How to Get a European Vacation Home for $1

How to Get a Free or Cheap European Vacation Home – Cond Nast Traveler

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Towns in Europe are giving away or cheaply selling vacation homes even entire villages but there’s a catch. Alamy The mountain town of Gangi on the Madonie mountains in the Province of Palermo, Sicily, where you can get a home for free. Who says an Italian vacation villa is out of your budget? Several cities and towns in Europe are practically giving away real estate, although there are some stipulations usually involving remodel or repairing requirements. Still, for a house-flipper with a love of travel, these deals might be too good to ignore.


The Sicilian town of Gangi announced in 2015 that they would be giving away some 300 homes11. The houses, known as pagglialore,are all three-floor properties that originally housed livestock downstairs and people on the top floor the animals essentially “heated” the homes and, as a result, they now require significant renovations. The new homeowners’ deal lets them have the deeds for free as long as they complete the work within four years. And due to depopulation, other Italian towns find themselves in similar situations: Carrega Ligure, Piedmont, and Lecce nei Marsi, Abruzzi (which has a population of just 98) are both selling homes for ‘ 1 ($1.13).


If a house isn’t quite enough for you, how about an entire village? Some parts of Spain are dealing with the effects of young people migrating into the cities, leaving entire small towns practically empty. For example, the town of O Penso in northwest Spain has been completely vacant since its last resident died a decade ago. The whole town is on the market for about $230,000, with room for bargaining if the right buyer comes along. British real estate agent Mark Adkinson lives in Spain and has developed a cottage industry of selling these empty towns and homes12.


Prefer to rent instead of buy? One enterprising Hungarian mayor has an offer for you: for just $780 a night, you can rent the entire town of Megyer13, an 11th century village about 100 miles southwest of Budapest. That $780 will get you seven houses, four roads, a chicken coop, a barn, and a bus stop. The town has about 18 current residents, should you want to get to know the locals. A local law allows the renter to become the town’s temporary mayor, which means you can rename one of the streets after yourself if you want to.

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