Financial help for relocating to small European towns

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  • A couple of years ago, we all read about small Italian towns offering financial incentives to people who would fix up old houses, start businesses, etc. Ireland followed suit. The stuff of dreams?


    This article explains some of the complications involved.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2023/06/27/countries-paying-people-move-ireland-italy/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

  • A couple of years ago, we all read about small Italian towns offering financial incentives to people who would fix up old houses, start businesses, etc. Ireland followed suit. The stuff of dreams?


    This article explains some of the complications involved.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com…newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

    Loads of caveats like residency and wads of cash needed to buy/renovate the house.

    It's doable, certainly and given the choice, I would choose Ireland.

  • Because of the alarming attitudes adopted by a very large minority during the past decade, I know a small number of people who often quite seriously discuss “ Where, outside of the US, can we move?” The four objections that seem to come up wit suggested destinations are these:

    1) Freedom too limited

    2) Too far from family

    3) Climate too cold

    4) Language barrier


    Ireland scores higher than most. Though the remote islands would increase travel time, thus accessibility, to family in case of emergency. Not to mention the winter’s cold winds.


    In the case of Ireland’s remote villages and islands program, I assume that the intention is to attract young people who could be very self-sufficient and would live there and contribute to society for decades. People over 50 would represent probable growing dependence upon neighbors, towns, and government.

  • Not to mention healthcare for old buggers like us!

  • Several clients of mine are fascinated by these offers and dream to buy a 1-euro home in Sicily and move there "one day". This was made popular by a documentary starring Lorraine Bracco where she describes her renovations in Italy. On US websites/newspapers there are several interviews of people who actually did it, although I would say that at least half just do it to have a vacation home-back up property for their retirement age etc.


    Of course, 95% of them doesn't speak a word of Italian, let alone Sicilian, which is a dialect that mixed Arabic and Italian (I don't understand it, and I am Italian). Getting to these remote areas from the US is a real adventure, as you have to take a minimum of 2 flights and up to 4 to get nearby your destination. Then you need a car ride to the small town, and you will also need to rent your own car if you want to move around as tiny villages are quiet and with a limited offer of goods, and transportation is scarce. Not surprisingly, since they are mostly dead or half-dead towns.


    Also, planning to retire in an underdeveloped area of Italy, for as nice as the food, the view and the climate can be, doesn't sound the best choice. Especially if you are unable to communicate with your doctor.

    Public hospitals in the South of Italy are unfortunately known for their lack of instructure, tools, and qualified personnel. Now and then, they make the news because someone waited to many hours to be visited in the ER, that they died in the alley. Many people from the South travel to the Center and North of Italy to get important surgeries, just saying.


    And these old homes have literally nothing, they are often small holes with just 2 rooms, so you have to buy 2-3 adjacent ones and join them to make them comfortable to live. It is not like moving to Recoleta in Buenos Aires. You need to do the plumbing, the electricity work and the gas work from scratch. Also, the kind of renovations you can do may be regulated to preserve the historical town center, so you may be limited in terms of the size of the windows or the number of floors you can build. Often, these incentives also require to use local artisans as part of the deal, to provide work for the locals, whose way of doing business can be quite different from what foreigners are used to (cough cough!).


    Last but not least, let's not forget that homes in Europe are build with concrete and bricks, not with wood like in the US. So moving a wall is a damn hard (and expensive) business. I enjoy watching flipping houses and renovations documentaries from the US and it is amazing how they can change the layout of the inside of a house: they just tear "a wall" which is basically plaster and wood.

  • An acceptable alternative can be purchasing a small country house in La Cumbre, in the Cordoba hills, nowadays very well connected with a complete city like Cordoba, in the middle of a charming place, and close to all health facilities. of course, the house will not be as inexpensive, but houses are well built and the social envitnoment is high and very influenced by english settlers which used the train to arrive there in tne 1920 and later.

    the weather is excellent, very sunny but moderate heath in summer, and cold in winter. Of course, is not Ireland or Italy, but is quite fine for cultured people as those of this forum, is in a high place, 1200 m altitude.

  • La Cumbre is indeed a beautiful place, and all that you say is true, Carlos . But for North Americans looking for a place to relocate, it’s still a great distance from family, there’s a language barrier, and the government is even worse than the US government would be if trump succeeded in regaining the White House. But it certainly passes the climate (and beauty) test!

  • La Cumbre is indeed a beautiful place, and all that you say is true, Carlos . But for North Americans looking for a place to relocate, it’s still a great distance from family, there’s a language barrier, and the government is even worse than the US government would be if trump succeeded in regaining the White House. But it certainly passes the climate (and beauty) test!

    just see this video

    LO6QW4PVZVCVVNQOC4EE5HPJIA.jpgla-cumbre.jpgpatios-3-390x270.jpg

    The area is on my "to visit" list Carlos I have seen some youtube videos and it looks wonderful. I think it is a healthy place to live also with clean air and good opportunities for walking etc.

  • We went to La Cumbre back in the heatwave of February and also camped in Los Cocos.

    It's a very pleasant area, but I would avoid Cordoba since it's just like most other big cities/towns in Argentina -surrounded by grotty villas miserias.

    yes, you are right, But nowadays Cordoba has a well designed circular highways and you can avoid enter into de villas miserias that grow around every important city. i a few minutes you are able to be in tne hills.