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Sambuca, a hilltop town based in the Southern Italy island of Sicily, is selling dozens of homes on the market for just over $1 in hopes of revitalizing a community that’s suffered from depopulation, as residents look to move to bigger cities. CNN Travel first reported the story.
Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca’s deputy mayor and tourist counselor, told CNN that because the city hall owns all of the homes on sale, the offer isn’t merely a stab at generating propaganda for the town.
"We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you'll get it no time,” he said.
There is one catch: Because the 40- to 150-square-meter (about 430-square-feet to about 1,600-square-foot) homes are dilapidated, potential homebuyers are required to invest at least $17,000 to refurbish the home within at least three years.
However, CNN reported that as a result of the story, the town has been flooded by tens of thousands of inquiries from people across the world hoping to snatch up a piece of the “City of Splendor.”
It’s not the first Italian town to try to lure in newcomers with cheap housing. Last year, the Italian village of Ollolai sold about 200 stone houses for the same amount (1 euro).
It was part of a broader initiative called “Casa a 1 euro,” which included properties across Sicily, Tuscany and Abruzzo.
Like Sambuca, the homes were cheap because they needed some serious renovation -- and money poured into them.