This Croatian Town Is Selling Homes for Just 16 Cents — Here’s What You Need to Know

published Jun 23, 2021
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Soderica Lake, Croatia

After over a year spent living through the unprecedented stress of a global pandemic, it’s understandable if you’ve been seriously considering a change of scenery. If a complete uproot has been on your mind and you’re comfortable with a long-term move to a different country, consider Croatia. Officials in Legrad, a small, rural town located in the northern part of the central European country are offering up a deal that sounds too good to be true, but it’s not — you can score a house for a single Croatian kuna — or around 16 cents in American currency.

There is one major caveat for those who are interested. You’ll need to commit to staying for 15 years, according to Reuters. Legrad was once home to the second-biggest population in the country, but experienced an extreme decline in population when the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire a century ago changed the landscape of its borders, as the town’s mayor, Ivan Sabolic, explained to Reuters. “We turned into a border town with few transport connections to other places. Since then the population has been gradually falling.”

Now it’s home to around 2,250 people (roughly half what it had 70 years ago) and many abandoned homes, which you can score if you’re under 40, in solid financial standing, and don’t mind staying for a decade and a half to help boost the local economy.

As for what you’ll get with your 16 cent payment, the municipality will pay 25,000 kuna (around $4,000 USD) toward any refurbishments needed. If it’s a privately owned home you’re after, the town will cover 20 percent of the price or up to 35,000 kuna (around $5,600 USD), the mayor told Reuters.

So far, 17 properties have been sold under the offer, with families and individuals alike moving into the charming village and enjoying its lush hills and leafy forests. Employment opportunities for newcomers include jobs in food production, wood processing, and metal processing.

Another caveat: due to complex immigration issues, it seems the opportunity is currently available to native Croatians, but it seems plans are underway to expand the program to residents of other countries soon. The delay should give interested applicants some time to do some research on their potential new digs before they pack their bags for a long-term stay.

If you do want to visit without a life-altering commitment, Croatia’s digital nomad program currently welcomes visitors for up to a year-long stay.