Amid Italy’s recent real estate renovation spree, buyers now have a shot at scoring a dirt-cheap dwelling near the heart of Italian culture, Rome.
Mayor Claudio Sperduti of the town of Maenza, located about 40 miles southeast of Rome, will make about 100 dilapidated townhomes available to ambitious occupants from around the world, according to CNN, for only €1 to buy — plus the refundable deposit for €5,000 ($ 5,840), if renovations are completed within a three-year timeline.
With residences more typically offered in the Mediterranean country’s more remote areas — of far-flung Sicily (Sambuca, Mussomeli and Cammarata) and other little-known villages in the South (Laurenzana, Teora and regions of Calabria and Molise) — the home renovation initiative in Maenza marks one of the most centrally located villages seen in the trend, with better access to travel hubs and historic attractions.
Some of the homes date back to the 1700s, while many boast epic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea between the island of Sardinia and the Italian mainland.
“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Sperduti told CNN. “As original families get in touch and hand over to us their old houses, we place these on the market through specific public notices on our website to make it all very transparent.”
On top of the time limit, Maenza’s leaders will also require that buyers submit a detailed plan for renovations and how they intend to use the property, whether as a home or business. Sperduti also encourages families especially to apply in the interest of discouraging developers from flipping homes for profit.
“Families and youths often leave town to move to larger homes in nearby cities and villas in the countryside, but there’s always some newcomer who takes their place so it’s balanced out,” said Sperduti.
“This is not a dying city, people still inhabit the old district but it needs a revamp, fresh oxygen,” he added.
The mayor estimated that the cost of bringing homes up to snuff would start at approximately €100 ($ 117) per squarer meter for the average 50 to 70 square meter home, the cost of which includes eco-friendly elements and fortifying for earthquakes, according to Sperduti.
The first sales of Maenza’s home buying campaign will be announced on Saturday, with more to come as town officials continue negotiations with original homeowners to list the properties. Further details are available on the village website.