Abandoned villages for sale now trending for expat adventurers

Abandoned villages for sale now trending for expat adventurers

Abandoned villages for sale now trending for expat adventurers

Which is the best European country in which to buy an entire abandoned village to renovate?

Whichever European country came up first with the unique idea to sell off entire, abandoned villages as well as individual properties for total renovation, it started a trend now spreading all over Europe’s rural regions. Rural depopulation had all but destroyed some of Europe’s most spectacular countryside, with young people and those of working age deserting their traditional lives is favour of the lure of jobs in the big cities and the elderly no longer able to maintain either their lifestyles or their homes.

For expatriates with enough cash to cover massive renovations within the average allowed period of three years or so, it’s the chance of a lifetime to create their very own traditional village in a stunning setting. It’s now possible to buy into the dream in Italy, Spain or even Switzerland, and it’s fast becoming a movement supported by groups eager to create their very own creative community.

One such is the French hilltop village of Bourmont, with one large house bought for a few thousand euros some years ago by a long-term American expat. She saw her investment as a chance not just to create a vacation rental property and weekend home, but also to provide a community for like-minded craftspeople and creative talents. Nowadays, her dream community is growing, with artists and entrepreneurs snapping up similar properties for renovation.

Italy is a favourite for would-be renovators, with homes and entire villages spread all over the land from the north to the wilds of Sicily. Bisaccia village in Italy’s Campania region to the east of Naples has some 90 properties for sale in its central areas, all for one euro each. All are clustered together, with the locals hoping this will attract entire families and their friends, thus creating a communal revival for the entire village.

Spain has an estimated 3,000 deserted hamlets, and is trending towards selling entire villages for restoration with the intent of reselling. One group is already restoring properties with the intent of marketing them as habitable homes in a spectacular setting whilst living there themselves. Another hamlet, abandoned since the end of the Spanish Civil War, is on sale for €425,000, slightly highly-priced compared with similar offerings in Italy.

Even Switzerland, one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive countries, is getting in on the trend, with nine abandoned homes in the small hillside town of Monti Sciaga up for sale and renovation at one Swiss franc each. The good news is that all are connected to the municipal water supply, and the even better news is that this region is the remotest part of the country, making it the perfect location for expats desperate for peace and quiet.

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