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.....