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Many young people feel their dream of owning their own home is slowly slipping away.
The cost of the average home in the UK reached £286,000 in June this year – a 7.8% rise over the year and up £20,000 from June 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Combined with the cost of living crisis and inflation of 10.1% last month homeownership is becoming more difficult for working class couples to afford.
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Lucie Davidson and her boyfriend Jerry O’Shea found that the expensive housing market was pricing them out of a property – and so they decided to look overseas.
In an interview with The Times, the duo explained that they were looking for a one-bedroom flat in Brixton, Bermondsey or Camberwell in south London and started searching in May last year.
They had a healthy budget of £450,000, but realised they couldn’t find a decent property for the price.
So, they instead headed somewhere warmer and bought a 110-acre farm in central Italy.
For context, that’s the size of around 82 football fields!
The farm had no running water or electricity and the resident farm house was badly damaged by an earthquake.
Lucie and Jerry had a £60,000 deposit and made another £25,000 by selling a camper van they renovated in lockdown.
The pair also saved money by living with family members.
The property is based in Le Marche – an eastern region of Italy near the Adriatic Sea that’s known for its Andy covers, medieval villages, soaring limestone cliffs and hilltop settlements.
Mountains in the nearby Monti Sibillini National Park boast glaciated valleys and stunning sunsets, while the likes of mussels, olives and famous sausages are produced in the region alongside Prosciutto di Carpegna.
The farm was on the market for around £170,000 and Lucie and Jerry snapped it up for £135,000.
Using a £50,000 loan from family and their savings they managed to bag the farm outright.
In Italy, agricultural land comes with a tax bill of 12-15% of the land value, but by agreeing to farm the land this was reduced to 1%.
Now, Lucie and Jerry are selling olive oil with a profit so far of 5,000 euros (£4,200).
Jerry said: “Hopefully one day we’ll be making more than €100,000 a year. We want to be an example of a self-sufficient, organic, regenerative farm. Next year we’ll produce a few thousand bottles of wine.”
And, they’re doing to renovate the property and rent out spaces on Airbnb – which could make them a fortune.
Would you ever buy abroad instead of in the UK? Tell us in the comments section…
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