. There was a TV mini series on one of the

home improvement channels about the actress Lorraine Bracco buying and renovating one of those. One thing is for sure, $1 is the correct price for what you get. It would have been easier to make a home out of a cave.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #16)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:33 PM

24. seen shows like it, renovation of these big stoned homes.. it does appear like excavating the rooms

from caves.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:11 PM

19. I've seen a number of these on

House Hunters International and they do seem like a good deal if knows what one is buying. Some of the villages are enchanting, but that’s before one actually moves and lives there.

Years ago I saw a projection per European country of those losing population fastest and Italy had the distinct honor of being in first place. It gave a date at which there would be no more people in Italy if it continued .

All that said, I love Italy! As a tourist of course.

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Response to moonscape (Reply #19)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:34 PM

26. HGTV shows. the views from the windows are ENCHANTING!! BEAUTIFUL!

but I do like running down to the nearest Target ... not sure I would love living in a small village

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Response to moonscape (Reply #19)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:54 PM

28. Why the smiley face

after this statement? "It gave a date at which there would be no more people in Italy if it continued"

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Response to Newby2 (Reply #28)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:09 PM

43. Because the concept of a country with no


people struck me as a funny projection. In no way was it a diminishment of their real concern about declining birth rates.

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Response to moonscape (Reply #43)

Tue May 4, 2021, 12:29 AM

50. Right

Didn't diminish their concerns at all.

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Response to moonscape (Reply #19)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:30 PM

35. Of course

You wouldn’t want to be confused for an Italian, especially a Sicilian right?

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:11 PM

20. That's cheap as renovation costs go

And still inexpensive housing if you love historic homes.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:14 PM

22. No way even one of those will be completed in three years.

This is Sicily. Getting the materials and labor will be a huge project. She obviously hasn’t read any of those books on re-doing your dream home in France, Mexico, Italy, etc. A nightmare come true that takes forever.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:24 PM

23. I can see taking a chance on one house - but THREE?

Forget it! Plus you need a place to stay while all the work is being done, because none of those places look like they are livable right now.

All three will probably need to be gutted and started over, with new roof, new plumbing, walls, wiring, windows, the entire works. If she can find some good reliable renovation workers it could make all the difference. But they could also rob her blind if she doesn't speak the language.

I'd keep the best house and sell off the other two - "as is."

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 08:34 PM

25. Am I supposed to feel sorry for this idiot?

'cuz I don't.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 09:28 PM

29. 60,000 is nothing ... that's 20,000 a house ... reading on

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 09:31 PM

30. Spending $60k over three years to renovate three houses sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #30)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:03 PM

32. Those houses look like they would need a lot more than 20k each in renovations to me.

She hasn't completed any renovations yet as far as I can tell.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #32)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:11 PM

34. She has completed reno on the inside

.pics with article

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #34)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:31 PM

36. Article shows photos of her doing some repairs inside.

I don't see anything completed.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #32)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:04 PM

41. lots of $$

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Response to LisaL (Reply #32)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:37 PM

48. Yeah, there's no way she'll be able to renovate them all for that amount of money.

No way would I want to live in one of those. They look like complete dumps. I'd rather take the money those renovations are going to cost abd invest it in something that's not decrepit and falling apart.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:53 PM

38. At least if she lives there, she'll get healthcare as a basic right. n/t

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 10:57 PM

39. If it's too good to be true........

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:03 PM

40. I can also add details...

I visit the Abruzzo region every year...

And I learned a bit about the 1 Euro program. For one thing, like the article said, they're expensive to rebuild. Two, it's kind of like a Welfare program for the local contractors and they know you're a foreigner and charge 3x the local rate.

Here's MY advice.

Stay away from the 1 Euro stuff with conditions.

Just buy a "needs re-model" on the regular market.

Easily find a 150sm stone townhouse with a new roof, solid bones and in need of an interior refit for 20,000 Euros.

Have a better budget? 120,000 Euros will get you a filly restored gorgeous 350sm Palazzo in a rural setting...

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:09 PM

42. Back in the early 'nineties my wife and I looked at a lot of one dollar homes...

... in the rust belt Midwest.

Some of these homes must have been gorgeous in their day but all of them had serious problems and it was anybody's guess which neighborhoods would actually recover.

We bought a house for a few thousand dollars because it was weather tight and everything worked, more or less.

Our house had this huge iron furnace in the basement that had originally burned coal, been converted to oil, and then to gas.

Thankfully the oil tank had been removed when the furnace was converted to gas and there was no evidence it had ever leaked.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 11:37 PM

49. Looks pretty depressing to me.

Good luck to her. I would never take on such an ambitious project.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 4, 2021, 03:48 AM

51. First world problems, buying 3 homes for $3 and needing to spend $60k to fix them up.

Not sure what the problem is, she has sold me on buying a home in Italy over Spain, because $1 home and $20k in repairs is way cheaper than what I was thinking I would need to spend.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 4, 2021, 08:26 AM

53. I've easily spent $60k on my house the past couple years

And it’s still not in beautiful Sicily.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 4, 2021, 10:09 AM

55. Much will depend on the local requirements for the renovation.

Also, the soundness of those stone walls will have to be carefully examined. The bottom photo shows a cosmetic restoration of a similar home, with plaster or stucco covering the stone walls. If the stone structure is sound, that would not be a costly process.

It would also be possible to create a welded steel framework to stabilize the walls, bolting the framework to the stone blocks. Then, the exterior could be stuccoed to provide a finished appearance. The balconies could be replaced with sound floors and new steel structures.

The interior wiring and plumbing, of course, would need to be replaced. However, externally mounted conduit or wiring races could be used for the electrical restoration, and ancient pipes removed and replaced with modern materials, using the same routing currently being used.

Roofs would likely need to be reframed and new roofing materials installed. However roofing tiles are still being manufactured, so it would be possible to replicate the original roofs. Most likely, any wood-framed windows would also need replacement, but that could also be done with modern materials without losing the overall appearance.

If the structures were basically sound, which they well might be, if thick enough stone blocks were used, then some reinforcement and a cosmetic stucco coating would work just fine.

Local building regulations and requirements would be the first things I'd check with such a structure. It might be easier there than here in the USA. It probably will be.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Tue May 4, 2021, 10:16 AM

56. What a neat thing to do. I envy her, that takes some pluck.

My great grandparents left Sicily in the early 1900's and they'd probably be real surprised (disappointed?) to know that some of their descendants went back, if I did that. The houses for a dollar scheme has been going on long enough now that probably the best and most structurally sound have been snapped up already.

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