2 towns in Italy are selling homes for just $1, but there's a catch

Photo by Marka/UIG via Getty ImagesZungoli, Italy
  • Two Italian towns, Zungoli and Mussomeli, are selling homes for just one euro, or roughly one dollar.
  • Those two villages aren’t alone: villages across Italy are trying to sell properties for one euro or less, as long as owners take care of the renovations.
  • But, there’s a catch for potential buyers.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

Apparently it’s pretty difficult to attract potential homeowners to Italy – despite its reputation of stunning coastlines, rustic, cobblestone towns dotted across the countryside, and, let’s not forget, pizza.

Now, villages across Italy are proposing new schemes to lure people to buy property. Specifically, two towns – one near Naples and the Amalfi Coast, and the other on the island of Sardinia, are offering dream Italian homes for just one euro, or roughly one dollar.

The tiny, rural village of Zungoli, in the Campania region, is offering up 15 properties – with photos of those homes located on Zungoli’s official website.

“People must really come see for themselves the beauty of the place, taste the great food and breathe the fresh healthy air,” Paolo Caruso, mayor of Zungoli, told CNN. “My town has upgraded infrastructure, public LED lights and great Wi-Fi. Piazzas and pavements have just been revamped. Life quality is important.”

Nine hours away, the larger Italian town of Mussomeli, in Sicily, is offering a similar deal. The town, founded in the second half of the 14th century, features narrow streets, an ancient church, and a medieval castle. If that isn’t enough incentive, the typical food for residents, around 11,000 people, are cheese, wine, and desserts. Photos of available properties can be viewed here.

MussomeliRiccardo Lombardo/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty ImagesCastello di Mussomeli castle or Castello Manfredonico. built by XIV to il XV century. Caltanisetta province. Sicily. Italy. Europe

Zungoli and Mussomeli aren’t the only Italian towns to offer cheap homes; villages across Italy are trying to sell properties for one euro or less, as long as owners take care of the renovations. Despite the country’s natural beauty, the fall in property prices has placed a major strain on the country’s economy – making it difficult to sell homes. While property prices across Europe are on the rise, the Italian market has struggled.


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Italy’s abandoned villages plan to save themselves from ruin by selling homes for $US1 or less

Magaraggia, an Italian law firm documenting the trend of one euro properties in the country, listed a total of 11 municipalities in February offering the cheap deal. The firm found that the scheme fared pretty well – most villages said that their first batch of properties were already gone, with one town, Ollolai, having received 5,000 requests for its first 100 properties.

But, that hasn’t been the case for everyone. As Business Insider reported in 2015, an Australian woman from Melbourne travelled nearly 10,000 miles to buy a home for just one euro in the village of Gangi in Sicily. Upon arrival, she discovered that she actually would need to pay more than $US17,000 in fees and permits to renovate the ageing home.

“I stayed there for a week and looked at all the ones that were for sale,” that woman, Tavia Macnaughtan, told Business Insider. “They were all terrible and needed to be knocked down and rebuilt.”

Macnaughtan’s experience with the one euro Italian homes is not novel: both Zungoli and Mussomeli offer a similar catch for perspective buyers. In Zungoli, buyers must pay a 2,000 euro (around $US2,248) security deposit and commit to refurbishing the home, CNN reported. In Mussomeli, interested parties are required to meet with the notary to come up with an agreement for refurbishing the home within three years – or risk losing a 5,000 euro ($US5,620) security deposit. There is also a 400 euro ($US449) fee for tailored services to be paid after the purchase of the one euro home.

So, who’s moving to Italy?

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