9 Places Around the World Where You Can Score a House for $1

Discover the secret spots where a buck unlocks the door to your own home sweet home.
Updated May 8, 2024
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couple standing outside their new house

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According to Redfin, the median sale price for a home in the U.S. in March was $420,357. That is a lot of money for folks trying to get ahead financially.

But what if you could buy a home for around $1? Incredible as it sounds, there are places in the U.S. and around the world where it is possible. But it’s important to understand what you're getting into.

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Mussomeli, Italy

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe couple after buying new house

Italy has several towns trying to entice new residents with the promise of a home for one euro. These are mostly communities that are trying to repopulate.

In Sicily, the town of Mussomeli allows potential residents to buy a home for very little money, but some of them come with a catch.

For example, you'll probably have to pay for extensive renovations to make the home livable. The upgrades must be undertaken within three years of your purchase.

So, that one euro price tag will climb fast.

Tsuwano, Japan

hedgehog94/Adobe young happy couple receiving keys of new house from real estate agent

Japan has an aging population, which is why some areas of the country—mainly rural areas—are using low prices to entice young residents to buy homes.

As part of the offer in Tsuwano, you will be asked to rent out the home at a low rate before later receiving the option to become the owner. This can take a while — as long as 20 years in some cases.

Toronto, Canada

bernardbodo/Adobe couple getting new house getting emotional

Housing prices have been going up in Canadian cities such as Toronto. But even here, you can get a home for $1.

However, like other $1 homes on this list, there is a catch: Toronto real estate agents tell CTV News Toronto that the $1 price is really just the starting point in a bidding process.

These homes are ultimately expected to sell for far more than a buck.

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Monti Sciaga, Switzerland

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple renting a new house

Monti Sciaga is an Italian-speaking village in Switzerland with beautiful views and a great location. It’s relatively close to better-known — and more expensive — areas like Lake Como and Milan.

In 2019, the town put homes on the market for one Swiss franc to entice new residents to the area. But once again, the conditions stipulated that buyers must agree to pay for renovations that ultimately would push the price tag much higher.

There's no word on whether these homes are still available for sale.

Detroit, Michigan

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe family in front of house

Detroit has seen its share of struggles in recent years, which may be why some homes in the city are available for $1.

These homes often have structural issues or may be in less desirable areas, making them affordable for a reason. But in some parts of the city, more buyers are coming in to renovate or rebuild neighborhoods.

So, perhaps a $1 purchase might turn out to be a bargain at some point.

Roubaix, France

Dragana Gordic/Adobe couple getting keys from their realtor

France is another country trying to entice new buyers into areas that have experienced a declining population.

For example, Roubaix allows potential residents to buy a home for one euro. In exchange, homeowners must rehab and commit to owning the property as a primary residence for at least six years.

Legrad, Croatia

Aldeca Productions/Adobe keys with house door background

Croatia is another country that may appeal to you, especially if you’re looking for a cheap home.

In 2021, the town of Legrad began selling homes for one Croatian kuna, which is less than a dollar for a home. These homes require a lot of work, but the government was offering additional funds to help refurbish the home and make it more livable.

To qualify for the deal, you must be under 40, financially stable, and willing to live there for 15 years.

Ireland’s islands

simona/Adobe beautiful woman wearing sun hat showing keys of new apartment

Ireland is also having an issue with declining population on some small islands. So, the government created a program to pay people up to $92,000 if they buy a home in one of these places.

Granted, this isn’t like other programs where you pay just $1 for a home. But given the generous government payment, you could get a home for next to nothing if you find the right deal.

St. Louis, Missouri

Rido/Adobe woman hugging man while holding keys with moving boxes in background

St. Louis is another city in the U.S. where you can buy a home for $1. The Land Reutilization Authority owns these homes, which require extensive renovation.

The program began in 2019, but homes are still being offered in St. Louis for $1.

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Bottom line

WavebreakmediaMicro/Adobe couple with arms above

It may sound too good to be true, but there are really homes available for around $1 worldwide. However, other conditions might apply that raise the final price significantly.

So, you might want to grab your best travel credit card and see if any of these locations might be suitable for your dollar dream home.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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