Even if you blow your savings over the holidays, you could live in a farmhouse with lots of land for $1 a week. It's the rent that Trundle, Australia, is charging for seven fixer-uppers in a bush town that is somewhat of a fixer-upper as well.
Struggling with drought and an exodus of banks and families, Trundle came up with the Trundle Tree Change enticement to bring the place back to life. A "tree change" is Aussie slang for picking up and moving to the country.WalletPop inquired at the application site and got the following email response: "While unfortunately you were not successful on this occasion, your application will be kept in the event of future housing made available and we wish you and your family prosperity for the future."
Perhaps you'll have better luck. The application deadline for the first round of available homes is Dec. 12 and the program is open to the world. Note that the email also said interest has been overwhelming, so you'll have to stand out from the pack.
The outback outpost is pretty upfront about what it's looking for: families with parents who are handy with a hammer and kids to fill up the depleted schools. Oh yeah, you'll also have to be "keen to experience rural living," the website said.
This isn't a situation where you can use the money you'll save on rent to buy season tickets at the Sydney Opera House -- Trundle is 215 miles northwest.
The trickiest part might be getting a local job. Times are tough. The last bank skedaddled in October, leaving folks to do their banking at the post office or at a financial institution in a nearby city. The website offers resources for employment seekers.
Other than those thorny issues, the deal seems pretty sweet for the adventurous. The houses "need a bit of a clean and a bit of love but they're beautiful old houses," Dannielle Ward, a local, told Reuters. Chosen tenants are expected to negotiate with the land-owning farmers over who's paying for what in the refurbishing, according to the Tree Change website. The $1-a-week (95 cents U.S.) arrangement lasts for three years, and then the farmers no longer have an obligation to keep renting.
You won't be cramped. The living quarters sit on one hectare, or 107,639 square feet. Imagine sitting on your front stoop, playing the didgeridoo, staring out at nothing but wide-open spaces and the stars above. And let's not forget shrimp on the barbie. All for one measly buck.
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