Italian town is offering free houses for anyone who’ll move there

Discussion in 'Luxury and Lifestyle' started by dealmaker, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. dealmaker


    Italian town is offering free houses for anyone who’ll move there
    By Zachary Kussin

    November 7, 2019 | 11:41am | Updated

    Enlarge Image
    Cammarata, facing a dwindling population, is giving away real estate for free. Getty Images/iStockphoto
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    If you’re sick of paying too much in rent for a tiny New York City apartment, you move into a stone building in Sicily for free.

    The mayor of the town of Cammarata, Vincenzo Giambrone, is trying to save his town from population decline. He plans to do so by having local families who have abandoned their homes hand over their properties to new owners — with no money exchanged. Some 12 houses are now available.

    But CNN reports that the free homes, which are both empty and crumbling, come with some strings attached.

    The new owners must fix up the structures on their own dime within three years, as well as put down a $4,300 deposit that will be returned once the work is completed. The owners must also present their renovation plans to the town for approval.

    There is an additional financial bonus, however. Priority for the free real estate will be given to young families with children. And couples who move to Cammarata and end up having a child there will receive $1,100. There’s also some flexibility: It’s not a requirement to use the buildings as primary residences. Other potential uses include hotels, shops and restaurants.

    “I can’t stand to see this gorgeous, old historical center empty and turn into a ruin. It hurts me,” Giambrone told CNN. “The owners are oblivious to the damage they cause when they ditch their homes and refuse to restyle their ancient dwellings. It leaves a deep scar on the townscape with the risk of dangerous collapses.”

    Cammarata, located about 40 miles southeast of the Sicilian capital of Palermo, is known for its picturesque setting. It looks out to Mount Etna, is filled with reddish stone buildings and has a lush green landscape.

    UK-based businessman Jose Augusto Manetta Ramos tells CNN he’s tempted by the opportunity to own a home in Cammarata.

    “I’ve visited other villages selling 1-euro [$1.10] houses in central Italy, but I want a warmer place,” he says.

    Giambrone says existing residents will warmly welcome new neighbors.

    “Visitors and guests come first, even before our own family,” he tells CNN. “Newcomers trigger change, innovation, new ideas. They revamp the local economy and can kick-start a revolution.”
  2. Overnight


    That's brilliant. Etna is still an active volcano, you know. It could blow at any time.

    Yeah, lemme' move my whole family out to a town abandoned by it's residents, with no hope of economic survival, because you live at the base of an active volcano. Anyone there ever wonder why a coffee shop ain't going to work and bring in global tourism?
  3. easymon1


    Got Internet?
    sysdevel99 likes this.
  4. Beautiful town. But what job opportunities are there for those who move in?
  5. tomorton


    The town has a basic website and there's a sweet little guide pdf in English. The place looks charming and as quiet as you could possibly imagine.

    Strangely, the site reports Commander of the town's Municipal Police, Enzo Traina, has recently died unexpectedly, at the age of 60. He sadly leaves behind a widow and a daughter. He was also the grandfather of a 9-yr-old nephew........
    In 2011, Commander Traina was commissioned to perform the role of Head of the Supervisory Area, after the sudden death of predecessor Commander Lucio Mangiapane.......

    Its all on the website, I kid ye not.
  6. They probably live off tourism then?
  7. elderado