A man who bought a €1 house in Sicily is encouraging others to “go for it” and says the scheme “truly is not too good to be true”.
Danny McCubbin, a 56-year-old digital consultant who has lived in London for the past 17 years, took the plunge after seeing articles about the €1 initiative, which aims to breathe new life into Italian villages by offering bargain homes.
There are usually strings attached for applicants, such as committing to renovating the property within three years and spend the majority of their time living in the community.
Mr McCubbin said he had always dreamed of living in Italy, and the scheme gave him the final push he needed.
“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,” he told Ladbible.
“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.”
He settled on Mussomeli, a town with 11,000 residents on the island of Sicily.
After visiting three times and viewing 25 properties, Mr McCubbin found his ideal home. He described the process as “easy” and said the town has been very welcoming to all the €1 home buyers.
“They know that we are helping to breathe life back into this town,” he said.
Although his original plan was to live in Sicily part-time, Mr McCubbin, who is originally from Australia, decided to take a “leap of faith” as Brexit loomed and apply for Italian residency before the end of the transition period.
“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,” he said.
Not knowing anyone in the town, and with only basic Italian, Mr McCubbin described it as a “huge risk” to leave London, but said: “I knew in my heart that this was the right move for me.”
He plans to set up a not-for-profit community kitchen from his €1 home, and is currently renting a place while renovation work is completed. A crowdfunder for the project, which aims to help vulnerable people while providing opportunities for young chefs from around the world, has so far raised £22,000.
Mr McCubbin encouraged anyone considering the €1 scheme to “go for it”.
“It truly is not too good to be true,” he said. “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.”
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