Saving to buy a home? How does $1 sound—and in coastal Italy, no less? As countries reopen and travel begins to resume in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, one small town in Italy is selling homes for just one euro. Before the global coronavirus pandemic, many towns across Italy were offering this insane deal.
In the southern area of Calabria, the quaint community of Cinquefrondi overlooks picturesque coasts. Amid the ongoing pandemic, the town claims to be a "COVID-free village," CNN reports. With the hope of attracting more residents and revitalizing its urban areas, it's selling homes for just a little more than a dollar, calling the mission "Operation Beauty." Similar to the other towns in Italy with homes on the market for almost nothing, many of Cindquefrondi's young people have been moving away to search for jobs, causing a trend of depopulation.
"Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty [mission] that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town," Cinquefrondi Mayor Michele Conia tells CNN. "I grew up in Germany where my parents had migrated, then I came back to save my land. Too many people have fled from here over the decades, leaving behind empty houses. We can't succumb to resignation."
So what's the catch? The new home owners will have to renovate their house within three years. As opposed to other Italian towns that have offered homes for a euro, Cinquefrondi won't require a hefty down payment the buyer must give up if they fail to renovate the home. The town only requires an annual €250 policy insurance fee until work on the home is complete. If the new home owners don't revamp the home within the deadline, they're liable €20,000 fine. But the one-euro houses, which once belonged to farmers, shepherds, and artisans, are fairly small (40 to 50 square meters wide), so the three-year timeline seems doable. Long-term project, anyone?
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