It’s harder and harder to get on the property ladder in the U.S, and once you finally get a mortgage you spend 30 years paying it back. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider moving to Ollolai, a small town on the Italian island of Sardinia. The town is selling houses for just €1 ($1.24).
Move to the Beautiful Island of Sardinia for Just $1
According to CNN, the town, which is located on the island’s picturesque mountainous region of Barbagia, is selling fixer-upper homes for an alarmingly cheap price to attract new residents to the area.
The houses themselves cost less than your daily coffee run, but buyers must commit to renovating the empty homes within 3 years. The estimated cost of doing so is around $25,000 – a fraction of what you’d pay to be a homeowner in the U.S.
Ollolai used to be the capital of Barbagia, but the streets have turned quiet since many younger residents have moved away to bigger cities. The population has dwindled from 2,250 to just 1,300.
There is currently a trend of towns with falling populations, offering too-good-to-say-no opportunities to outsiders. Just like this Swiss village that offered $70,000 to new residents wanting to start a new life there.
Rescuing the Town
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.”
Arbau has contacted former homeowners of the town and had them sign over the abandoned houses to the town so that they can be sold, at a discounted price, on the market. The mayor hopes the refurbishing of the homes can create new jobs within the community.
3 of the houses have already been sold, and Arbau has received hundreds of requests from places as far away as Russia and Australia.
What’s Life Like in Ollolai?
One of the first houses sold was to a retired builder called Vito Casula, who lives nearby on the island. He says, “One day my wife saw the ad in the newspaper. It was an opportunity… This quiet town is frozen in time. It offers a peaceful, healthy life. The fresh air, zero smog, and great views have a healing power. My bones and back don’t hurt anymore.”
Despite the small population, the town is still full of culture and tradition. Local shepherds continue to make sheep cheese, and artisans weave fine baskets. According to Casula, Ollolai’s relaxing vibe, tasty cuisine, and friendly locals are among its biggest draws.
In fall, the open courtyards welcome the public offering up wine, ham, cheese and other delicacies. There are carnivals and various folklore events that happen through the year, too.
Maybe the biggest draw? The town is just a one-hour drive from Sardinia’s beautiful coastline, where you’ll have access to the beach, cliffs, and activities like scuba diving.
As well as introducing the newcomers to cheese, pasta and basket making, the town will be offering dialect lessons, too. “Our language is hard to understand, even for Sardinians, but we know foreigners love to mingle. This is also a social experiment,” says Arbau.
Whether this town has healing powers or not, I think we can all agree that it is an amazing opportunity.
Would you love to live on this gorgeous Italian island?
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