Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Wednesday 12 January - a load of old rubbish

Being temporarily car-less, Ian and Carol drove us over to our soon to be house for our meeting with Enzo and a final check to satisfy ourselves that all is in place ready for completion.  It was all a bit cloak and dagger with Ian and Carol as they had dabbled a little in the property sales market and unintentionally and inadvertently ruffled a few feathers, Enzo's included, so they didn't want to be seen.  They dropped us off up the hill and hid out of the way hoping to wait until the coast was clear.  But it was too late.  Enzo had already spotted them.  All very amusing for us and it didn't take away our excitement at seeing the house again.

We were delighted to see Sue with Enzo.  Sue had shown us round the house when we first viewed it back in October and, most importantly for us, speaks fluent English and Italian, unlike Enzo.  We had tons of questions and have yet to master the language, so not only was it good to see Sue again, this was a fantastic bonus.

As we entered the house I'm not sure if we were pleased or dismayed to see everything just as it was when we first viewed it.  Nothing had changed.  Nothing had been cleaned, cleared or taken way.  Our fear that we were going to be left with a load of old tosh to clear was about to be realised.  We explained as much to Sue and requested that before signing the Deed of Sale we would need the sellers to agree to either clear the whole lot or leave it just as it is, without removing anything between now and Friday.  Being the classic pikeys we are without even a knife and fork to our name, if they leave everything we can at least have a good rummage through and keep anything useful.  And there were some rather nice pieces gathering dust in the barns, including KP's coveted tractor.
Lounge through to kitchen

Enzo phoned the sellers and, amazingly, they agreed to leave everything just as it is, apart from the personal effects such as the ornaments, etc.  It remains to be seen what their interpretation of "personal effects" is but, for now, we were very happy indeed.

Just so much rubbish
We also expressed our concern about the floor plan of the house appearing slightly different, ie smaller, than what we understood we were buying.  Since embarking on this adventure we'd heard so many horror stories about people buying abroad and falling foul of differences in the legal systems that we just wanted to double check that no-one was trying to pull a fast one or attempting to leave us a house with a great aunt as a sitting tenant.

Again, Enzo gave us the answers we were looking for and reassured us that no nasties were about to come our way after we'd handed over the money and ownership (and obligations) were ours.  What is more, he appeared deeply offended that we should be questioning his honour and integrity as a Geometra and his genuine and professional nature.  He may, of course, have been a very good actor...

To further reassure us, after we'd finished at the house he took us back to his office, gave us a guided tour, introduced us to his colleagues and took us for coffee at a bar down the road.  This gave us a chance to have a good, informal, chat about the whys and wherefores of the Italian property buying process, how things work, what to watch out for, what needs to be done, etc.  Once more, we were reassured and happy.  So much so that we might, just might, start to get excited.  Or are we just having the wool pulled over?  Argghhhhhhh.

All done with Enzo, he dropped us back at the house so we could go for a long walk into the hills and have a good explore of the woods, tracks, trails and ancient buildings of the area, the Maiella, that is soon to be our new home.  Little flutters of excitement were definitely and at long last starting to come through.  With all the leaves off the trees we could even see the old Abbey nestling elegantly amongst the hills and the snow covered mountains.  Sue had mentioned earlier that we could get married there.  Now that would be a novelty.

St Liberatore a Majella, Serramonacesca

Walk done, we eventually found our way back to Ian and Carol's and to the dismaying news that the garage men had been up but had not driven the beastie up and dropped her off as we had expected.  We were to collect it first thing tomorrow morning.  What is more, the bill for them to change the front wheel with a back one was €140.  €140!!!  We were floored.  We were being well and truly ripped off.  Taken for a ride.  What to do?

Ian agreed to run us down in the morning and act as interpreter whilst we "negotiated" this ridiculous bill.  This put a little bit of a damper on our day and brought all our fears of being innocent and naive English to the surface again.

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