A MAN bought a house in Italy for 85p but it turned into a complete nightmare as he couldn’t find a builder to refurbish it.
Danny McCubbin, 58, bought a home for just €1 in Mussomeli, Sicily after moving there from London in 2020.
Located in the city’s historic district, the property was in dire need of a renovation, but he was willing to do the work required to create his dream home.
It comes as dozens of towns in idyllic locations in rural Italy started offering foreigners abandoned houses at really low prices to stop their populations from shrinking.
What Mr McCubbin didn’t anticipate, however, was Italy’s homebuilder shortage, caused by new tax breaks for home renovations.
Due to the long wait for a construction team, he found that the renovation costs had increased tremendously as the house now needed more work.
“When I found a construction company, the renovation cost twice as much. I decided it was no longer worth it for me.”
The Italian government is currently offering homeowners up to 110% off eco-friendly renovations and upgrades that make homes earthquake-proof.
The policy has resulted in thousands of households taking the opportunity to renovate their homes, which then led to a lack of builders.
Mr McCubbin was embroiled in the builders’ crisis and was forced to sell his property back to a real estate agency after being unable to find a builder for a few months.
However, since abandoning the one-euro house, he has sought out another renovation project after buying cheap property in Mussomeli for €8,000.
This time he was able to find two contractors who would put in a week’s work for him between other larger projects.
After spending €5,000 to repair the home, Mr McCubbin quickly settled in and opened a community kitchen in the town’s main square to prepare free meals for families in need.
“I moved here at the end of December 2020 because I wanted to live in Italy when Brexit happened,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to live in Sicily, my parents loved the country. So I wondered what was missing in Mussomeli and came up with the idea of The Good Kitchen.”
Mr McCubbin said he loves the quiet and simple lifestyle, going to bed at 10pm and waking up early to go to the market, describing it as the “polar opposite” of his life in London.
He said there are many people like him who are interested in participating in DIY projects.
“Foreigners buy houses that are not part of the €1 scheme but are already habitable or need a bit of renovation work, which they often do themselves,” he added.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8601027/bought-house-85p-italy-turned-complete-nightmare/ I bought my house in Italy for 85p… but it turned into a complete nightmare