Those who know Maria and I well, or have read the website, will know that we have had a couple of dreams, rather than the one dream in the tag line.
The first of these is to travel the world on Mariadz. As you will have seen, getting the boat ready has taken a lot of time, effort and money.
The second dream after we had finished travelling was to live in beautiful southern Italy in a magnificent property. By having this property available prior to our departure, it would provide a steady income stream which could support us during our journey.
We spent a lot of time and effort working with our Italian friends to identify the land, design the house, get planning permission (no mean feat in itself) and then start the construction. Our plans were ambitious. The house was sized as an equivalent of the house we had in the UK and so consisted of 250 square metres of interior space. But of course, in Italy, with its temperate climate, a lot of time is spent outside so interior space is less important. The problem with building a large place is that the cost increases in proportion to the size and if we had developed something of 150 square metres, we would now be looking at a finished build.
In Italy the build is done in two stages, the first is the rustic element which includes foundations, walls and ceilings. The completion follows which is when the windows, doors, electrics, water, climate control, bathrooms etc get finished. Finally, in Italy, the kitchen is not included in the build, or house sale, unless specifically identified!
As you can see a lot of expense over a period of five years and unfortunately the property is stuck at the rustic stage. After some bad luck, and bad decisions, we have found that we won’t be able to afford to complete the property for a number of years.
We have looked into loans but can’t find a lender who is prepared to lend on a part built property in Italy with someone that is not currently living there.
It has put us into a dilemma. Although we both love the land and the project, it looks like we will have to reluctantly decide to sell it to someone who can afford to finish it. So our gorgeous Italian project is on the market and having of valued by two different people, the price is €400,000, which is not much for such a huge building. We are hoping it will sell to someone who will love it as we have. The overall dream is not over. Our intention would be to reinvest the money from the sale in a smaller completed property that is usable straight away. This would bring the dream closer and put us very close to being able to start our journey. So fingers crossed for a happy ending.