Having read a ton of information on property buying Italy I saw the recurring theme of organising property viewings at least two weeks in advance. Quite the culture shock! Certainly in the UK and Ireland viewings can be organised as close to on the day of deciding to view a property, with those estate agents looking after the owner’s keys. In Italy, and certainly in Piemonte, this is not the case. The estate agent generally has no keys and the owner of the property tends to be at the viewing, even in empty houses. Hence needing plenty of notice for the agent to set up viewings, in order to arrange for the vendors to be present. So we had the shortlist whittled down to 5 and arranged the viewings, using our trusty google translate to communicate, as there were no British agents representing our selection and English was not present in our initial phone conversations, a promising start to our Piemonte dream. And a relief, compared to France, where it seemed the estate agency industry had been commandeered by every British ex pat there. Another tick in our attempt to find authenticity. Step one was completed, all viewings arranged smoothly for our long weekend viewing trip.
I do have a love hate relationship with Google particularly the way it ruthlessly goes about its business acquiring and gobbling up companies like Pacman. But their tools are brilliant. Now, we were in business with the viewings, we started to obsess over each house, looking on Google street view along every inch of road around each house for miles, Wikepediad every fact on every village, and every google image of every inch of these mysterious places. One house in particular was starting to look like the front runner, in its aspect and estate agent pictures, it looked positively welcoming and with beautiful grassed and tree lined terraces it did it’s best to tempt us into future plans of what we could grow and develop there. There was one small niggle though and that was that there appeared to be a lane behind the house, and we just couldn’t establish how busy the lane was from Google street view, still our hearts were aligned on ‘the one'. The others were also exciting prospects in their own way and we pretty much had a ranking of 1-5 agreed in both our minds.
So two weeks away, and unused to property buying in remote Piemonte, we were on edge, checking every day to make sure the properties were still listed on their respective agency sites and property websites to make sure they had not been bought by some other lucky buyer. This was a particular concern, as it was ‘peak season’ in our selected region because it was the time of the White Truffle and Americans galore, amongst many other nationalities, had made the annual pilgrimage to the region to worship reverently at the altar of Alba and all things tartufo! So you can only imagine our concern with all the wealthy American’s swarming over the land and we were quite sure they were equally falling in love with the rich beauty of the richly coloured land. I can truthfully say I had hardly any finger nails left!
Next Chapter of our Piemonte property search
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