Large Sea-view Property to Renovate in San Mauro Castelverde, with Spectacular Roof Terrace
From a beautiful position in peaceful San Mauro Castelverde, 1000m above sea level between the hills of the Madonie and the Nebrodi Natural Parks in northern Sicily, the four-bedroom family home Casa Laura rises high above the surrounding rooftops to offer an incredible view of countryside and sea.
The balcony from the master bedroom and the long, dual aspect roof terrace which runs the entire length of the property are particularly picturesque spots from which to take in this fabulous panorama, but kitchen’s spacious balcony also offers a landscape that will threaten to distract you from your cooking.
Even the views to the front of the property radiate traditional Sicilian charm, with one of the village’s most popular bars spilling out onto the quiet, almost fully pedestrianised street with a little terrace. Gentle chatter floats up and in through the windows of Casa Laura throughout the day, without ever disturbing the serenity of this lovely townhouse.
Aside from an entrance hallway, the house is entirely built on the first and second floors of a traditional palazzo townhouse. The ground floor is commercial real estate, and in fact also available to buy, although separate from this offer.
The asking price is incredibly low for a four bedroom, two bathroom home and a spellbinding sea view property. To renovate Casa Laura It will be necessary to invest around €80-100,000 beyond this sum, but the result will be a huge family home suitable for long summers in plenty of great company, or an exciting year-round residence in a tranquil haven, if you plan on moving to Sicily.
A beautiful carved wooden door opens into the traditionally tiled passageway which takes you to the staircase up to the first floor of the building. A well-maintained, sturdy staircase in durable marble leads to a small landing, off which some rooms open and a corridor leads you to more bedrooms.
At the front of the property, a long balcony connects the dining room and the first of two similarly-sized bedrooms. A second, similarly sized bedroom has a single balcony. Overlooking the bar opposite, each of these rooms opens through double French windows screened by wooden shutters. The floors are mixed in design, but all tiled. The nicest patterns are found in one of the bedrooms and the dining room, which also has a ceiling clad in light wood, giving it something of the feeling of a Nordic cabin.
Behind the dining room is the kitchen, medium-sized and simply fitted in its current state, but opening onto that wonderful sea view balcony. If you need the perfect spot for a morning coffee, you have surely to look no further. Off this, a small utility room also contains a WC.
A family bathroom is fairly large and contains a full-sized bathtub with shower attachment. The space is not done many favours by a modern pink tiling, and will need the fittings refreshed sooner rather than later, but it does have plenty of space, and a little window facing the sea.
Up another flight of stairs, the top floor of the property has a smaller bathroom which at present doesn’t have a shower or tub. The third of the bedrooms is to the front with a street-view balcony, as is a living room, in need of work but offering plenty of light. Off the bedroom (which might make more sense as a common space, in fact, for this reason) is the roof terrace, around 12m2 and open at both ends, with a balcony over the street and a sea view from the rear.
The final bedroom is definitely the master, with the most storage space and the unbeatable balcony view. It’s almost impossible to imagine waking up here and not getting a thrill from the moment you draw the curtains.
As you will have gathered, the village of San Mauro Castelverde stands in glorious isolation on top of a steep hill that drops down a thousand metres to the Tyrrhenian coast twelve kilometres to the north. Right on the easterly edge of the region of Palermo, it actually lies almost equidistant, as the crow flies, from Sicily’s largest city and the island’s second largest, Catania, on the west coast.
The dramatic silhouette of Mount Etna begins to rise around fifty kilometres away, with the volcanic peak clearly visible on a sunny day. The Aeolian Islands can also be seen from the region, out into the Tyrrhenian sea which separates Sicily from the Italian mainland. A road winds down to the coast, passing the lovely hilltop town of Pollina on the left, and the beach town of Tusa on the right. This last is noted not just for its sandy bay, but for the striking collection of outdoor sculptures dotted around the overlooking hills, in the surprising Fiumara d’Arte sculpture park.
At coast level the main E90 highway takes you past the fabulous Norman fishing community of Cefalù, to Palermo, a journey of about an hour and a half. Other towns of note in the region include Castelbuono, host of a major international music festival every summer and home to Italy’s finest panettone.
The beaches along this rocky stretch of coast are isolated but largely undiscovered by mass-tourism, making them the perfect place to spend a lazy summer’s day in complete peace and quiet. The hills of the nearby natural parks are home to a stunning array of wildlife and some of the best biking and hiking routes in Sicily.
San Mauro Castelverde is a small community of about a thousand residents, but has everything you could need for daily life, including bars, restaurants and banks, as well as a couple of small supermarkets. Bigger ones can be found half an hour away by car in Finale and Tusa. The area is perfect for lovers of a simple, traditional life and the great outdoors.
There is certainly work to do on Casa Laura, but the large sea-view property to renovate has enormous potential. It will be necessary to make some structural improvements, including work on the floors of the top level, a new section of roof, and the installation of a bond-beam to keep the skeleton tightly closed. In total, these essential structural upgrades will require about €30,000.
The next priority will be to replace the old wooden staircase leading up the second floor, at a cost of around €6,000. A new electrical system will come to about €7,000. Concluding the essentials, you will need to budget about €5,000 to repair some wear and tear to the balconies.
Beyond this, work becomes less urgent. The house would benefit greatly from new windows, and this will total around €15-20,000. For this it may be possible, if you act quickly, to take advantage of the last days of the national ‘Bonus’ system of tax credits for environmentally conscious home improvements.
The bathrooms and kitchen could be improved greatly, with an investment of around €4-6,000 per room, depending on your style and needs. A €7-9,000 overhaul of the water infrastructure would allow you to install radiators, which will make a big difference if you plan to relocate permanently to Sicily.
The final step is cosmetic, but would make a huge difference to the character and eventual resale price of Casa Laura. It would cost around €20,000 to redo the external walls of the house, but for this you would be able to strip away the rough plasterwork and reveal the far more aesthetically appealing stone masonry beneath. You can take a look at some of the other properties in the street from the balconies in the front of the property to see what a huge difference this can make.
In conclusion, Casa Laura is towards the more challenging end of the renovation project spectrum. However, the rewards in the long term could be fantastic.
After the sale is complete, Property in Sicily offers an almost unique project management service for this kind of work. As multilingual professionals with a lifetime in Sicily, but huge business experience with our diverse international clientele, we are perfectly positioned to bridge the language and cultural gap you face when deciding to take on the thrilling but exacting challenge of a sea-view property to renovate in Sicily.