Dreaming of leaving it all and moving to Italy?
What’s your housing budget?
How about $1.24?
No, that’s not a typo—one American dollar and twenty-four cents.
What do you get for that couch-change price? An entire house in a quaint Italian village called Ollolai, which is located on the breathtakingly picturesque island of Sardinia off the western coast of mainland Italy.
There are 200 houses available. (Note: Don’t go quitting your job—they were on sale for a limited time and as of press time, none may be available.)
So what’s the catch? Okay, there is a catch.
Each of the houses are in dire need of repairs. In fact, the entire town is in the market for a serious facelift. Owners can indeed purchase one of the homes for 1 euro (the equivalent of around $1.24 in USD when the offer went live), but should expect to shell out some serious cash over the next few years to cover repairs.
The city is willing to provide significant grants to new owners to offset the cost of repairs. Those grants will cover between 20 and 60 percent of the overall repair costs, but new owners should still expect to shell out around $25,000 in repair costs over the next few years. Owners will be permitted to sell the properties after five years of ownership.
Why is this happening? The town of Ollalai used to be a bustling hub. It was long considered the “capital” of the Barbagia region and has a lot of pride and tradition. In fact, the town’s mayor, Efisio Arbau, says the town has “prehistoric origins.” (And we thought Commonwealth Properties focused on historic spaces!)
However, over the last five decades, Ollalai’s population has dwindled by half. That exodus has resulted in lots of abandoned homes, and an insufficient population to properly sustain infrastructure.
Rather than give up, Mayor Arbau decided to get creative. He dreamed up the 1-Euro-For-A-House (Case a 1 Euro) deal to breathe new life and funds into the town.
We applaud Mayor Arbau for his ingenuity and his appreciation for historic preservation. As they say in Italy, Bravo!