In some parts of Europe, governments allow people to purchase abandoned homes in typically remote locations for as little as $1. Dispatches Europe reported that the reason for this initiative is that working-age people continue to leave small towns and villages in rural Europe. As a result, they leave behind houses that don’t appeal to today’s buyers.
In an effort to revitalize these areas, the $1 house trend continues to grow as more countries are offering the program to prospective buyers. Four countries in particular have become some of the most notorious.
Four Countries Where You Can Find Many $1 Homes
Dispatches Europe explains that Italy’s overall population decreased by a staggering 384,000 in 2020. This was the largest decrease in more than 100 years. While there are thousands of houses available throughout the country, the majority are in poor condition and most towns sell them to interested buyers for the price of 1 euro, with auction prices tending to be elevated. Homes are so cheap, some people are even buying two.
There is a catch though: buyers are required to invest significantly in the rehabilitation of the home. This doesn’t include additional fees for taxes, the cost of connecting to local utilities, or real estate agents commissions. It’s reported that it’s common for the new owners to have spent roughly 30,000 euros on homes that generally only have about 700 square feet of space.
France isn’t the first country to offer 1 euro homes for sale, but you’ll be able to find decently sized homes (about 1,000 square feet) up for sale for the price of 1 euro.
Similarly to Italy, this program is designed to bring people back into remote villages where most original inhabitants have moved to cities and other large urban areas for more opportunities. In some areas of France, like Saint-Amand-Montrond, there is a requirement that you actually have to live in the house, start renovations within 6 months of purchase, and have a plan to complete the work within two years. To add, you aren’t allowed to use the home as a rental or Airbnb property to earn income.
Legrad, a village in northern Croatia on the border with Hungary, has started selling abandoned houses for 1 kuna, the equivalent of $0.16. As of mid-2021, the town had listed 19 homes for sale. So far, 17 of the homes have sold. Before you can score a house in Legrad, you must be financially stable and at least 40 years old. Additionally, you’ll need to commit to staying for a minimum of 15 years. It’s not specifically indicated that you have to live in this Croatian rural village for 15 years, just that you need to keep owning the property for that long. To sweeten the deal, Ivan Sabolic, Legrad’s mayor, says the town will cover 20% of home renovation costs, which equates to 35,000 kunas or about 5,000 euros.
The Republic of Ireland is following in the footsteps of some of its European counterparts. In an effort to repopulate its rural wind-swept islands, “Ireland will pay you (pounds, dollars, euros) to move to a remote island,” explained Dispatches Europe. The country will even offer grants to move to rural islands.
What’s the reason Ireland is willing to pay you to move? It’s because so few people want to live in remote and distant areas of the country. Connections to the mainland from Irish islands are challenging, often contingent on weather patterns and tides.
“Our Living Islands” is Ireland’s 10-year initiative to repopulate about 30 islands. In the June 2023 announcement, it was shared that the republic’s government will pay up to 84,000 euros if you buy an old, dilapidated, abandoned property located on one of these remote islands and restore the home.
It’s worth noting that if you’re not an Irish citizen, you’ll have to apply for a long-term residency scheme as per Irish immigration laws.
The $1 home trend continues to grow with remote work and digital nomadism that took shape since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay. If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a fresh start, you love to travel far and wide, or it’s your time to retire and you’re looking for new life experiences, then the $1 home could be for you.
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