It’s more than twice the price of a $ 1 slice of pizza, but homeowners looking for a fixer-upper can still head to Italy to grab something nice.
On the island of Sicily, Sambuca di Sicilia – which became world famous in 2019 for selling an inventory of abandoned houses for just € 1 or just over $ 1 to revive the depopulated city – is gaining a second batch of similar properties, according to CNN Travel. This time they double the cost: a whopping € 2 or $ 2.36 in US currency.
The new inventory includes around 20 abandoned buildings, many of which are adjacent to a house. City officials hope the high inventory and low price will allow business-hungry buyers to buy more than one property and combine them, reports CNN.
This portfolio is in Sambuca’s Saracen neighborhood, which the locals abandoned after an earthquake in 1968.
Specifically, they’ll be auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder for the still-low price of € 2, the dollar equivalent of less than a strike on the New York subway. The application process ends on November 5th and a public auction is expected to take place a few weeks later.
In 2019, after the enthusiasm for the 1 euro houses, the sales organizers resorted to auctioning off the first wave at 16 – four of which are currently being renovated. One number eventually sold for € 1, but prices peaked at € 25,000, or $ 29,531 at today’s exchange rate. Most have sold for a current dollar value of between approximately $ 6,000 and $ 12,000.
One of those buyers was Brooklyn-born actress and “Sopranos” star Lorraine Bracco, who recorded her year-long renovation on HGTV’s “My Big Italian Adventure”. She bought the 200 year old, dilapidated casa for 1 euro. She later bought the property next door in a private sale, adding three bedrooms and two bathrooms for an additional $ 53,157.
Even ordinary people took advantage of the opportunity. In 2019, the story of Chicago’s Meredith Tabbone, who bought a Sambuca mansion for $ 6,000, appeared in multiple reports. Since then, she has recorded her experiences on social media – for all who follow her example and who strada less traveled.
The excitement for this first sale brought life to the sleepy town, with new wine bars, photo labs and boutiques.
What buyers can get in this round: a couple of one-story houses whose Moorish courtyards have lemon trees. There are also multi-story units with outdoor areas overlooking green fields where sheep roam. Even vacant lots and spaces between buildings are auctioned, which gives successful bidders the freedom to build their spaces from scratch. Other options are houses with painted majolica tile floors.
What is certain is that the majority of the offer needs serious repair.
Those interested in bidding are required to pay a $ 5,906 deposit guarantee, which is fully refundable if they lose the bid. After the purchase is complete, new owners must complete their renovations within three years.