How A California Woman Bought Three Houses For $3.30

She flew halfway around the world to secure this amazing deal in a small village.

Sicily home, woman smiling essevu, Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Even though housing prices have been generally on the incline for the past several decades, one woman found an unbelievable price for several homes. Though, it was quite a ways away from where she lives in California.

She took the leap and went all the way to Italy to buy the properties. And you won’t believe how little she paid for them!

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Rubia Daniels bought three houses in Italy for $3.30.

According to Insider, Rubia Daniels is a Brazilian woman who moved to California three decades ago. In 2019, when she heard of Italy’s scheme to populate rural towns by selling dilapidated homes for €1, she knew she had to check it out.

“I was so amazed. It was one of those things where you have to see it to make sure it’s true,” Daniels said in an interview with Insider. “I did my research, and within three days I had my plane ticket, a rental car, the hotel, and I left.”


In July of that year, Daniels ended up in the small Sicilian town of Mussomeli. During her 10-day trip, she bought up three homes for a combined total of €3—or $3.30.

The town reminded her of her childhood home on the outskirts of the capital of Brasília. “People were super welcoming, and everyone wanted to have a coffee with me. The realtors embraced me like a sister — they were with me every single day through the time I was there,” she said.

Now that she’s a proud owner of three homes, she must begin renovation work to make them habitable. Though the COVID-19 pandemic put a hamper on progress, she’s resumed since then and has completed two of the exteriors of the properties. She works in the solar industry, so it’s no surprise that she was in part driven by the environmental component behind the projects.

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“It’s an environmental concept,” she said. “We need to stop building and start remodeling the existing things that we have.”

She doesn’t plan to move into all three of the homes. She has different ideas for each respective house, including one to help out her new Italian neighbors!

“The one that I’m working on it now, I’m planning to turn into an art gallery. One will be for me to stay. And the third house, which will be my biggest project, I want to convert into a wellness center to give back to the community,” she said.

So, are buying these cheap Italian homes worth it?

According to Atlys, several hidden costs come with these decrepit homes. On top of the expense of renovation, which would be about $108 per square foot—if it’s not in too bad of shape—there are other fees. The notary for the purchase deed will run you $3,200. The visa-assistance website suggested that it would be wise to get surety insurance to ensure it’s renovated correctly, which could cost you over $5,200.


In total, it could run you anywhere from $10,800 to $21,600! So, for many people who can afford it, that’s definitely worth it. Getting a house in a beautiful rustic Italian town for that cheap is a dream. But it’s important to note that besides the cost, much work goes into making a home like that livable. Though, Rubia proved that it’s entirely possible and can have beautiful results!

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.