The historic town of Cinquefrondi in the southern part of Italy has seen a decrease in its population as young people move to the cities and don’t return once they start their own families. This has left a growing number homes unoccupied and slowly falling into disrepair. Before they become completely unlivable the town has decided to take action and entice foreign buyers by offering up the apartment-sized flats for one euro, or approximately $1.16 using today’s exchange rate. The homes need some upgrades and maintenance work—but nothing too onerous—which is part of the reason the price is so low.
The requirements are much more relaxed than other situations with similar deals. In this case the only requirement is that you complete the upgrades within three years and pay an annual €250 policy insurance fee until the work is complete. If you don’t complete the work within three years you could be liable for a €20,000 fine. Many of the other cities offering this type of deal require you put down thousands of dollars for a deposit that you only get back in if you have completed the renovations in the designated timeframe. But for Cinquefrondi there’s no deposit required outside of one euro and the annual insurance policy.
Mayor of Cinquefrondi, Michele Conia, has rolled this out as part of his town-wide initiative called Operation Beauty telling CNN, “Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town.” He estimates the renovations to the homes will cost between €10,000 to €20,000, or around $12,000-$22,000.
Cinquefrondi (”five villages”) was once the site of both Byzantine and Greek settlements, with a few remnants of iconic Greek architecture still peppered around the town. The hilltop location includes the Aspromonte National Park and views of the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts. With olive groves and winding streets the town still has a historic feel, but recent upgrades to its infrastructure mean it has the accessibility of a modern-day city. The beach is about fifteen minutes drive away, say Conia.
There are about a dozen homes currently for sale under this program, with as many as fifty more than could be added at a later date. To find out more you can email the town representative via firstname.lastname@example.org or if you prefer to go through a broker, here is one website in English that has more information.