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Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:33

Hi ulysses, I am a holiday home owner in the area you are thinking of buying in northern Tuscany. Our small two bedroom house is in a tiny village 3km up a hill/mountain from Licciana Nardi in the Lunigiana area. It's a beautiful area and a good spot to base oneself as it's 30 mins to the nearest coastal towns, 45 mins to Cinque Terre, 1h10m from Pisa, 1h15m from Lucca and 2 hrs from Florence. We bought an old ruined barn for €25K ten years ago and it cost us just over €80K to restore. Whilst the resortation job itelf was quite impressive in terms of what the architect designed for us and the quality of work done we do have a few gripes such as a badly placed and too small septic tank etc. The house is built on bedrock as a foundation and as such damp is a big issue - mould/mildew grows on everything during the winter months when we aren't here. My point in all this is to advise you that even though your budget might leave you looking only at renovation properties I would stay clear unless they are minor tweaks. Immobiliare (Estate Agents) like to sell dooer uppers as they make money on the sale and then more on the renoavtion contract. Also bear in mind the costs of owning your own place abroad are sometimes not such good value when compared to a yearly or even bi yearly holiday. Our house has lovely character and is a very sweet little villlage but there is a monthly mortgage on it as well as costs in maintaining it. Work to be done every time we come out (the fewer your visits the more work each time) so it can take time to settle into a break away. I sometimes question if it was a good investment. You can of course pay someone to prepare and maintain it for you but that also comes at a price.Anyway good luck in your hunt and if you do come to the area and need any advice on where to eat stay etc. I'll be glad to help! We lived here for nearly two years so know it pretty well.