The best investment on earth is earth. And why wouldn’t it be? They’re not making any more of it. That may be the case the world over, with the little exception of one (or a handful of) places – quaint villages all across Italy. Not only are the prices ridiculously affordable, it is in fact so low that even pocket change, can make you a homeowner. For the measly sum of 1€ (US$1.1), a house in rural Italy can be yours. Here’s the catch: they all belong in abandoned towns and part of the purchase agreement requires buyers to spend a minimum of 22,470€ (US$25,000) in refurbishments, renovations and upkeep over the course of a few years and a small security deposit.
The unbelievable bargain price was set to woo potential new residents to revitalise what had become ghost towns due to locals emigrating to metropolitan cities in pursuit of bigger opportunities. In an attempt to salvage emptied out villages, the cheap sale would restore towns to a healthy population.
The news of one euro homes for sale in Sambuca of Italy first broke last year. The story of the cheapest property in the world went viral. And now, after over a year of test driving the concept to lure investors to tap into the untouched, depopulated town, neighbouring villages are starting to follow suit. Is it too late to get in on the action? No. The good news is the first people to snap up these homes have now moved in and the returns are positive. So where are these 1€ homes you ask? Here’s a list of some of the most gorgeous, forgotten places all over Italy.
Binova is one of the newcomers to join the 1€ movement. The Sicilian town also offers tax bonuses to anyone who is willing to move in. Town councillor Angela Cannizzaro is facilitating the great interest in the homes by setting up multilingual agencies to help buyers navigate through the process. There are currently 10 houses on the market, but more will be made available soon.
If waking up to a beautiful sunrise gets your day going, then Cammarata is the place. Known as “the town with 1,000 balconies to the East,” the Sicilian town is known for its views and hearty local cuisine. Cammarata is also one of the most attractive deals with not just the dollar pricetag of a home, but also due to the government handing out a US$1,116 (1,000€) incentive for every baby born in town.
As one of the first towns to be listed for 1€, Gangi has become one of the most popular property markets offering this special deal. “Over 160 crumbling dewllings got a makeover thanks to new owners and this has triggered a revival also for the private real estate market. The old centre shines again,” Mayor of Sicily explains. There are about 15 homes that are still available, so if Gangi is one of the places you’ve been eyeing, act fast.
Sambuca is probably the one you’ve heard of if you’ve looked into dollar homes. It was the first town to offer the unbeatable deal, and thus has garnered overwhelming interest. With such great demand, local authorities have set up auctions to offer homes to the highest bidder. Only one of 16 homes were actually sold for 1€, with the highest being 25,000€. So a little on the pricier side, but what’s a little extra for Sambuca’s illustrious mazes, rugged hills and local wine?
Location, location, location. That’s what it’s about at Zungoli, which borders Naples and the Amalfi coast. Aristocratic mansions, cobble steps and ancient castles make Zungoli one of the most romantic and picturesque towns in Italy. In preparation of the sale, this old rural land gets an upgrade with new pavements, public lights and lightning WiFi. Thirty houses have been sold, but there are more lots available for purchase.