If you thought you missed out on the chance to buy an abandoned home in Italy for 1 euro and don’t mind undertaking what potentially amounts to a considerable amount of restoration, the town of Pratola Peligna has a deal for you.
Pratola Peligna, which is about a 2-hour drive from Rome, has somewhere around 630 abandoned buildings. Of those, approximately 250 are now for sale for 1 euro in a move town officials hope will preserve the town’s history while also stimulating economic growth by attracting new homeowners.
“Our goal is to make them all shine again and recover the beauty of the old center, even if that may take a while,” local councilor Paolo Di Bacco told CNN.
A Picturesque Location
Pratola Peligna, which dates back to medieval times, is in the Province of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. That means the town is in the Peligna Valley of the Apennine Mountains, near numerous ski resorts.
Pratola Peligna is also near several parks, including Majella National Park, Sirente-Velino Regional Park, and the National Park of Abruzzo. Majella National Park, which is less than a 30- minute drive from Pratola Peligna, is still inhabited by deer, bears, wild cats, and numerous birds of prey, including golden eagles.
The Need For New Growth
Like other Italian towns selling 1 euro houses, Pratola Peligna has a steadily declining population. While the town had approximately 13,000 residents in the 1930s, that number has fallen to today’s population of around 7,000 as many residents left looking for better and higher paying jobs.
Some of the abandoned houses are in relatively good condition. On the other hand, many are in need of significant restoration while others are, essentially, ruins. In fact, the municipality has issued more than 40 warnings to owners noting that the house is in imminent danger of collapse, according to 1eurohouses.com.
“If a roof collapses or a wall disintegrates, posing a threat to public safety, the town hall intervenes to secure the building and will make old owners, or their heirs, pay for the damage and repair,” local councilor Di Bacco told CNN.
In response, some owners have deeded houses to local authorities to avoid the burden and cost of maintaining buildings. That’s why Pratola Peligna is now able to sell houses for 1 euro.
A Novel Approach
Pratola Peligna has put a new twist on its process of selling 1 euro houses.
Other towns selling 1 euro houses typically require buyers to pay a deposit of thousands of dollars to guarantee they will actually renovate their new home. Pratola Peligna, however, will instead simply issue the new owner a fine of 10,000 euros (approximately $11,500) if they fail to register a detailed plan of restoration with the town within 6 months.
“This is really in a worst-case scenario,” Di Bacco told CNN. “We just want to make sure buyers actually follow through on their commitment and don’t simply purchase a house for 1 euro and then disappear.”
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