Dreamhouse for free? These 5 destinations offer free homes, but there's a catch
Added 09-14-19 01:37:02pm EST - “Many places worldwide offer newcomers insanely cheap real estate or even cash in an effort to tackle problems like urbanization, bad demographic situations, or lack of workforce. However, they all come with strings attached.” - Rt.com
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A region in southern Italy has recently announced it will pay newcomers €700 ($780) a month for three years if they move into one of its villages. The generous offer stems from the fact that people are gradually leaving the picturesque rural region, moving into megapolises like Milan and Rome.
The money is good, but what do you have to do to earn it? Well, to start with, you have to move to Molise, obviously. And into a village that has fewer than 2,000 residents. You also need to set up a business there.
"We wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything. It's a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population," Donato Toma, the president of Molise, explained.
Molise is not the first Italian region with a generous offer for relocating – several towns in Sicily last year offered homes to anyone who's willing to come and claim them for €1 ($1.12) – less than the price of a standard espresso. The towns of Sambuca and Mussomeli announced sales of old properties in hopes of saving themselves from depopulation. Eventually, Sambuca sold off 16 historical stone mansions to buyers from the US, China, France, Britain, Russia, and Argentina. However, none of them actually went for €1 – the homes were sold in a blind auction in which bids started at that benchmark, but ended up between €1,000 and €25,000 ($1,100-27,600).
The auction, obviously. Which did not stop the buyers! Also, the condition of the houses – all are beautiful but derelict old things on the verge of collapsing on the new owner's head. And – as a mandatory condition – the new owner has to spend at least €15,000 on renovating his or her Sicilian home, and to pay a security deposit of €5,000 in advance, non-refundable if the renovation is not carried out.
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