BY STEVE DINNEN
Italy is on sale – for cheap. Like $1.12 cheap for an entire house. Of course, it’s in horrible shape and you’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix it up. But municipal leaders across Italy – mainly in the south – are trying to repopulate rural areas by offering abandoned homes to new-age settlers, as it were, for as little as 1 Euro.
In 1968 an earthquake trashed Salemi, in Sicily. Homes were abandoned and citizens drifted into big cities. To try to stem the population decline, Salemi’s mayor cooked up an idea to sell homes to anyone with 1 Euro, and cash enough to rebuild the home in a set period of time. The deal spread, and now dozens of communities offer title to properties to those who commit to rebuild them.
Feeling more industrious? Swing to aldeasabandonadas.com and its listing of entire hamlets in Spain that are for sale. The government estimates that 3,000 villages have been abandoned. A 14-home, 200-acre parcel near Barcelona is on sale for under $300,000. Sellers seem motivated.
The Liverpool (England) council is chipping away at a stock of 6,000 derelict homes on offer to anyone with 1 pound to purchase them and tens of thousands of pounds more to restore them.