18 January 2010
Our little piece of Italy
Who wouldn’t love to own a place in Italy?
We certainly would. Now we do!
Before we moved to Italy in 2006 we would peruse the web to see what the real estate market was like in various parts of Italy. It was always hard to get a good feel for what a place was really like based on the few photos and a limited description available on the internet. Once we arrived in the Rome area for our first summer we quickly realized that market area was well out of our reach.
Once we settled into Ascoli Piceno and I started to get involved in the local housing market we began to keep an eye and ear open to what the real estate market was like in that area. I had the opportunity to see several properties of various designs and degrees of ruin. In Italy it is not uncommon for a property that an American would consider condemned to be sold for a hefty price. These are either lovingly rebuilt to their former glory or torn down and replaced with a new structure. In Italy it is easier to build a house where one already exists than to build on a vacant plot of land.
We also looked at properties in Abruzzo and last winter when we relocated to Campania we looked at several areas in Campania and Basilicata. IN our last weeks in Italy before returning to the US in May we found a place that met all of our requirements and was affordable. The day before we flew back to Cleveland we had an oral agreement with the owner to become owners of a house in Basilicata.
Since our return to the US the seller has had to clear up the legal ownership of the house as several of her family members recently passed away and the property was never officially passed from one owner to the next. This was cleared up and last Friday Valerie and her friend Maria flew to Rome. Today Valerie met with the Notaio and we now own a place in Italy.
Mind you this is not a grand place, but a small apartment in a stone building that is situated in the medieval section of a small hill town. We will call the town "Lucanella", which is close to the ancestral area of Valerie’s Italian roots and in the region we find most captivating – Basilicata.
There will be more posts on why, where and what next but for now Valerie and I will raise a glass of Aglianico together, though on different continents, alla nostra casa in Italia.