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Samburu, Italy: The Sicilian town sells houses for $ 1



A semi-abandoned town in Italy sells homes for just over a dollar in the hope of luring strangers to renew their property and revive the local economy.

Sambuca, a city on top of a hillside in Sicily with panoramic views of the Mediterranean, sells dozens of houses at discounted basement prices after other Italian cities and villages have made similar offers. Sambuca – not related to the liqueur of the same name – has a population of less than 6,000 inhabitants and is located about 40 miles south of Palermo.

Gangi, also in Sicily, began selling free homes for 1 euro in 2015, and Olholay in Sardinia followed. At the core of these efforts are attempts to revive their economies and preserve their crops as young people flock to big cities, and older people have died, leaving behind a reserve of abandoned homes. to pay four foreigners to spend three months in Grotto, located in the southern province of Matera, through its Italian Saturday program. Participants will "help the local community revive" the village.

"The small village of Grotto, with only 300 inhabitants and more than 600 empty homes, is at risk of extinction and wants help!" Program description

An aging population

Birth rate in Italy has been declining for years. "A few years ago, Italians have recorded records of the lowest birth rate recorded in history by 1

.1 children," said Stephen Mosher, president of the Institute for Population Studies.

He said he had witnessed a number of initiatives aimed at promoting reproduction, none of which had been effective.

"There are villages and towns where they offer bonuses to every child born there because the birth rate is so low," he said. "But there seems to be no combination – in the whole world – of economic incentives, at least in developed countries, to bring back the birth rate to a replacement, which will be 2.1 children," he said. "I do not know if there is anything Italy can do."

The younger inhabitants of Samburu have moved to urban environments, while elderly people are generally not prepared to maintain a modern economy. "Older populations do not bring innovations and do not invest in the future, they simply pull back the resources they have already accumulated," Mosher said. "Some countries have years of inventory of homes that can never be busy again because there are simply no people to occupy them, that's a resistance to the economy."

Thousands of emails

The Sambucan Homes suggest that tactics are already working.

"It's amazing that I have thousands of people interested in Dubai, Barcelona, ​​and I have a lot of requests from New York," said Giuseppe Kachihopo, Sambuca's Deputy Mayor and Travel Advisor. He said he did not get out of the air after the international community got information about the deal after CNN initially wrote about the plan. "I did not sleep last night because I was getting so many phone calls," he said. "I received 39,000 emails in response to the proposal, including people who want to buy whole blocks of houses."

Households – which cost less than a pizza slice – are tempting, but

Buyers have to make a deposit of EUR 5,000 (or $ 5,682) and commit to spending over 15,000 euros (about $ 17,000) to renew them within three years. The secure deposit will be returned after completion of the repair, CNN reported. Potential home buyers also have to come armed with a plan to keep themselves busy. "These places are small and very distorted with respect to the older generations.Life is very quiet and simple and basic.There will not be much work except renovation of your property and gardening," said Ketlin Pedicor, publisher and founder of Live and Invest abroad.

And the knowledge of Italian is mandatory, according to travel and retirement experts.

"You definitely have to feel comfortable in Italian if you intend to take some type of work project," said Kat Kallasyan, editor of Live and Invest Overseas. "You have to speak Italian to get referrals and find work, and you will have to speak Italian to work with them."

Property taxes

Buyers can avoid taxing home dwellings if Sambucka becomes their main home. Otherwise, the tax rate is applied to 0.76%. A secondary tax is also applicable, varying in different municipalities, ranging from zero to 3.3%. "Depending on the municipality, there may be zero zero taxes," Kalashan said.

Max Dlenddorff, a lawyer based in New York who responded to such an initiative last year, eventually decided that the proposal does not make sense after weighing the price of the gut reinvigorated against hiring. "At the end of the day, if you just end up being there once or twice a year, I think it's better to get an airplane," he said. "But if someone is ready to move and live there, maybe it makes sense.

Pedicord agrees that although it is a unique opportunity, it is not for everyone.

"It will most of all be a labor of love and a living adventure, and these properties really make sense to someone who is in love with the romantic idea of ​​it," she said.


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