You can buy a house in Croatia for just 16 cents (but there’s a catch)

Jun 17, 2021

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Rural population decline is affecting small towns across the world as young people venture away from home, drawn by the bustle and job opportunities found in larger, more metropolitan areas.

As a way to keep its numbers from dipping further, Legrad, a small town in Croatia, is attempting to draw new, young homeowners with the promise of cheap housing, offering abandoned and foreclosed homes for sale for as little as 1 kuna (16 cents), according to Reuters.

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Legrad, a small town in Croatia, is surrounded by forest. (Photo by Goran Safarek/EyeEm/Getty Images)

The local government is also offering up to $4,000 in assistance to help cover the cost of renovations to the properties, many of which are in considerable disrepair.

To purchase one of the properties and receive the funding, prospective buyers must meet several conditions, which include being younger than 40, financially solvent and willing to stay in the home for at least 15 years.

Legrad’s local government is offering foreclosed and abandoned homes for sale for as little as 16 cents, with stipulations. (Photo by Goran Safarek/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Anyone wishing to purchase a privately owned home in the town and who meets these criteria can ask the local government to subsidize 20% of the cost, up to a maximum of 35,000 kuna (about $5,600).

When Austria-Hungary broke apart in the early part of the 20th century, borders were redrawn, leaving Legrad near the new border between Croatia and Hungary. With fewer than 2,250 residents, the town is now less than half of the size it was just a few decades ago, in terms of population.

Interested parties must be younger than 40, financially solvent and willing to stay for at leat 15 years. Local government assistance is available to help with repairs, as most of the properties are run down. (Photo by Goran Safarek/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Although Reuters reports that there has been interest from people in other countries, the offer is open only to Croats for the time being.

In similar news, the tiny town of Nagoro in Japan has just 27 residents and no children. Instead, there are dolls — nearly 300 of them, handmade by one of the locals.

Meanwhile, Centralia — a town in Pennsylvania that was slowly abandoned as a mine fire burned underneath it for decades, causing sinkholes and release deadly carbon monoxide gas — is now completely empty.

While there are currently no real estate incentives being offered to draw young people back to Nagoro, and Centralia is completely uninhabitable, these are just two more examples of the decline of small municipalities across the globe.

Featured photo by Goran Safarek/EyeEm/Getty Images.

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