The latest of several ancient, historic (even prehistoric) places in Europe to offer insanely cheap real estate schemes in order to revive their aging populations, the mayor of one village on the Italian island of Sardinia is offering homes for sale for just one euro — with just one more week left to apply.
Due to an increasingly overwhelming response (after being picked up by international media), Ollolai Mayor Efisio Arbau has cut short his campaign to inject his ancient but aging village with new blood, energy, and money. However, they are still taking applications to buy one of 200 homes in this charming Italian town for just one euro (or $1.24, plus proof of at least €20,000 to €30,000 in capital to fix them up, along with other stipulations).
Behind the sell-off of the ancient and mostly derelict dwellings is a plan to rejuvenate a community at risk of becoming a ghost town. Since the 1960s, Ollolai's population has shrunk by half — from 2,250 to 1,300 — with only a handful of new humans born into residence each year.
Set nearly dead-center on the island of Sardinia, the village boasts roots dating back to the Bronze Age and was once the capital of its region, Barbagia. According to CNN Travel, "Ollolai remains the most untouched and authentic patch of Sardinia...[and] takes its name from an ancient battle cry of alalé [and now] is fighting back once again."
The Independent reports that though the program launched in 2015, it gained steam recently with hundreds of offers coming in from around the world — much like what happened last year to the mayor of a little town in Liguria, on the Italian mainland, who launched a similarly motivated program — leading to the shortened deadline.
As one would imagine with houses deemed "ancient" in origin, these are in serious disrepair and will take both some major DIY skills and the fixer-upper funds — plus the enduring patience needed for doing construction on an international island —in order to bring them back to an inhabitable state, let alone their former glory. And if you are one of the lucky 200 new owners of a home in Ollolai, the program stipulates that you only have three years to finish the restoration projects — and can't sell for five. So, all in, potential owners have to expect at least a half-decade-long commitment to expat life.
To view photos and other documents for the 200 available homes — if you have mastery of Italian enough to get around — and to apply to be one of its newest residents slash restoration patrons, head to the Ollolai Comune website by 2 p.m. on February 7th, 2018, local Sardinia time. Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis, according to The Independent.