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The Block Sicily

Gangi-in-Sicily_DA_2998601bOn the other side of the world in a picturesque Sicilian village, the council are selling off homes for less than the price of your morning coffee!

Sounds crazy? It is! The village has put up with years and years of overall decline and neglect and are now looking to revamp their town by selling off vacant homes, for just one euro each! This equates to about $1.43, amazing!

So, where’s the catch?! The bargains come with a few conditions, but nothing too damaging…

  • Buyers must pay a $7,000 (approx) guarantee to the local council promising that they will renovate the properties. The money will be redeemed once the homes are restored.
  • The houses must be restored within 5 years and considering that most of them are either derelict or barely standing, the cost of the renovation will be around $50,000.
  • As per usual, legal costs are always involved, so this will set you back around $8,500 per property

Gangi2_2999115cOnce you’ve taken care of these conditions, you’ll have yourself a brand new historic home in Gangi!

The council tried this idea a few years ago but with a lack of English-speaking councillors, it wasn’t very successful. Now the village are looking for foreigners to give the village new life!

Unlike Cronulla, the village is not near the coast, but it is a lovely, small medieval town surrounded by the mountains and friendly people!

Ready to invest, renovate and relocate? Enquire here today!

Gangi_2999114c

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Need a holiday?

In need of a holiday? Some relaxation and rest?

Beach & Bay Realty has a number of local holiday properties located in Cronulla, Sutherland Shire. We also have some rentals in Mollymook which is down the South Coast. These properties are very popular and our Cronulla rentals are currently booked until Spring.

What you might not have known is that we also offer a range of apartments and villas in Italy for holiday accommodation. One of our staff members stayed in Piazza Beccaria Apartment in Florence last year and it comes highly recommended.

You can currently view 2 of these Italian holiday properties on our website but if you would like further information on others please feel free to call the office or send through an email and we can provide you with more details.

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Italy’s Finance Police

Italy seems to have 3 types of police, military, municipal and finance police. I have never seen a Finance policeman before coming to Italy. They have their own fancy uniform and their own fancy cars.

According to our Tuscan wine/cooking tour guide the finance police have the special role of making sure businesses are issuing receipts so that the government is receiving all the gst/vat it should be.

Actually whether you are buying a cappuccino (which you should only do before 10am otherwise you have “I am a tourist written all over you”) or a leather jacket or one orange at the market, the shopkeeper has to give you are receipt and you, the customer have to carry that receipt out of the shop for at least 50metres or risk a fine.

Lessons could be learnt from this system don’t you think?

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Economy/ Real Estate in Florence, Italy

I have now spent almost a month based in Florence, Italy and it seems that the locals here are suffering the same problems with the economy as Australians.

But even though they are technically “in recession” (along with most EU countries – in particular Germany and Spain who are really taking a hit according to the news) the Euro is so strong that as a tourist you almost cry every time you hand over double the money you would in Australia.

The Italians are saying the strong Euro is killing them, turning away tourists and making their export products too expensive.

Australia seems to be in much better shape than Italy and even though as a tourist I am complaining, the lower Australian dollar might actually be a good policy right now for Australia.

For Florence the strong Euro is also affecting the real estate market as Florence is part of the Tuscany area which was very popular with Americans in particular, buying up run down villas which led to prices skyrocketing over the years. That has all changed now with the credit crunch in America. I have met with a few local agents now and they are all saying that the market has been terrible for 2 years.

Mind you they can’t complain too much, the coffee, cheese, pizza, pasta and vino etc is so good, at least they can drown their sorrows in good food and wine.

Ciao for now!

PS This week the Vatican announced it was divorcing itself from Italian Law

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