Buying a house in Sicily
Advice from Sicilian Mayors and Influential Personalities of the Island
Sicily, as we know, has always been a desired land. For at least 3,000 years Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs,
Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and… Italians, have succeeded each other at the court of this beautiful island.
3000 years of history and about ten different conquests have made it a cradle of civilization, art, food ... History, in a word.
Trinacria (the symbol of Sicily), contains within itself all the energy that a mixture of different cultures brings: Greek temples, Saracen neighborhoods, Roman amphitheaters, Norman cathedrals, Swabian castles, wonders in the Baroque style, to which is added extraordinary food, sun and sea, colors and nature, hospitable people, low cost of living.
A paradise, you ask? Yes, a paradise, even with all the contradictions of a paradise on planet Earth.
Sicily is a beloved land and now more and more people are choosing it as an intermediate, or retirement destination in their lives. Affordable housing and an envied quality of life has Americans, Australians, Germans, Swedes, and many other nationalities wanting to call Sicily home, or return year after year to visit.
But buying a house away from home in a foreign country can be risky without the right guidance, and people who go it alone can get discouraged because of language issues and red tape complications.
Compounding the confusion is the misinformation surrounding the famous 1 euro homes. We all enjoyed the HGTV show with actress Lorraine Bracco who bought a home in Sambuca, Sicily, for 1 euro. As we saw on the show, the place was a wreck and at one point, Ms Bracco lamented, “I’m starting to be a little overwhelmed and a little scared.” The 1 euro home needed extensive renovations to modernize and make it habitable. Like all 1 euro homes, in addition to the payment of 1 euro, it is necessary to pay a deposit and spend at least fifteen thousand euros which is forfeited, along with the house, if you don’t finish the renovations within 3 years.
A suggestive foreshortening of Sambuca di Sicilia
1 euro houses are pretty much ruins. To restore these properties the approximate costs are 1,000 euros per square meter. Therefore, restoring a 100 square meter house would cost 100,000 euros. The 1 euro houses are typically situated away from the main cities of Palermo or Taormina, and away from the coast, mostly in the interior of Sicily where the value of housing is low and a house suitable for habitation has a maximum value of around 500 euros per square meter. The advantage of these interior locations is that they enjoy a high quality of life in terms of community, safety and serenity.
Lorraine Bracco in the streets of Sambuca
To remedy this confusion about 1 euro homes and to make Sicily affordable and comfortable for foreigners wanting a home away from home, a group of renowned, influential, Sicilian locals have joined together and given life to Sicily Realty.
SicilyRealty is a consortium of renowned Sicilians including mayors, architects, artisans, real estate agents, lawyers, historians and writers who have come together with the specific aim of helping anyone who wants to move to Sicily, and avoid the heartache of their dreams evaporating with the reality of just exactly what the renovation of a 1 euro home entails.
With that in mind, "We invite you to rely on Sicily Realty. Our consortium was created specifically to guide you through the process of buying a property in our homeland in the best and most affordable way possible", said Nicola Granà, the Mayor of Palazzo Adriano, a charming village where the film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso was shot.
“We are here to prevent you from making costly mistakes,” says the president of Sicily Realty, Giuseppe Recupero.
"Our goal is to help those who love Sicily”, says the writer Giovanni Vallone, the founder and owner of SicilyRealty. Giovanni is President of the Cultural Department of the Splendid Sicily Association, a cornerstone of Sicilian culture. He is well known in many corners of the world due to his extensive travels, along with his wife, the noted Sicilian chef, Silvana Recupero. People from all over the world turn to Giovanni for reassurance about their move to Sicily and rely on his helping hand and guidance to make certain they don’t make costly mistakes in the purchase or renovation of a property.
Giovanni says, “We take our commitment to never, never leave the buyer feeling alone and abandoned so seriously, that it is included in Sicily Realty consortium’s by-laws. We follow your purchase and your renovation step by step – before, during and after the transaction. You can rely on our network of experienced, local builders and tradespeople, who we know personally and trust implicitly. We live up to our motto: Your one-stop shop to buy, sell, or rent a property in Sicily.”
“We take care of everything,” says Betty Scaglione Cimò, a writer and proud collaborator for your renovation projects. “If you want to resell the house, or rent it, if you want cleaning or maintenance services, whether its repairing a water pipe, or fixing the stove, don’t worry, we'll take care of everything! Whether you are in Sicily, or at home, thousands of miles away, Sicily Realty is taking care of your property for you.”
“SicilyRealty awaits you in Bisacquino, the hometown of film director Frank Capra,” says local Mayor Tommaso Di Giorgio proudly. “We look forward to welcoming you.”
"Hundreds of phone calls and messages have been coming in since we launched our website and social media pages. Sicily is loved because it is a place where life still flows calmly and genuinely,” says Giuseppe Recupero.
“Our wonderful villages will make you feel like you are living in a fairy tale,” says Salvatore Bartolotta, staff member of the consortium, and president of The Most Beautiful Villages in Sicily Association.
"And why not visit us on Mount Etna," says Giuseppe Spina, former director of Etna Park, whose many natural wonders include Mount Etna, Europe's tallest volcano. Mr. Spina is on the staff of the SicilyRealty consortium, rounding out our group of esteemed Sicilians ready to welcome you to Sicily.
The stage is set and all hands are on deck.
The SicilyRealty consortium team awaits your arrival.
Welcome to Sicily.