Many of us have dreamt of living in an idyllic rural Italian town in the country’s picture-perfect mountains, but few ever manage to make it a reality.
That dream, however, is about to become a reality for dozens of people from across the world once pandemic restrictions lift.
Dozens of plucky buyers have snapped up the chance to restore ancient Italian houses on the cheap, and in doing so they may just breathe new life into the dying communities.
People from as far flung as Russia, China, and the US, have splashed out the £1 fee for a house in Garfagnana, Tuscany.
The tumbledown buildings in two quaint Italian villages were purchased through a project aiming to reverse the effects of depopulation.
Reconstruction projects for more than 40 of the two villages’, called Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Fabbriche di Vallico, abandoned houses will be start in 2021.
The project has provided owners an opportunity to offload the derelict structures and become an exciting opportunity for investors to revamp the historic houses at a negligible cost.
Purchases must pay the £1 or less fee and a further €250 (£224) insurance policy annually until the property has been renovated.
The new owners are tied to renovating their new homes within three years of completing and those who fail to comply could face fines of up to €20,000 (£18,000).
Many towns have newly joined the project in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hampered small villages across the whole of Italy, seeing property prices plummet and the tourist trade take a huge hit.
The two villages, called Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Fabbriche di Vallico, are historically known for housing ancient blacksmiths and farriers, but became abandoned as the population moved towards cities.
The ‘House for one Euro’ project was launched in 2016 as an way to stem the exodus from the north western municipality of Fabbriche di Vergemoli.
The initiative took off after after 2016 and administrators say they receive over 2,000 enquiries every year.
Interest has come from as far flung places as China, the US, and Russia.
Project administrators say the scheme has also encouraged sales of nearby low-cost housing priced at around €20,000 – €40,000 per property.
Approximately 800 people currently live in the sleepy pair of villages, but that number has been steadily decreasing since the 1950s.
Then, in the early the area was hit by heavy storms, accelerating migration away from the sleepy towns.
Cheap sales of property now appears to be something of a trend in more rural areas of Italy, and the latest example seen in Fabbriche di Vergemoli follows that of Laurenzana, Cinquefrondi, and Taranto.
In March, Laurenzana, in the southern region of Basilicata, joined the scheme, selling rundown properties in the town for 85p.
Laurenzana is also enticing newcomers by scrapping the typical caveats of deposits and legal fees which can rise to more than £5,000.
All the mayor asks is that prospective buyers complete renovations within three years and are prepared to spend at least £17,000 to return the houses to their rustic glory.
Due to the pandemic, those who are looking to buy should expect to wait for around three months before their purchase can be completed. Purchases are expected to be rushed through once the lockdown is lifted.
Homes in the picture postcard setting of Cinquefrondi, located in the southern region of Calabria, started being sold off last summer for the paltry sum of 90p.
In January 2020, Taranto became the first Italian city to slash house prices to just €1, following from other region’s success.
The remote port city in southern Italy has seen its population dwindle over the years and local authorities are hoping to boost the ailing area, including its historic centre.
The council set a target of bringing 25,000 inhabitants back to the old city by selling cheap homes.
Source: Thanks msn.com