Ever dreamed of owning an entire Spanish town? How about one for less than the price of a single-family home in the US? Yes? Well quick, grab a pen and write this down.
As a result of Spain's recent economic difficulties, many property owners in the country's rural areas have decided to pack up and leave town -- in some cases, forever. And thanks to companies like Aldeas Abandonadas and Galician Country Homes, enterprising individuals can scoop up one of the several thousand (yes, thousand) abandoned villages scattered throughout the countryside for as little as $317k. Seriously, a cluster of four houses with ocean views for the same price as a 2BR condo in Watertown, MA. Granted, they're all in various states of disrepair but who doesn't love a good fixer-upper? Other than the Spanish, apparently.
If you prefer your Spanish villages -- like your hotel breakfast buffets -- free, then you're also in business. This ramshackle hamlet near the Portuguese border can be yours for the low, low price of zero dollars; local officials are offering it up to anyone with an adequate plan for its revival, gratis. Think of it as the American dream, except in Spain.
Gianni Jaccoma is an editorial assistant for Thrillist Travel, and is only half-jokingly considering a move on the Spanish real estate market. Follow him on Twitter at @gjaccoma.