I am here in Cancun, Mexico, at IL’s Ultimate Event, showing attendees how to find Italy’s best property bargains. During my talk about village homes at prices that just seem too good to be true, I got a few suspicious looks from the attendees.
“Yes, I know it is hard to believe,” I said to one attendee during a coffee break, “but you really can buy a village house in Europe for €14,000 ($22,000).”
Now, please don’t accuse me of being clinically insane. I can also assure you this house isn’t in some chilly, wolf-ridden outpost known only to its half dozen inhabitants. The property is in a hill village—one with a 12th-century castle—in southern Italy. Enjoying blazing summers and mild winters, around 6,500 people live here. The region where you’ll find it also has a spectacularly rugged coastline of cliffs and small sandy coves. Pompeii is within 90 minutes’ drive.
Apart from saying it’s somewhere south of Naples, I’m not about to pinpoint the village’s location. You see, I’m saving the full story and contact details for attendees at the event. Today, Leigh Fergus and I are hosting a workshop entitled “The Property Bargain Secrets of Italy’s Affordable South,” where we will reveal the best areas to find the bargains like these.
Sure, it’s a fixer-upper—but renovation costs shouldn’t scare you away. To include basic restoration, figure €27,000 ($42,000) all in. You could live here…use it as a vacation home…rent to tourists. One similar-sized vacation rental in the village rents for an equivalent $600 weekly.
For full- or part-time living, Italy is arguably Europe’s most seductive country. But why does it have to be “tourist Italy” that’s so sought-after?
Head south into the mezzogiorno—the lands of the midday sun—and you’ll find an Italy that the crowds and big spenders haven’t discovered. Not only are living costs far cheaper than the wealthier north, its towns and hill villages (often dazzlingly white) are unspoiled by tourism. Traditions survive…fishing and farming remain a way of life…and you can still get dinner for two for $20. That’s including wine.
Italy’s south abounds in temptations, including habitable apartments with sea views for less than $88,000. Here’s another one: 30 minutes’ drive from the golden sands of its Adriatic coast, a fully restored village house could be yours for €38,000 ($59,000).
Ever dreamed of owning an olive grove? In southern Italy you can…for just €8,000 ($12,600).
Some of the country’s finest olive oil is from Abruzzo, a region I recently explored. On 0.6 acres, the trees yield around 200 liters of oil annually. The man from the olive press will come and pick up the olives after you harvest them. In fact, he’ll even lend you the rakes to collect them.
This is a great idea for those who don’t want acres of land. What could you do with 200 liters of extra virgin olive oil? Well, you may not make a great profit, but it would make wonderful gifts for friends and family…
If you decide to test-drive Italy by renting, that needn’t be costly, either. I also have a 60-square-meter house to show our attendees. Rent: €300 ($470) monthly.
Roving Europe Editor, International Living
P.S. I should throw down the gauntlet and challenge my fellow presenters to beat these Italian bargains. But I suspect it’s no contest…
Editor’s note: Steenie’s presentations are always a favorite with event attendees. She is extremely entertaining and knows where to find those deals. But what will Dan, Suzan, Lee, et al. think of her challenge to trump Italian bargains? Even if you’re not at the Ultimate Event, we’ve arranged for you to find out anyway. We’re recording EVERYTHING…and offering it to you at a huge discount…for the next six days only.