Speed Reading — Homes for Sale - Level 6 — 200 wpm

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Try the same text at a reading speed of 300 words per minute.

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It sounds like a dream come true for anyone looking to get on the property ladder - a home for one euro (about $1.14). A picturesque town on the island of Sicily, Italy is selling houses for just €1. The bargain price is to attract people to move to the hilltop town of Sambuca because of a rapid decline in its population. Like many rural towns in Italy, the number of Sambuca's residents is dwindling because many young people are moving to cities. The Sambuca mayor believes the houses will be easy to sell because his town is so attractive. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, is close to gorgeous beaches and has retained its heritage with its cobbled streets and Arabesque architecture.

Like all bargains, there is a small catch to the one-euro houses - the buyer must promise to spend $17,000 on renovating the property within three years of purchasing it. Sambuca's deputy mayor said the houses are owned by the town, so there is little of the red tape normally associated with buying a property. He said: "We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you'll get it in no time." He promised potential buyers would love the town. He said: "This fertile patch of land is dubbed the "Earthly Paradise". We're located inside a natural reserve, packed with history. Gorgeous beaches, woods and mountains surround us. It's silent and peaceful - an idyllic retreat for a detox stay."

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