The City of St. Louis has just launched a pilot program where the municipality will sell some 500 city-owned homes for just $1 each. The homes are all located in the most devastated areas of the city.

The city has placed 522 homes owned by its Land Reutilization Authority on its Dollar House program list. They’re all single-family homes smaller than 1,500 square feet. And they’ve all been owned by the LRA for at least five years.

Before you all go running out to pick up a couple of dozen homes, the low cost deal comes with strings attached. 

The city requires all buyers to, within 120 days of buying the property, stabilize the structure and improve its facade to meet city building codes. Many of the homes are in pretty bad shape and will need significant investment to make them livable.

A spokesman for St. Louis Development Corporation, which oversees the Land Reutilization Authority, said that city officials will consider offering extensions for any rehabs that take longer than 18 months “case by case.”

Buyers are also required to renovate the property to a livable condition within 18 months.

And the final requirement may be the toughest, at least for real estate investors. The buyer must live in the property for at least three years.

Buyers must inspect the property, make a renovation plan and budget, then apply to purchase it.