Yes, I’m doing it again—pointing out places where writers can acquire a home for almost nothing. In this case, the opportunity is in Japan, where a below-replacement birthrate since the 1970s means many homes outside metro-Tokyo have no one to live in them. They sit empty, waiting for buyers who never come.
Unlike Detroit, the Japanese crime rate is low and social services fine. On the other hand, even with virtually free housing, the cost of living may be higher than in the U.S. That said, many of these cities are within commuting distance of Tokyo, where the excitement is.
Looking to liven up you writing by living someplace different? This might be an option and, as a writer, you would not need to get a job in Japan. Another option might be to find on in good shape and in a good location and pass it along to writer after writer, each of who stays for a time. The home could be rented or sold and resold.
Something to think about anyway, particularly if you’re trying to escape from a particularly deep bout of writer’s block.