Man Buys 'Beautiful House' In Sicily For Just €1 And Urges Others To 'Go For It'
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A man who bought a bargain €1 house in Sicily after seeing an article online has revealed what happened when he boldly took the 'leap of faith' on an offer that seemed 'too good to be true'.
Danny McCubbin, 56, ended up buying himself a house in Mussomeli, Sicily, where a 'Case 1 Euro' campaign has been launched to encourage foreigners to the area.
In Mussomeli, a town of just 11,000 people, homes are being flogged off for just €1, with the only stipulation being that buyers must renovate the house within three years of purchase.
Similar schemes have been cropping up in various other places as a means of boosting the local economy and attracting people to struggling towns, but most of us rarely get any further than briefly dreaming of life in a new country before closing the tab.
Danny, however, decided to take things further and looked into what felt like an opportunity he couldn't ignore.
Speaking to LADbible, Danny - who is a freelance digital consultant, speaker and campaigner - explained: "I read an article on the €1 house project on CNN's website.
"I have been volunteering for a community in Italy for over 10 years and it has always been my intention to move here one day.
"Friends from all over the world started sending me more articles about the project. I remember at the time that everyone seemed to be fascinated by this idea and I wanted to find out for myself if it was really too good to be true."
Danny began the search in May 2019, visiting Mussomeli three times and viewing 25 properties before eventually finding what he was looking for - having realising he could use the opportunity to help set up a community kitchen.
Before he knew it, he was the 'owner of a beautiful house in Sicily', saying the process was 'so easy' and that he'd been lucky to deal with an agent who spoke English.
"The agency that I bought the house from has a service where you can pay them to get your water and electricity connected in your house and also to get registered for tax and to pay the council tax," he said.
Danny, who is originally from Australia but spent 17 years working in London before relocating to Italy, had initially planned to use the property as a second home, but as Brexit loomed he began to see that he wanted to move permanently.
"I took a leap of faith last year and left London in December, just in time to apply for my Italian residency before the end of the Brexit transition period," he continued.
"I know Italy has its challenges as well but there is a great sense of community here, especially in Sicily where people have struggled for such a long time.
"I don't know anyone in this town and my Italian is not great so it was a huge risk to leave friends in London, but I knew in my heart that this was the right move for me."
He added: "Everyone is very welcoming of foreigners who have bought €1 houses as they know that we are helping to breathe life back into this town."
Danny is currently renting another property while he continues to renovate the €1 house - having had the leaky roof repaired in just one day and now working on getting the water pump fixed - sharing his progress on Instagram.
Once finished, he hopes the home will also become the base for his community kitchen project, having set up similar ventures in London.
He's already managed to raise more than £22,000 for the project through a Crowdfunder campaign, where he explains he wants to 'help vulnerable people' while providing 'opportunities for young chefs from around the world'.
"When I arrived here last year I decided to set up a Community Kitchen that will run out of my €1 house," he said.
"I am starting a food rescue programme here in the town and I will use that produce to cook for families who have been affected by the pandemic. There is much poverty here and many people are out of work. I arrived here in time to apply for my Italian residency before the end of the Brexit transition period.
"Last year when I set up Community Kitchens in London I learnt that many of the talented chefs who volunteered for me lacked the necessary skills to cook in bulk using surplus food. In response to this I have decided to develop a Community Kitchen cooking course here in Sicily that will run out of the kitchen for young chefs."
After setting up the not-for-profit community kitchen, Danny plans to donate the €1 house back to the town, so that it no longer belongs to him.
Before then, however, Danny simply urges anyone considering buying such a property to simply 'go for it'.
He added: "It truly is not too good to be true. Be prepared to put in the hard work to see as many houses as you can, you will never be able to buy a house remotely.
"Make sure you have an Italian friend who can help you if you don't speak Italian. Each town has different criteria and you must know what that is before you sign on the dotted line."
Visit Danny's Crowdfunder campaign for the community kitchen here.
Featured Image Credit: Danny McCubbin
Topics: World News, News, Property, Italy