Our New Year’s Resolution – Restore a Vacation Home!
When we first told people of our plan to travel to Italy, find a run down, ruin of a house and restore it back to life, we were met with either one of two reactions. The first was ‘are you mad?‘ and the second, ‘what a great idea – I would love to do something like that!‘
The first is understandable – for many, restoring a house in a foreign land is a huge commitment, and could be a financial disaster. If you don’t speak the language and have to deal with builders and tradespeople, each conversation (however small) will require the services of an interpreter. There is also the stress involved if you are not living in the property or cannot commit to being there for the duration of the works. Navigating and negotiating this from overseas can be difficult.
We had an advantage in that David speaks Italian, and we were able to do much of the work ourselves – although we did require builders to fit a new roof and pin our property. We also took three months away from the UK and stayed in the house while we worked on it. We made a makeshift temporary kitchen in the living room, and made sure that we fixed up one of the bathrooms so that we had two liveable rooms. And that was how we lived for weeks!
For those who are not adept to ‘slumming it’ as we did, we saw an opportunity to oversee vacation home renovations for people who buy a fixer upper in Italy. We met many people there who purchased homes but either had to remain in their homeland and fret about what work was being done (if any) to their new abode. Friends who did not speak Italian (or enough ‘technical’ Italian) had to hire an English speaking solicitor or translator. We were lucky that we did not need to do this and now offer all of these services to anyone buying a restoration project in Le Marche.
I cannot stress enough what a sense of achievement it gives to take a blank canvas and inject your own personality, taste and some good old fashioned love and care into the bricks and mortar.
So for anyone who told us ‘I would love to do that’, well, with us on side to oversee the project, you can!
Out Now – ‘A Prima Vista: Our Journey to Buying & Restoring an Italian Home’
Our guide on how to buy and restore a house in Italy is out now