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Casa Gina – Gratteri

€ 35,000
Via Ruggeri, ,
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Property Description

Two-bedroom Home in the Madonie Natural Park, with Sea-view Balcony and Heaps of Potential

 

If you are looking for a ready-to-use house at a bargain price, we’ve long known that Gratteri is one of the best villages in Sicily to start your hunt. Even by the standards of this picturesque hillside community, however, Casa Gina offers exceptional value for money. A two-bedroom house on three storeys, with sea views, it is in fabulous condition for a property listed at this asking price.

Positioned on the end of a terrace, with a small access road running around the side of the property, it stands slightly above the level of the street outside, with only pedestrian access to the front door. This has the effect of creating a wonderful sea view from the top floor. The balcony on the side of the building, in particular, is beautifully open and gives you a great panorama over the surrounding rooftops, countryside and down to the Tyrrhenian sea, just seven kilometres away.

The nearest beach is found just there, at Lascari, and the beauty and history of Cefalù is just a twenty five minute drive downhill. In the midst of the Madonie Natural Park, Gratteri is an idyllic spot in which to find peace and quiet, but also the warm welcome and traditional charm of a perfect little Sicilian village.

In good condition, the two-bedroom home in the Madonie is by no means a comprehensive renovation project, but there are some things which will need to be updated before the full potential of the property is realised. We’ll take a closer look at those in a minute. For now, however, let’s see what Casa Gina has to offer in its current condition…

 

The Property

This is a three storey house, with two bedrooms, a living room and a separate kitchen. Dating back to the first half of the twentieth century, it is nonetheless in good condition structurally, and the skeleton, from foundations to roof, is solid. You can see this yourself at a glance, as much of the thick stonework on the walls is visible from the street.

A clue to the reason for the property being so sturdily built can be found in the wrought iron lettering on the grille above the front door. This is a sure fire sign that the building was originally home to a noble family of some means, who wanted to the world to know who they were and how proud they were of their construction work. This grille also serves to let natural light into the long hallway, which bisects the ground floor of the property.

To your left is a room which could be a small living room but is also perfectly shaped and sized to be a guest bedroom. A walk-in cupboard at the back of the room is perfect to create a little closet, and there is also enough space to accommodate a double bed (or a single, with access on each side) and a chest of drawers or dressing table.

Across the hallway is a bathroom with a shower, and a little kitchenette which could also make a nice utility room. These are well lit by windows to the side of the property, although the only view is the building across the alleyway.

A well-built staircase with nice marble flagstones leads up to a small landing, and then continues up to the second floor. At the head of each of these flights is a small cupboard. The first floor is dominated by a huge room which would make a beautiful master bedroom or, if you prefer, a spacious living room of over 20m2. Double French windows open onto a balcony which overlooks the street at the front of the property. The floor is characteristic of a Sicilian home of this period, with a frieze laid into the tile pattern that runs a foot or two in from the walls. The balcony view takes in some green hills at either end of the quiet road outside.

On the top floor you will find another flexible room, almost identical in size to the one on the ground floor. If you are planning on using Casa Gina as a rental property in the tourist market, it might be most efficient to use these two as bedrooms and put a sofa bed in the large living room. If, on the other hand, you are planning on moving to Sicily, then there’s no reason not to make the most of the larger space as a master bedroom and save the one downstairs for guests. This top floor space enjoys a lovely sea view from the window, and you would get the most value from this in the daylight hours if you use it as a living room.

On the other side of the second floor is the kitchen, well-sized and tiled on all sides. For a modern look you will probably want to start from scratch with these walls, but some of the tiles could be repurposed as an accent or frieze. The window offers the same great view as the room next door, and that balcony opens off to the side at the far end, offering excellent ventilation and creating a bright, open space.

There is a little loft space for storage, although there is no fixed access here, only a ladder. Casa Gina’s only outdoor spaces are the balconies, but these are big enough to accommodate some plant pots and other decorations which would bring a little nature into the home.

The floors are in good condition. The windows are double-glazed with aluminium frames, and are in fine condition. Blackout shutters are present throughout, a mixture of external and internal. The property benefits from municipal connections for electricity, water and drainage. The roof is up to date.

 

Surroundings

Casa Gratteri stands in a quiet residential area of Gratteri. The street is populated by families and couples, many of whom have called the area home for generations. However, the little village of around a thousand inhabitants has been diversifying and becoming more international, and we ourselves have helped several delighted buyers purchase and restore properties in the municipality over the past few years. You will find English, German, French and Dutch speakers in the community and surrounding area.

As you would expect from a relatively small village at the top of a hill, all of the shops and amenities are contained within a short walking distance of your two-bedroom home. In the Madonie the scarcity of flat space means that houses are built close together, but this also means that the views from the edge of town are absolutely spectacular. You can see the wooded mountain range rising away to the south, while the land to the north falls quickly away to the sea some 600m below. The fresh breeze at this altitude keeps the climate comfortable, even in the intense heat of the summer months in Sicily.

Those amenities include a health centre, pharmacy and dental surgery, each just around the corner. There are numerous small shops in the village, including places to buy meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. A pair of little bars are popular meeting points for all generations of locals, and there is a really nice pizzeria if you want to treat yourself and have a night off from the kitchen.

The nearest major city is Palermo, Sicily’s vibrant and constantly changing capital, which lies an hour away by car. The airport there can be reached in 90 minutes, while Catania on Sicily’s east coast and Agrigento in the south are only a half hour further. The historic port cities of Messina and Trapani are 2 ½ hours away.

 

Potential

The biggest priority after the purchase of Casa Gina has been completed will be to refresh the electrical and water installations. These will cost around €5000 apiece to bring up to date and certify. The kitchen will obviously need to be installed, and for this you should budget between €4000 and €6000, depending on your taste.

An optional extra to consider would be to install a heating system, with dual function air conditioning units with heat pumps available for an investment of around €800 apiece, including installation and guarantee. We would suggest adding one to each of the four main living spaces in order to make Casa Gina a truly comfortable home all seasons of the year.

You might want to consider re-plastering the facade, but this is not essential, While the look is faded, the masonry is in fact not in bad condition, and the exposed look does add some historic character.

The floors and ceilings are in good condition, although some water damage will need to be repaired on the top floor. The roof has been sealed since this was caused, so it won’t be deteriorating and is not going to recur. You can expect zero infiltration throughout the shelf life of the coating.

If you would like our assistance with any aspect of this work, you will be delighted with the after-sales services provided by our experienced project management team. Get in touch today and we’ll be delighted to help you talk through the options and costs involved in any work you can imagine for this lovely two-bedroom home in the Madonie.

Address: Via Ruggeri
City:
State/County:
Zip: 90010
Country: Italy
Property Id: 6190
Price: € 35,000
Rooms: 6
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
CITY
sea view
terrace
development potential

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