My House in Umbria…Heaven on Earth

 

House in Umbria

Dining al fresco – with a view that makes me keep pinching myself.

Welcome to my home away from home.

I’m a lucky man. When I made the journey from a life in the States to a permanent life in Italy, I purchased a house deep in the hills of Umbria, the rich, wild and earthy “green heart of Italy”. Talk about a respite from the noisy and busy pace of life in a larger metropolitan area!

If you’re looking for peace and tranquility, Umbria is an effective remedy.

Why do I call it “my home away from home”? Well, just over a year ago we moved north to Treviso, where we reside most of the time. Treviso is also pretty damn wonderful, but for different reasons. And, living in a city of over 80,000 people, it’s a contrast to the rural life in Umbria.

Just a week ago, we packed up the car (cats and all) and pointed our car south for the three-and-a-half-hour drive to our “country home”. We both needed to relax and “be still” before a very busy month ahead.

Take a virtual tour of my house in Umbria.

I’ve shared so much of my journey to building a life in Umbria. But, I realized I’ve never shared with you, my loyal followers,

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Learning the Ropes of Buying a Home in Italy

Buying a home in Italy, Italywise

Buying a home in Italy is easy, as long as you know the ropes.

When I bought my home in Italy I was surprised as just how easy it was. In fact, in was far easier than buying a car (which, unlike buying a house, requires being an Italian resident). I’ve written about purchasing a home in a prior post, but I feel compelled to call out the parts of the process that may throw you off balance if you aren’t forewarned.

When you are buying a home in Italy, you are buying the structure of the house, and not most of the fixtures in the house.

Unless you negotiate with the seller, don’t be surprised, when buying a house or apartment, to find every light fixture removed from the walls and ceilings, and much (if not all) of the kitchen removed. If you’re coming from the States, don’t be surprised by this different, but common, practice. Aside from lighting, bathroom fixtures come with the house (unless it is new construction and still you may have to add mirrors, shower enclosures, sinks and vanities).

Just don’t assume anything is “standard”. As long as you are working with a reputable agent (get references), he or she will help you with these important “ropes”. Anything is negotiable, and some sellers are amenable to selling some of the furnishings and fixtures in the house.

When you view potential properties, you may ask yourself how and why would the owner would remove the entire kitchen, since kitchens aren’t a one-size fit’s all. In reality, most owners don’t want to dismantle an entire kitchen, so be prepared to negotiate an additional cost to keep the existing kitchen (that is, if you like it).

Whatever you decide, make sure all is specified clearly in the compromesso di compravendita (the sales agreement).

A house inspection, as a condition of the sale of the house, isn’t a common practice in Italy.

You certainly can pay a geometra (the general work manager, or choreographer of engineers, builders and architects) to inspect a house and give you their take on the state of the house including any potential issues, and potential improvements (expansions, additional windows, etc.). But, you’ll have to do this before negotiating and signing the compromesso. Once you’ve signed the compromesso, you will have paid a sizeable deposit, which you will not get back if you decide to back out. And, if you do back out, still you may find yourself in legal proceedings.

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Buying a House in Italy

 

Buying a house in Italy is easier than you might think. But, the process is quite different from the States.

Buying a house in Italy is easier than you might think. But, the process is quite different from the States.

Looking back at all the things I’ve done in planning and relocating my life, buying a house in Italy was one of the easiest things…surprisingly. In fact, buying a house here is vastly easier than buying a car. Go figure. To buy a car in Italy, you must first be a resident, and that can take some time and patience. To buy a house, you need a codice fiscale (an Italian tax number) and you need to open an Italian bank account – which you can do in a non-resident status. Once you have done those two things, you can pretty much head back to your current home country and handle the remainder of the negotiations and transactions from there –  provided already you’ve found a property that captured your heart, and provided you’ve taken a good, thorough look at the property.

Don’t waste your time trying to figure out why the “system” here makes it fairly easy to buy a house, while making the purchase of a car such an arduous process. Just appreciate that buying a house can go pretty smoothly…provided you take into consideration the following advice.

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