The dream of owning an island getaway comes with the expectation of a hefty price tag.
But not in the town of Ollolai, located in the mountain region of Barbagia on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where you can now buy a home for the paltry price of 1 euro (US$1.50).
There’s just one catch.
Promise to fix up the place within three years and it’s yours–provided you make good on the commitment to refurbish one of the 200 stone-built homes up for grabs. And that’s likely to run you around $25,000, according to CNN.
The unusual move is part of a desperate ploy to prevent Ollolai from becoming a ghost town–its population has dropped from 2,250 to just 1,300 over the past 50 years.
As young people move to cities for work, study or a different lifestyle, officials said the history and way of life in this beautiful and untouched part of Sardinia are threatened.
This is Ollolai; a small village in Sardinia, Italy. Ollolai is selling homes for one dollar. This has been a public service announcement pic.twitter.com/JjPb1IFFL5
— Dylan? (@djstern8) January 30, 2018
“We boast prehistoric origins,” Efisio Arbau, Ollolai’s mayor, told CNN. “My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion.
“Pride in our past is our strength. We’ve always been tough people and won’t allow our town to die,” he said.
The Epoch Times wrote about the picturesque village of Albinen in Switzerland being so desperate to boost its flagging population, that it was considering paying people US$70,000 (70,000 Swiss francs) to move there.
Town officials also had a catch–a 10-year contract: move out before and you have to pay it back. Children are worth extra.
The idea was driven by locals after the town school shut down. They petitioned the mayor with a proposal for the village to “invest” in its own future—by paying families to move there.
But only bona fide villagers were to be welcome–investors not allowed, according to the president of Albinen, Beat Jost “Second homes and large residential complexes of investor groups are out of the question.”
“‘Anyone who moves away again 10 years after the start of construction or after buying the house must repay the money,” he said, reported the Metro.
Other regions have devised similar schemes.
The Italian town of Candela announced in October 2017, it would give handouts to new residents.
According to the Daily Mail, Switzerland’s smallest mountain village of Corippo plans to turn the entire village, which has only 13 inhabitants left, into a giant hotel.
Italy announced earlier this year that it was giving away 103 of its historic buildings for free, according to The Telegraph, on the condition that the newcomers transformed the properties into tourist facilities.