If you fantasize about living like Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun but have a small budget and a mortgage phobia, this is your chance to make your dreams come true. The small hilltop town of Sambuca in Sicily, Italy is selling homes for just one euro (just over $1).
The only catch is — you must commit to refurbishing the home by the end of three years, which is estimated to cost an average of $17,200. You should also be prepared to front a $5,700 security deposit, which will be returned once the refurbishment is complete. The deal is part of the town’s effort to revive the community, which has suffered from a waning population in recent years.
Giuseppe Cacioppo, the town’s deputy mayor, said, “As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all €1 houses on sale. We’re not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you’ll get it in no time.” He goes on to describe Sambuca as an “earthly paradise,” as it’s located in an idyllic natural reserve, with beaches, woods, and mountains, and has a rich history and beautiful architecture.
If you want one of these 430- to 1,616-square-foot homes in Sambuca, you may have to move fast. According to Cacioppo, 10 homes have already been sold, though dozens are still available. In their current condition, houses are filled with piles of old stones and forgotten furniture, and are in dire need of refurbishment.
Susana Heinson, from Germany, has already purchased her house and can’t wait to move in. “It’s a lovely, special place” she told CNN. “The people are very open-minded and friendly. Good restaurants, great wineries. We feel at home.”
To inquire about available homes, reach out to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.