If a cozy villa in an Italian mountainside village seems like a pipe dream, you might want to reconsider. One community in Italy has homes available for about $1. And, by the way, this little village has allegedly remained free of COVID-19.
Enticing Newcomers To Rebuild A Community
Cinquefrondi, Italy translates to “five fronds” in English. It is named so because, during the Middle Ages, five separate Greek and Byzantine communities came together there. The community is on the Italian peninsula along the crest of the Aspromonte Mountains. The sea is about 30 minutes away in either direction.
Even with so much history and natural beauty, many former residents have either moved on to more populated areas or passed away. This has left countless homes empty to crumble and decay, while having a negative impact on the local economy, as well.
In an attempt to encourage the recovery, enhancement and repopulation of the historic center, Cinquefrondi’s local government is promoting a “Houses for One Euro” program, which is also called the Operation Beauty project. Old homes in need of renovation are essentially free, sold at a symbolic price of €1, which is about $1.12 USD.
So, What’s The Catch?
Cinquefrondi is certainly not unique in its effort to attract homebuyers. Other towns in Italy, as well as communities in Greece, Ireland and even the United States, have devised similar incentives to encourage newcomers. Usually, there are stipulations, and Cinquefrondi’s Operation Beauty is no different.
Traditionally, the sale of €1 homes in Italy require a €5,000 down payment. However, Cinquefrondi has waived this deposit. Instead, the municipality is requiring an annual insurance policy costing €250, or about $280, until the renovation is complete.
If the home updates are not finished within three years, owners will be subject to a €20,000 (about $22,400) fine.
The town has undergone many improvements, including upgraded roads, parks and piazzas. If renovating is not your thing, there are apparently fully renovated homes available at low prices, as well.
Cinquefrondi Mayor Michele Conia says that newcomers are received with open arms, calling the community “a melting pot.”
“We’re welcoming people,” Conia told CNN. “The door of my office is always open to anyone who comes knocking.”