elicat's activity

Questions Asked

What could be the common ingredient in each of these regional specialties? (Olive oil, tomatoes, salt, parsley, basil and garlic don't count!)

  • Involtini di pesce spada
  • Vitello tonnato
  • Poperuole imbottite
Mon, 05/25/2009 - 16:03

This one seems to have passed the Google test....Name all the grottos of the island of Capri, in order, starting from a departure point of Marina Grande and circling the island clockwise (right turn out of the harbor). I'm looking for their proper

Fri, 05/22/2009 - 03:45

I've got a good one for you.I was invited by prospective property management clients out to see their recently purchased property, one of 85 planned units in a new-build borgo in Umbria. I handle individual properties - e.g.

Wed, 05/20/2009 - 05:37

Hello everyone! I'm Elisabeth posting from Orvieto most of the year, and from the Amalfi Coast during the summers. I used to visit the forums regularly, but never posted. When I found this new format, I thought I'd give it a try!

Mon, 05/18/2009 - 11:19

Comments posted

Sat, 05/30/2009 - 01:56

You're correct in pointing out that this is by no means always the case, but if the heirs are in agreement to sell it can generally be quick and painless. They ususally just want to get their share of the cash.I believe the legal term you were quoted was "libera di persone e cose" - which the property in question most clearly was not!

Fri, 05/29/2009 - 08:06

I would give anything to be able to buy from the many brands, models and prices found in the UK! Shopping to outfit my two kids (4 and 2 presently) was a nightmare of impossible to find products, running around and very high prices. There are no baby superstores per se in Italy and many of the brands you can find around Europe are special order only if you can find a store willing to do it - at full list price of course. Peg Perego, Chicco, Janè, Giordano, Mon Bebe and a bunch of other fairly crappy brands are on offer most places. We wanted a Quinny and had to special order it. Even for  Peg Perego I can virtually guarantee that you can find a better price in the UK.You can find a chain called Io Bimbo and also the Spanish chain Prenatal in most big cities. The big supermarkets like Carrefour, Auchan, Coop, etc have baby items as well, but generally pretty downmarket selection. Most Italians buy from their local independent retailer. Just buy a MacLaren and be done with it already!

Fri, 05/29/2009 - 04:43

GP - your experience is par for the course. Most properties in Italy are "overpriced" in that the asking price is what the seller thinks it is worth (or what he needs to realize for another reason... a child getting married, another property to fix up, etc.) and not what the market would price it at. This applies to ruins as well as restored properties. The typical Italian seller "doesnt' have to sell" and is willing to wait for the right buyer to come along at the asking price. Those who "just want to be done with it" (e.g. have to sell) almost always end up accepting something closer to the market price for the property - that is if the buyer is well informed. The "three D's" of property definitely apply when looking to buy - Death, Divorce and Debts. If you can find a seller with one of those three problems you can usually get a fair deal.That said, in a good  market where demand exceeds supply people will pay more. In a soft market like we have now sellers have lowered their asking prices to the actual market price, and some are accepting offers below that. Hence we can see that for the past several years asking prices were inflated on average 20% over market price.As I stated earlier, building costs have remained stable, so at present many buyers are looking for already restored properties in a classic case of head ruling heart. For argument's sake, a ruin priced at €100,000 today plus another €100,000 for restoration equals total costs of €200,000. The same ruin purchased two years ago at €120,000 and restored for another €100,000 cost the seller €220,000, but today the buyer could get it for €190-200,000 and move right in. The lesson is, don't be put off by asking prices. Look at properties of your target type and then take the initiative to find out what the real market price would be and make an offer close to that. If you have a good agent, he or she will do this for you. If you don't, well, change agents.As several people pointed out, if your heart is set on restoring a ruin, be prudent, don't overpay and take the time to talk to your geometra/builder's references. You often have to act as your own general contractor, as this is a figure that doesn't exist in Italy, however it is well worth your while to get out your green eyeshade and develop a reputation for being a cost hawk early on in the process. In the southern Umbria region I can recommend highly the only GC I know in Italy - a half American half Italian who has restored many a ruin for foriegn buyers, to their great satisfaction - Riccardo Caracciolo. Be very leery of estate agencies, particularly run by Englishmen, who sell you restoration services. The typical skim off the top on these projects is close to 50%! You would be much, much better off with local Italian geometra and architects - their skim is considerably less!After running on for so long I hope this is useful to someone!

Thu, 05/28/2009 - 08:12

Hi there. I'm a licensed Italian agent working for a UK agency that handles a lot of property in northern Lazio. I can tell you that whatever UK agent said that to you is off base. Yes, the market for ruins has slowed down because housing prices have come down around 20% - this often means that it's a better deal to buy an already restored property than to spend the money to restore a ruin. Building costs have stayed the same - so you do the math. However, this does not mean that nobody is buying ruins anymore. And a really important thing to remember (sorry guys!) that UK buyers are not the only foreign buyers! We sell to lots of Americans, some Germans and Dutch, Australians and the occasional Russian. So, my general advice to you would be to list with two agents, one local Italian who works a lot in your area, and one international - meaning one of the big UK firms doing business in Italy and not an independent who happens to be English.The market is slow, you won't sell in a hurry, but if you price your property realistically and it is as nice as you say, you will eventually sell it.Good luck!

Wed, 05/27/2009 - 01:34

Many thanks to you. Looking forward to seeing your new question. Off to pop my contribution into the fund...

Tue, 05/26/2009 - 13:55

This is a vegetarian answer

Mon, 05/25/2009 - 16:08

I put this up before I saw your newbie post - was feeling guilty if the quiz stopped with me.

Mon, 05/25/2009 - 03:58

I declare YOU the winner Cinghiale for that excellent suggestion. For what it's worth, I was looking for: Grotta Meravigliosa/Grotto of MarvelsGrotta Verde/Green Grotto Grotta Rossa/Red GrottoGrotta Azzura/Blue GrottoExtra credit: the rock bridge can be swum under from the Green Grotto passing to the Red Grotto. The small area between them is often referred to as the "Champagne Grotto" for the fizzy seawater found there.As someone pointed out, there are many, many more grottos - these are the "big four" however. I'll send in my €10 to the fund and trust that you will come up with a much better question that I did!

Mon, 05/25/2009 - 03:40

I just remembered that I know of an Italian solicitor who speaks excellent English and handles a lot of property transactions in Le Marche. He's called Fabio Pucciarelli and is googleable... has a site and everything if I recall correctly. Some ex-colleagues use him a lot, and from what I observed while working with them he seems good.In bocca al lupo!