The newest town to join the € 1 house endeavour.
Buried in the province of Ticino, an Italian-speaking region in southern Switzerland, the town of Monti Sciaga is the latest to join the €1 house trend.
The proposal by the town is to sell nine homes, priced at just one Swiss franc (€0.91 / £0.82). The hope of the town council is to find buyers for properties the locals call ‘rustici’ – essentially old stone ruins, under the conditions that the new owner will renovate and prepare the properties for occupation. In order to be eligible to acquire one of the homes, prospective buyers must agree to restore the buildings within a three year period, with a minimum amount of 16,515 CHF (€15,000 / £13,200) that has to be spent. Furthermore, a 5,503 CHF (€5,000 / £4,400) security deposit is required, which will be refunded upon the completion of the refurbishment.
Monti Scìaga offers breathtaking views over Lake Maggiore and a backdrop consisting of the swiss and Italian alps. Not only does this small town allow visitors and residents to experience the traditional Italian ‘dolce vita’ but through it’s advantageous location, situated just 125 km from Milan, 50 km from Lugano and 80 km from Lake Como, it also provides easy access to big cities and airports.
The town is one of the most remote villages that still has a population in the region. It is described as “a mountain nucleus almost completely abandoned since the 1970s but has maintained its original structure with traditional architectural elements” in the official release of the town council. Regardless of the overall condition of the houses, the entire town has access to running water – a big advantage. Many buildings are dilapidated and resemble ruins, but in spite of this, the townspeople are charming and welcoming, creating a town worthy of protection.
The local council plans to begin their efforts by building accommodations for hikers and cyclists in an attempt to draw more people to the area. Monti Scìaga’s plan is similar to many projects already underway in other rural parts of Italy. These kinds of offers have become a growing trend in Europe, designed to attract new residents into the depopulated villages in a bid to ‘breathe new life’ into these communities. The majority of young people leave rural areas to move to cities and busier towns in search of work and better academic opportunities, leaving many towns at the risk of disappearing if nothing is done to grow the population.
Before the properties in Monti Sciaga are available for sale, local authorities and the town council must approve the proposal and agree upon regulations, this is expected to take place in the fall.
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