You Can Buy a House for $1 in this Picturesque Italian Village — with One Catch

Looking to make a fresh start in 2019? How does a remote and picturesque Italian village sound?

The town of Sambuca, Italy — located on the southern island of Sicily — is currently selling homes for just €1, which is about $1.14, according to CNN. The hilltop town, which offers postcard-worthy views of the Mediterranean, currently has dozens of homes on the market for less than the price of a pack of gum.

Giuseppe Cacioppo, the deputy mayor of the town and tourist councilor says they’re practically giving the homes away in an effort to attract people to the rural community, which has seen a dip in population as more people move to urban centers. And, he ensures, anyone who wants to purchase a home won’t have to jump through hoops to do so.

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“As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all €1 houses on sale,” Cacioppo told CNN. “We’re not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you’ll get it no time.”

The available homes span anywhere from 40 square meters (430 square feet) to 150 square meters (1,614 square feet), and are built in stone or red brick.

However, there is one catch for those interested in purchasing a house in this quaint town, and it involves shelling out a little more money.

Many of the homes are currently in decrepit condition, and owners must promise to renovate the property within three years for at least €15,000, which exchanges to about $17,100. In order to buy the home, owners will also have to put down a €5,000 (about $5,700) security deposit that will be refunded once the home makeover is finished.

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However, the mayor promises that new residents (or Airbnb hosts!) will be satisfied with their choice, as the town is located inside of a historic natural reserve and surrounded by beaches, mountains and woods.

“It’s silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat for a detox stay,” he says.

According to CNN, most of the available homes are located in the “Saracen District,” which is a neighborhood with rich Arab heritage. The streets are made up of narrow alleyways and are filled with stone buildings with domed roofs.

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If you’re interested in the purchasing a new abode, the time is now, as Cacioppo says the demand is high.

“Foreigners are flocking here, flabbergasted by all this beauty,” he says. “Some 10 houses have already been sold. Dozens of others are available but badly in need of a makeover. We’ve been contacted by people from Switzerland, France and Spain and are receiving many requests.”

Interested buyers can email [email protected] to inquire about their potential new Italian dwellings.

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