Mr B Metcalf
Buying through Vignaverde
Sophie and I had decided that we wanted to buy in Italy and particularly in Abruzzo. We did not know a lot about the area but did a lot or research on the internet as well as searching for suitable properties. There are so many agents and so much advice!
With all the research in place we booked an independent trip to Abruzzo for 5 days visiting three areas, Pescara, Teramo and Chieti and 4 separate agents in late June. We based ourselves at Palombaro (Chieti region) at the suggestion of Dave having met him at ‘La Dolce Vita’ exhibition in London and arranged to see him on the first two days.
Our brief was as follows. We were looking for a foothold in the area, a property for ourselves which we would initially use as a holiday home and holiday let. In time we intend to retire to Italy and invest in further property as holiday lets. We had an initial budget of £50,000 and allowing for fees decided that E50,000 should be our limit. We felt that we wanted a property with some land rather than a townhouse. We did, however, have open minds.
Dave suggested that he would take us out in the mornings and show us around taking in some properties. We were left to our own devices in the afternoons. Initially we walked around the town of Palombaro with a friendly chat from Dave to enable him to get to know us and our intentions. He showed us a couple of townhouses and we quickly established that this was not the way forward. He then took us off to visit some other properties closer to our brief. It was all done in a very relaxed manner and we also did some sightseeing. By the end of the first morning we had a couple of possibilities, a plot of land and the ‘bunker’, a stone and concrete ruin. In the afternoon we drove around the area visiting the local ski resort and getting a better feel. The second morning was the same routine and included revisiting our possibilities.
Days three and four were far more hectic with visiting properties in morning and afternoon with other agents. It many ways we tried to do too much but it confirmed that the area of our initial search was the right area. One of the agent’s command of English was as good as my Italian and we had difficulty getting our interests across. Another’s was somewhat better but still the language caused difficulty. It is important to speak Italian here and we are learning. The fourth agent was good but he was working outside our preferred area.
Our experience demonstrated the need to closely define your search area. Given that area, get to know it well and enlist the services of a local agent that you are comfortable with. We tried to do too much. In the four days of viewing we took over 700 photographs and visited about 40 properties.
Dave’s relaxed approach made the process easy and we were not put under pressure until of course ……….. On the evening of day four Dave contacted us to say that he had another interested party in the ‘bunker’. He was bound to say that but was keen to show us that this was actually the case and not a sales pitch. We had more or less made the decision anyway and on the following morning agreed a price.
The purchase was a bit of a leap in the dark but we were guided along the way by Vignaverde. They helped us set up a local bank account and get a Codice Fiscale, the Italian tax registration number. The next stage is to get the necessary plans into place and the water and power reconnected to our site. This service can also be provided by Vignaverde and I feel confident of their help.
Purchasing a house is supposed to be one of the most stressful things you can do. Using Vignaverde, it was a pleasurable experience – I have not had so much fun in ages! Thank you.