Home US A 45-year-old American woman shares the stunning transformation of her abandoned “one euro” house in Italy, after purchasing a second property and spending almost $500,000 on renovations.

A 45-year-old American woman shares the stunning transformation of her abandoned “one euro” house in Italy, after purchasing a second property and spending almost $500,000 on renovations.

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Meredith Tabbone (pictured) from Chicago decided to bid on an abandoned house in Sicily after city councils launched an initiative.

After five years of renovations, a woman who bought an abandoned Italian house for “one euro” has revealed the surprising transformation, which took the house from decrepit to dreamlike.

Meredith Tabbone, from Chicago, decided to bid on an abandoned house in Sicily after an initiative was launched to auction abandoned buildings starting at €1 (US$1.09), with the aim of regenerating the town.

After extensive work, the 17th-century house, which had no electricity or running water, has now been fitted out with a spa, outdoor kitchen and wine cellar.

“The house was in very bad condition, but in many ways it was everything I expected and more,” said the 45-year-old financial advisor.

“He had a lot of charm.”

Meredith Tabbone (pictured) from Chicago decided to bid on an abandoned house in Sicily after city councils launched an initiative.

Meredith purchased the home in 2019, which had an opening bid of $1.09, and offered $5,600 for the building in Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy.

The timing of the one-euro housing scheme was fortuitous, as Meredith was researching how to obtain Italian citizenship to move to Europe in 2016.

I had discovered that Dad Michael’s great-grandfather, Fillippo Tabbone, came from Sambuca di Sicilia, a small town in Sicily.

When he first saw the 750-square-foot house, it was completely uninhabitable, with an asbestos-filled roof and no windows.

After spending $850 to fix the roof in an environmentally friendly way, he purchased the building next door in August 2020 to build a 3,000-square-foot property.

“At first, the plan was to just turn it into a little getaway house,” Meredith recalled.

“Although we originally just wanted it as a little getaway, we’ve turned it into our dream home.”

It took Meredith five years and $490,000 to renovate the vacation home, outfitting it with all the amenities.

Meredith bought the house in 2019 and offered $5,600 for the abandoned building in Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy.

Meredith bought the house in 2019 and offered $5,600 for the abandoned building in Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy.

When she first saw the 750-square-foot house, it was completely uninhabitable (with an asbestos-filled roof and no windows), but now it's her dream home. The photo shows the house after renovations.

When she first saw the 750-square-foot house, it was completely uninhabitable (with an asbestos-filled roof and no windows), but now it’s her dream home. The photo shows the house after renovations.

Meredith has already finished remodeling the formerly abandoned building.

After years of hard work, the 17th-century house, which had no electricity or running water, now features a spa, outdoor kitchen and wine cellar.

After years of hard work, the 17th-century house, which had no electricity or running water, has now been fitted out with a spa, outdoor kitchen and wine cellar.

Meredith says that

Meredith says “the sunsets are spectacular” over her newly renovated property in Sicily

Meredith says the five-year renewal

1716975714 591 A 45 year old American woman shares the stunning transformation of her

Meredith says the five-year renovation was “worth it.” “Everything went well,” the owner continued. ‘It is modern but consistent (with the original architecture). It’s a vacation home

While she’s thrilled with how her European home turned out, the Chicago native admits it wasn’t always what she had in mind.

However, she maintained that it was definitely a house that was under repair, to say the least.

‘It was worth it. “Everything went well,” the owner continued. ‘It is modern but maintains (the original architecture). It is a vacation home.

Meredith has since purchased two guest houses in the same town for $38,500, which are in need of minor repairs.

But she won’t stop there. She also purchased a disused building for $74,000, which she plans to convert into an art gallery and an apartment for artists to stay.

Meredith is currently gathering plans and the workforce to begin renovating the gallery later this year.

After five years of hard work, Meredith's vacation home was finally completed in April 2024. Pictured is one of the finished bedrooms.

After five years of hard work, Meredith’s vacation home was finally completed in April 2024. Pictured is one of the finished bedrooms.

He now spends four months a year enjoying his new accommodation in Italy. Photo of the house during renovations.

He now spends four months a year enjoying his new accommodation in Italy. Photo of the house during renovations.

You're reaping the fruits of your hard work in your new vacation home. In the photo, the house before the renovations.

You’re reaping the fruits of your hard work in your new vacation home. In the photo, the house before the renovations.

After five years of hard work, Meredith’s holiday home was finally completed in April 2024, and she now spends four months a year enjoying her new accommodation in Italy.

“(The renovations were) very slow and tedious,” he admitted.

However, their hard work and patience paid off in the end.

“The sunsets are spectacular,” he enthused.

Meredith recommends people consider buying a one-euro home, but said it’s not for the timid.

“I did everything I could,” he said. “If you can muster up the strength, it’s worth it.”

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