Tuesday, July 24, 2007


....why are you selling it? That has to be THE number one, most often asked question we get in emails about our house for sale. Of course I've answered just about every other question anyone could ever think of, but still! I guess if you're thinking about buying a house in Italy you always want to know "the rest of the story"...the stuff no one tells you, the stuff that might make you reconsider. Sure, moving to any foreign country is scary and confusing, but it's also an adventure and a challenge.

So the simple answer to the question is this: we're selling our house because we didn't plan on the dollar sinking like a stone. We're selling our house because we budgeted a set amount each month for our mortgage, and that amount has now increased by nearly 40%. We're selling our house because our plan was to travel, travel, travel once we were in Italy. We though we'd be able to travel without jet lag or security checks . To travel without exorbitant transatlantic airfares and masses of tourists. To take our bottled water or contact lens solution with us. Since we've lived in Italy our travel has been very limited due to the incredible shrinking dollar, and even Art (the optimist) had to admit the things aren't likely to improve any time soon.

Had the euro cost $1.38 when we started our house hunting we would have factored that in, but at the time we were looking, the so-called experts were predicting that the euro and the dollar would eventually settle out about one to one. Oh if only we'd had a crystal ball! But wait! No, I don't think I meant that!

If we'd had a crystal ball we would have said "No, at $1.38 we just can't afford to live in Italy and travel around Europe." I guess in a way I'm GLAD we didn't know what was to come, because if we had, we probably never would have had this experience, never would have met friends who have become so dear nor had the many, many experiences we've had here.

When we made the decision to move to Italy part of our reasoning was that we didn't want to wake up one day and think "Damn, I wish we'd gone to Italy!". We wanted to enjoy Italy while we were both still young enough and healthy enough to do so. Has anyone ever laid on their deathbed and wished they'd done LESS??? I think not.

So, here we are. We curse and moan and cringe every time we look at the exchange rate. We're sad that we'll be leaving the house we've so lovingly restored and the town that's adopted us. But part of us still shouts "YES!!! WE DID IT! WE LIVED OUR DREAM!", and now we know that what lies ahead is simply our NEXT adventure.

We're ready...how about you??? Have YOU lived your dream? Taken a chance? Thrown caution to the wind? What's the worst that could happen? For us, selling our house isn't an admission of failure, but rather a recognition that it's time to move on to the next house in the next place, wherever that may be. Isn't life exciting and full of surprises?

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At 7/24/2007 11:55:00 AM , Blogger Annika said...

I can't believe you STILL haven't sold your house!

You did the absolute right thing in moving to Italy though - if you hadn't, you would have regretted it and even if things are difficult for you now I doubt that you regret the move.. right?

At 7/24/2007 12:23:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks Annika! I guess I didn't make myself clear tho....the answer to your question is a big NO! we don't regret one second of our life in Italy!!!

At 7/24/2007 02:16:00 PM , Anonymous cigale said...

How many people can say I lived my dream and accomplish it? I wish that I could do what the two of you did. Move to the most beloved country in the world "Italy" (IMHO) You have been blessed with a adventure of a lifetime and the greatest opportunity and live your dream of living Italy and having a blast.
On my 50th birthday i am taking myself to Italy for a month. I have saved all my life for just this. I have read your blog since you started your great adventure in Italy. I am truly sorry you have to leave your dream and return to the US.

My saying is: Don't let anyone or any thing stand between you and your dreams!! Dreams have guided me over all my life, with out that life is not worth living!

At 7/24/2007 02:36:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Hey! Don't feel sorry for us! As I said previously, we have NO regrets, and know that the next adventure will be just as much fun as this one!

At 7/24/2007 11:02:00 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

I think it's great that you made the move to Italy. You had a dream and made it come true.

I have learned so much from reading your blog, although I don't comment much. As a matter of fact, my hairstylist and I are thinking of buying property in Italy, and I found a great deal of information here.

I look forward to reading more, even when you aren't in Italy.

At 7/25/2007 03:19:00 AM , Blogger Jane Richardson, writer said...

Barbara, I'm ra-ra-ra-ing you here! You did it! And what's more, you're going to do much, much more. No way is moving on an admission of failure, but more a willingness to reach out and take all that life can offer, and I admire you for that! My dream too is to live in Italy with my family, even if only for a short while. If it doesn't work out, then hey, no matter - we will have experienced it, rather than never knowing.
I'm thinking you got a sneak preview of my book - one character says 'no-one ever lay on their deathbed and wishes they'd spent more time in the office!'
You did it, you lived your dream - now go and live some more! All the best to you, Jane x

At 7/25/2007 06:03:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

Art and I have owned four houses together..we've LOVED each house, even thought each house would be the one we'd live in forever...and something always happened! I think it's called LIFE!

Just as with all our other houses, we'll leave this house in San Venanzo with sadness, but not with regret.

At 7/25/2007 02:07:00 PM , Anonymous Deb Rountree said...

Hey Barb....I love this entry! If we had more money than the euro, we'd love to buy your house! Don and I love Italy. We are looking forward to the day when we can live the same dream. It sounds like you've had a blast living there. Who knows what the future may bring...another destination or house?

At 7/27/2007 02:57:00 PM , Anonymous Tina said...

Well you already know I'VE taken the chance and thrown caution to the wind... so I can totally relate to you.

Hey, if you'd never bought your house and if I'd never moved to Perugia, we'd have never met, and we wouldn't have been able to share San Venanzo and that fabulous restaurant with my stepmother and cousin, who are STILL talking about it! :-) See, everything happens for a reason.

I hope you sell that house soon though!


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