So, what's the catch? Well, if you purchase one of these properties -- all of which need at least a little bit of work -- you'll need to commit to refurbishing it within three years, and spending at least $17,000 to do so. You'll also need to put down a deposit of roughly $5,700, which you'll get back once you've shown that the improvements have been made.
Still, that's a paltry sum when you consider what a typical summer home in a tropical locale like Sicily might cost.
Sambuca isn't the first Italian town to try something like this in hopes of sparking interest and bringing in new blood. The town of Ollolai in Sardinia got some buzz last year when it announced it was selling select abandoned properties there for $1.20. However, the difference with the Sambuca plans, according to town officials, is that this is more than just a stunt to get attention. They're really serious about making these homes available to anyone, for a shockingly rock bottom price.
“As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all €1 houses on sale,” said Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca’s deputy mayor and tourist councillor, in an interview with CNN. “We’re not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you’ll get it [in] no time.”