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December 7 2021
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Real Estate

A Town Near Rome is Selling Old Homes for $1, a Trend Across Italy in Many Beautiful Villages


Story by Andy Corbley

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Published on September 18, 2021 1:52 AM
 
 
Pignone is the sight of corn, legume, and potato cultivation, the former of which is very important as it goes towards the production of polenta, a regional staple. Located in one of the lesser-known regions of Italy, Oyace is a tiny little mountain hamlet that offers perspective home buyers a totally different kind of Italy.
 
If you're the mayor of a rustic 800 year-old town with just 1,000 people, how can you stop the town from fading away as young people move to the major cities? How about you sell all the empty properties for one euro?

44 towns in Italy are currently listed under the €1.00 House Project, which serves the triple-purpose of saving old abandoned real estate from condemnation, repopulating historic towns with dwindling populations, and allowing young people a super-easy entrance into the real estate market for the purposes of investment or starting a family. These towns are the kinds of places that we Americans could never believe could be abandoned, and that delight us with their antiquity.

The €1.00 House Project allows mayors of small towns to put their empty properties up for sale for just one euro. Housing agreements are for three years typically, and struck with a deposit of €5,000 euro from the buyer to ensure the property will be restored.

A detailed plan of the restoration, be it for the purpose of a restaurant, a B&B, or a normal home, must be agreed upon, and at least semi-permanent residence is encouraged, reports CNN, who took a look a Maenza in Lazio.

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A town near Rome is selling houses for just over $1, but there's a catch — buyers have to commit to renovating them within three years, CNN reported.

Maenza is a quaint medieval town full of narrow alleys, cobblestone pathways, and history, according to the same article.

The town has about 100 homes for sale for 1 euro, or a little more than $1, that are in need of repairs, according to CNN. The homes were built in the 1700s, and many of them have been abandoned for years, CNN reported.

Small towns in other European countries and other parts of Italy and Sicily have previously listed homes for sale for $1 — but Maenza is the first town in proximity to Italy's capital to offer houses at the eye-catching price tag.

Claudio Sperduti, the mayor of Maenza, told CNN that Maenza is getting in touch with the families who own the properties to give them up to be sold.

"Families and youths often leave town to move to larger homes in nearby cities and villas in the countryside, but there's always some newcomer who takes their place so it's balanced out,' Sperduti told CNN. "This is not a dying city, people still inhabit the old district but it needs a revamp, fresh oxygen."

Buyers can renovate the homes into modern residences or turn them into businesses — including retail stores, restaurants, or bed and breakfasts.

Potential buyers must file how they'd like to renovate the homes and provide a $5,840 (about 5,000 euros) deposit upon purchasing, according to the same article. The deposit will be returned once renovations are complete, CNN reported.

Sperduti told CNN that the estimated $5,840 deposit accounts for the homes' size, as they are all between 550 and 750 square feet. This estimate includes tax deductions for environmentally friendly renovations, the article said.

Maenza was built by shepherds and later occupied by Germanic Volsci tribes, CNN reported. The stone homes have views of the ...