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By Shaina Mishkin
January 18, 2019
A view of the village of Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy. Sambuca di Sicilia is a municipality in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily.
A view of the village of Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy. Sambuca di Sicilia is a municipality in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily.
Simone Padovani—Shutterstock

Bummed out by an increasingly unaffordable U.S. housing market? Wish you could just retire to the countryside and get away from it all? An ancient city in Sicily could have the deal for you.

The local government of Sambuca di Sicilia is selling houses for as low as €1 to help combat depopulation, CNN first reported. The program, advertised on Sambuca’s website under the heading “Casa A 1 Euro,” offers a handful of city-owned homes for a starting bid of €1, or about $1.14. The town, located 80 miles southwest of the seaside city of Palermo, has 17 houses listed as part of the program on their website.

Of course, as with any good deal, there is a catch: The houses aren’t exactly move in-ready. In fact, as part of the agreement, buyers must commit at least €15,000 — the cost varies from dwelling to dwelling — to bring the fixer-uppers up to par within three years, CNN reports. To hold buyers to their word, the town requires a €5,000 security deposit, to be returned after renovations are complete.

Still, considering the median home in the U.S. sold for $325,000 at the end of last year, a €15,001 house — equal to about $17,000 — is undeniably a bargain.

If the sale strikes a chord, you’d better act fast. The Sambuca government has been inundated with interest since Wednesday, CNN reports. As of Friday, the town has received 38,000 email inquiries from throughout the world, deputy mayor Giuseppe Cacioppo told the outlet. “The whole world has got in touch,” Cacioppo said to CNN. “Callers are from Europe, mainly Spain, Russia, and as far as South Africa, Australia, USA, the Arab Emirates.”

Interested parties can find the house of their dreams on comune.sambucadisicilia.ag.it and can contact case1euro@comune.sambucadisicilia.ag.it for more information.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

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