Thursday, March 18, 2010

AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

I've been sitting on this news for about a month now, not wanting to jinx things, or rush in too quickly, but I think at long last I can say with confidence:  WE'VE SOLD OUR HOUSE! 

We accepted an offer in mid February, but because our buyer was back in the states when he made the offer it took a while for the contract to be drawn up, sent to the states, then signed and mailed back here.  Now we've all signed the contract and the deposit has been paid so we're breathing a sigh of relief! 

Of course this is a time of mixed emotions for us.  We've lived in this house (6 1/2 years) longer than any other house we've owned!  This is rather strange for me, since I always thought I'd find the perfect house and live there forever!  If you've been following our story you know that we're retired on a pension, and when we made the move to Italy the euro had just been introduced and was expected to settle in to a one to one exchange rate with the U.S. dollar. 

Unfortunately for us, it seems that as soon as we arrived in Italy the dollar began it's long, slow and painful decline.  We make extensive renovations to our house, bought a car, and had a mortgage, all at an exchange rate we really hadn't planned on, yet we were determined to make it work.  Eventually the car was paid off, but the exchange rate continued to get worse.  Occasionally there would be a slight improvement in the exchange rate, but no one ever expected the euro and dollar to hit the one to one rate originally forecast.  What this meant for us was that although we were in Italy, we weren't able to do what we really wanted to do:  travel.  Eventually we decided that traveling was more important than living in Italy, and decided to sell 

Needless to say the exchange rate that made it so difficult for us was also a concern for others who might want to buy our house.  The economy was slowing, then came the big crash in the fall of 2008, and we continued to wait for a buyer.  We just knew there was someone out there who would love our house and our town as much as we did, and we never gave up hope.  Still, once you've made a big decision like this, once you've accepted it, then you just want to DO it, so the waiting was hard. 

While we were on vacation in the states this past winter we received an email from one of our agents, Katia at Domus Italia.  She asked if her client could see our house at the beginning of February and of course we agreed.  Eventually we also heard from Stew,  an American who works with Domus Italia. Stew's website, SEE YOU IN ITALY features lots of properties for sale. Stew and his wife own a house in Panicale, so they're back and forth between the states and Italy quite a bit. Stew also writes a BLOG about their time in Italy.

I guess our buyer had found our house on Stew's site, contacted him, and arranged for a visit.  Stew, our buyer, and a friend arrived in Italy early one Sunday morning in February.  I had offered to make them lunch so that they could stop here on their way from the airport, rather than having to drive to Panicale, then turn around and drive back to San Venanzo. 

We had a nice lunch and really liked our potential buyer.  He has Italian heritage on both sides of his family, and owns an Italian deli.  When he retires in a few years he plans to spend about half his time in Italy and half his time in the states. 

Unfortunately our buyer won't be able to be here for the closing, so now we have to wait for the power of attorney documents to arrive, for the notaio to set a closing date, and for a few additional documents.  As usual we had already made plans to return to the states in mid-April, but now when we leave everything will be different!  Our next trip to Italy we'll come as visitors, and stay with friends or in rented apartments. 

We're excited to begin the next adventure, and hope our buyer enjoys his time in San Venanzo as much as we have.  Will the blog continue?  Hmmmm.....

18 Comments :

At 3/18/2010 02:37:00 AM , Blogger Gil said...

Congratulations! Again. Where is the new owner's deli? If close to me I'll buy a mortgage payment or two worth of food from him or her.

 
At 3/18/2010 02:42:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

thanks Gil - again! The deli is in a small town north of NYC - any chance you'll be stopping by?

 
At 3/18/2010 04:57:00 AM , Blogger Diana Strinati Baur said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

(oops sorry, got excited there)

Now you can cash all those Euros in for Dollars. FINALLY THERE IS REVENGE!!!

So very happy for you both.

 
At 3/18/2010 07:44:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats! I'll miss all your stories - I've so enjoyed your blog. I hope you continue with your future adventures! Best wishes!

Lil

 
At 3/18/2010 09:49:00 AM , Blogger Mary in Umbria said...

This is an exciting announcement, indeed. I am very happy for you and wish you the best for the imminent new chapter back in the States. I agree that when we decide something, "we just want to DO it"...so I can imagine how hard the long wait and hoping was.

 
At 3/18/2010 12:36:00 PM , Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

You know I am happy for your happiness, but it's sad to see you go. I've been biting my tongue for a long time.

My house is next up. Send your leftovers to me.

 
At 3/18/2010 02:52:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks for the good wishes and yes, it's sad for us too, even tho this is what we want. Judith, what leftovers do you want? There certainly wasn't an overflow of potential buyers, but I think you might do better, given your proximity to Tuscany!

 
At 3/18/2010 08:14:00 PM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Congratulations you two! I know how hard you've worked to make this happen. I can tell you there is life after Italy (even though I still miss it!). We wish you all the best for a great new chapter!

 
At 3/19/2010 01:58:00 AM , Blogger Gil said...

We do spend time north of NYC as I have cousins in various towns in Westchester, Orange and other counties. Email me if you wish.

 
At 3/19/2010 09:09:00 AM , Blogger Dr Satori said...

Well, I am pleased for you. Although the Italian experience was probably less than you'd hoped - you surely made the best of it. I bet it's been an eye-opener. I'll eventually miss your observations on Italian life and culture. Best wishes with all the selling and relocating.

 
At 3/19/2010 11:02:00 AM , Anonymous Brazitalian8984 said...

Congratulations, I am very happy for you!

 
At 3/19/2010 11:57:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

I wouldn't say that our Italian experience was less than we'd hope for! First of all, when making a move like this, who knows what to expect? Yes, we were disappointed we didn't get to travel more, but that in no way diminishes our "Italian experience". I hope we'll enjoy the next phase a much as we enjoyed this one.

 
At 3/19/2010 12:56:00 PM , Blogger Pauline Kenny said...

Congratulations!! After your in-depth experience of Italy, it will be fun to be traveling again.

 
At 3/19/2010 06:42:00 PM , Blogger glenda said...

Congratulations! Yes Please keep blogging we want to follow you to you next adventure !!

 
At 3/21/2010 05:55:00 PM , Blogger Bryan said...

Barb & Art,
I'm glad this has worked out for you after all the waiting for just that right buyer. I still remember that day the 4 of us spent in Spoleto...just like it was yesterday.

 
At 3/21/2010 11:36:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Barb, take the money from the sale and buy an RV and travel through Europe that way! That's how I'd do it if I could. Your blog would be filled with adventure, and it doesn't have to take a king's salary to do it!

Anastasia

 
At 3/27/2010 11:32:00 PM , Anonymous Linda @ Ice Tea For Me said...

Barb/Art - Congratulations. I know you've been waiting for this for some time.

 
At 3/28/2010 05:19:00 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

Barb and Art, congratulations. I am happy for you and sad at the same time. I felt connected to Italy reading your postings. Where will you be headed after this? Back to your home in the states?
Enjoy your next chapter where ever it leads. Perhpas our paths will cross at the next 4th of July party or Thanksgiving celebration in Massa Martana. God speed, Michelle

 

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