2020 is drawing to an end and probably will have been the most extraordinary year in the lives of most of us. If it was a wasted year depends much on what we did with the extra time we had and the challenges we faced.
Many bought musical instruments, read books, asked soul-searching questions and even questioned the meaning of life and wondered where this is all leading. And then some bought houses they hadn't even seen. Yes, you read that right! We've been helping buyers find homes here even though they cannot view the houses in person.
Where do these people come from? So far, American. It's little wonder that some feel the need to get themselves as far from the country as possible with what's been going on there.
Let's give a couple of examples.
She's from Mexico originally but for many years has had her life in New Mexico, USA with her American husband. They have some property assets there but always dreamed of owning a home here in Italy. They'd worked for 5 years in Turin, Piedmont's capital, some years ago but fell in love with the Langhe and Monferrato, and the food and wine.
We spoke on Zoom and Elena asked if we had anything interesting on the books. Yes! I had a couple of things - a beautiful house in La Morra selling for a low price of just €355,000 (now sold), and a beautiful building in the Monferrato, just north of Asti in the stunning rolling hills. It was fully restored by the owners as luxury rental apartments but he had a car accident so they decided to sell. It was a difficult property to sell. The house was beautiful but dusty and untidy and the owners rushed prospective buyers through with no time to take it all in. There was little chance of selling it with owners like this so the price went down and down. One buyer told me he thought it was a scam as it was so cheap. Well, it wasn't.
We did a couple of Zoom tours of the house and that was it, Elena paid the deposit in August and planned to come in November to sign the paperwork. Covid-19 got worse, she couldn't get here so we set up power of attorney in my son's name and the house was registered in her name.
Elena hopes to get here in March so see her wonderful house for the first time (we'll be sure to video the moment and share it with you). It has 4 luxury apartments, 3 of them will be for weekly rental if you require accommodation when you visit, you might even get to see it before Elena!
The property is exceptional and the price made it giveaway. Elena was smart to jump on it, despite the current crisis.
More recently, the past week, we've had another American couple close to retirement. Virtual tours on Zoom had their interest in the Mondovì area but the houses didn't have the right challenges for them so we directed them to a wonderful house in Asti. It's been on the market a while but the photos weren't up to much, it was a matter of getting out there to redo them.
Again, they've bought a wonderful house. It's perfect for their needs and they can enjoy their retirement being a stone's-throw from the city in the Monferrato hills.
Are they crazy? Think about the situation many people find themselves in - they're in a country they're tired and bored of. They want a change, life is drawing on and they want adventure, a measure of risk and the thrill of doing something the average person wouldn't dream of doing. The cautious are happy to label them as insane for even thinking about it but they do it. People tell me they trust me (I'm happy!) and we give them as much information as possible, plenty of virtual viewings and media to help make the decision a well informed one. 18 years ago we packed up our life in the UK and came with next to nothing, just a spirit of adventure, pockets full of courage and the desire to not waste a moment. We've never looked back with regret on our decision to choose to live here and we're confident many have the same aspirations and courage to do the same.
Now is the time to buy. It's not me saying it, people are speaking with their actions and not waiting. Italy is a great place to live. It has the weather, the food, the best wines, a lifetime of things to explore and it's just much more fulfilling than many other modern countries. Get in touch!
"They want a change.. adventure, a measure of risk and the thrill of doing something the average person wouldn't dream of doing"