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Here is our #6 in our Pausa Series
“WE HAVE A PLACE IN ITALY”
By: Kathleen Ventre
Ponza, Lazio, Italia
Wow! This is fantastic. Who would have predicted? Thought about it for a long time? If you can say you “have a place in Italy” then you probably have fielded these comments many times (usually accompanied by raised eyebrows or other body language indicating disbelief) from friends and family. Whether you jump in with both feet for complete move, or a one-foot-at-a-time dip in the waters (occasional residence), what does it mean to “have a place in Italy”?
Well, just as in USA or UK, a lot depends on your financial level of comfort. Lots of cash to splash around means that great property, plenty of the type of space you are used to, modern fixtures, refurbished features, desirable location and privacy. “Middle” (whatever it means to you) financial comfort level means interesting architecture and subsequent views, modern fixtures, refurbished features, desirable locations, and a bit less space. Undoubtedly you have immediately noticed that financial levels of comfort differ in one basic aspect – space, inside and out. “Lower” financial comfort level basically means all of the above possibilities with one caveat – less space.
When you are defining “Italian” in terms of real estate, lots of people with an eye on properties in Italy have a specific idea in mind. That could be gigantic rooms with wooden-beamed ceilings, wooden or ceramic floors, functioning but antique bathrooms, huge kitchens (because the Italians cook, right?), property set on a hill a bit out of town, etc. etc. Aside from the gigantic room idea and extensive outside property, the financial level of comfort doesn’t differ too much in terms of your Italian dream. It is the size.
Manziana, Lazio, Italia
OK, let’s see what we can call “Italian” at the middle financial comfort level. The most noticeable difference from the level just above it is size – you can still have those wooden beams, ceramic floors, functioning but modern bathrooms, mid-sized kitchens maybe eat-in, property close-in or center of small towns. We find the most surprising “Italian” offerings – similar across both financial levels – wooden beams, ceramic/marble floors, small but eminently functional bathrooms, the most ingenious kitchen space management, out of or in town. To reiterate, the difference is space.
Here is a question for you – if you are looking for an exact copy of what you have in the USA or UK, why are you going to the trouble to “have a place in Italy” – fix up your existing place wherever you are and be done with it.! Think about it. The most intelligent thing would be to combine your love of all things Italian with your love of efficiency and reasonable space answering your needs, with the amount of financial comfort level you can work with.
Here is a matching graph about average Italian properties in and around Lazio which maybe can help you to a decision.
FINANCIAL COMFORT LEVEL
80-100 square meters
In/Out of Town
Out of town with outside
Closer in with small, outside space
One thing you need to pay attention to is that, for the most part, most people in the US live in detached houses, most people in the UK live in a combination of detached houses and apartments, and most people in Italy (as in Europe) live in apartments. Here are some stats to go with this fact: average house size US 203 square meters, average house size UK 104 square meters, and in Italy 81 square meters.
Why am I telling you this? 2 reasons – 1) please realize that if you are from the US, you come from the country with the largest average house size in the world, if you come from the UK, you come from the country with one of the smallest average house size in Europe, and Italy ranks well……way down there. 2) so when you feast your American eyes on the space in an Italian house, ADJUST DOWNWARD, and UK eyes, ADJUST UPWARD! Simple, no?
Check on how your dream property ranks with these statistics and your financial level of comfort, by browsing our Casa Capital Investment site properties, pay close attention to the property size, and then compare it with the above stats and you will receive a good reality check. Count the bedrooms and bathrooms for your own and visitor space needs. How extensive is the outside space. Does it fit your idea of a “place in Italy”?
Just a few things more to consider about space. In a nutshell, think small = efficient, easy to clean, cheap to furnish, and easy to maintain, lower taxes! In other words, do you want a house to live in or do you want a burden? These are ideas to think and talk about.
Now, let’s return to the main point of this argument, that of what constitutes a “place in Italy”. Many of our clients indicate that they would like their property to have an Italian feel to it, for example in terms of décor, architecture and location. At the same time they feel that the cost of such an Italian feel might be beyond their reach. Look at the grid above, as well as the properties/prices on our site, and you can see that generally in terms of design and and location, Italian feel is available across the two financial levels of comfort: obviously the difference occurs in size. In the end, of course, you the buyer must make the decision about what is the perfect “place in Italy” for you. Buona fortuna!
Tarquinia, Lazio, Italia