This Village Near Rome Is Selling $1 Homes
Start digging in the couch for quarters.
For some, homeownership feels like a pipe dream. It could be more attainable than it seems, however, especially if you're looking to start fresh in Italy, where you can buy a home near Rome for €1 (roughly $1.17 USD).
Maenza, a town in Rome's Latium region, is selling homes for a little more than a buck. While they're not palatial Italian villas, they are rich in history and in a beautiful location. According to CNN, available houses are, for the most part, abandoned stone homes that once belonged to the shepherds and tribespeople that lived in the area. Mayor Claudio Sperduti called it a "pact for the rebirth" of the town, which happens to be his hometown.
"We're taking it one step at a time. As original families get in touch and hand over to us their old houses, we place these on the market through specific public notices on our website to make it all very transparent," he told the outlet.
There are about 100 neglected properties up for sale. People who don't see a home they're interested in on the website are welcome to contact the town to inquire about additional properties. Applications are currently open but will close on August 28. However, Sperduti told CNN more homes will go on the market after the allotted period as talks are already underway with the original owners of each property. Potential buyers should be aware that these homes aren't in the best condition and that some have been declared dangerous to locals because of this.
Those who are approved to buy one of the properties in Maenza will have to commit to renovating it within three years. Buyers undeterred by the condition must submit an application with a plan for the property and what it'll become. A deposit guarantee of €5,000 (about $5,840) will also have to be submitted. That money will all be returned after the work is complete.
Renovations shouldn't take long. Most of the properties are only about 50 to 70-square meters, so under 800 square feet. Sperduti told CNN that with tax deductions for eco-friendly renovations and earthquake-proofing, costs for renovations should start at €100 per square foot and, in total, cost about €5,000. That's a small price to pay to live in a home overlooking an Italian piazza and the Pontine Islands.
It's not a requirement that you live there year-round, or at all, but the local government is urging families with kids and young couples who want to live there on a semi-regular basis to apply. Sperduti told CNN this deal on homes isn't an effort to manage the population in the area, although the town has had a steady population of just barely 3,000 for the last two decades. Instead, he claims that it's an attempt to stop realtors from buying the old properties and making money off them.
If more than one person applies for a property, priority will be given to the applicant who wishes to settle down and/or plans to complete renovations the fastest.