For some, the reaction to learning a rustic is giving homes away would be to mount subsequent plane, no questions asked, to urge yourself a dwelling . But, upon hearing that Japan is for free of charge |freely giving|giving freely"> making a gift of abandoned homes for free, my first question was "Buy why?"

According to VICE, upwards of eight million homes are vacant throughout Japan (a striking number that a report from 2013 found) and therefore the number will only still increase in the years to return , even approaching an estimated 20 million by 2033, the Fujitsu Research Institute projects. Currently, the homes are being listed on sites referred to as "akiya banks" or databases for vacant homes, some for free of charge et al. for very low prices.

Japan is doing this, VICE shares, in an effort to deal with the country's housing crisis, which is caused by several various factors . Firstly, Japan's population is aging rapidly leading to homes being left unoccupied when owners die or move to retirement or nursing homes. But, a way more unfortunate—and even scary—fact is that homes are abandoned because others are essentially too nervous to shop for them thanks to superstition.

"Properties related to tragedies like suicide, murder, or 'lonely deaths' are thought to bring bad luck in Japanese culture, making it harder to sell them on to a replacement owner and further feeding the surfeit of vacant properties that are slowly falling into disrepair round the country." this is often so true, in fact, that INSIDER points out the Oshimaland site, which actually lists properties you should avoid at all costs (even if there are literally none.) In other words, some of the free homes Japan is trying to give away to future occupants did not have the happiest history. Plus, if you're superstitious, they're certainly bad luck—if not also haunted (it's more common than you think, even in the U.S.)

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

Taylor Mead Taylor is that the Editorial Assistant for House Beautiful and Delish.