In most Western countries, it seems like house prices just keep on going up and up. As populations increase, demand for homes rises and the value of the property just gets higher and higher. In certain parts of the world, however, especially under economies going through troubled times, some incredible properties can be found for shockingly low prices.
Over in Spain, deep in the rural countryside of this beautiful European nation, many historic stone homes that have been standing for decades are available for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay. In fact, entire villages and hamlets are actually being sold, with some available for under $100,000.
Naturally, there are real estate agents keen to get in on the action. Interviewed by NPR, British real estate expert Mark Adkinson shared details of how his company, Galician Country Homes, works to find abandoned homes and villages, trying to track down the descendants of the formers owners and arrange sales.
Adkinson’s work can be tiring, as the home-owners can be difficult to track down. He revealed that many of the properties he finds have simply been left abandoned for decades — and in many cases, whole villages are just left to turn into eerie lifeless towns.
O Penso is one example of these abandoned towns. Complete with 100 acres of land, half a dozen homes, and a few barns, the whole place is being sold for around $230,000; an eye-wateringly low price for such a lot of land and property, not to mention the fact that the whole place is surrounded by stunning scenery and only a few miles from the beach.
Adkinson also explained that the locals who do actually stick around want to see some life return to these sleepy little villages and hamlets. Many of them have fond memories of seeing children playing in the streets and hearing the noise of friendly chatter and fiestas for special occasions, but all of that is lost to the history books, for now.
So how did these villages and properties become so neglected? Well, it’s all a question of changing times. As society has evolved and urban centers have grown and developed, many people simply prefer to live in or near big cities for the job opportunities and amenities these locations provide.
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The sad fact of the matter is that residents of these “middle of nowhere” villages began to find themselves just too far from schools, hospitals, shops, factories, jobs, and more. Young people flee these kinds of areas to pursue careers in big cities, leaving villages mostly empty, with only the elderly left in most of the homes.
Interestingly, the government in Spain is actually trying to turn things around. They’ve come up with various incentives, including tax breaks for those who move to rural areas, and politicians have been pledging to build new schools, hospitals, and other facilities out in countryside regions. They’ve also funded development for internet networks and roads.
However, some fear that the damage has already been done. Estimates suggest that the vast majority of Spain’s population will be living in the country’s biggest cities like Barcelona and Madrid in decades to come. As the world becomes even more dependent on tech and development, the old ways of these little villages may be forgotten.
Still, with people like Mark Adkinson working to try and save these rustic homes and breathe new life into these Spanish ghost towns, there could be some hope for them yet. Many people outside of Spain have shown a huge interest in purchasing these properties, especially those wishing to enjoy a simpler kind of life.
At a time when an increasing number of people are pursuing the fast pace of the city, there are still plenty out there, many of whom have grown tired with their own urban lifestyles, looking for something simpler and more natural. For those people, buying a rustic Spanish home or even an entire village for less than a big city apartment might seem like a deal they can’t refuse.