Saturday, October 01, 2016

The Other Place 01 - The Back Story

Cisternino, Puglia, Italy. Saturday 01-October-2016.

It is exactly one month to the day that we exchanged on the purchase of our latest home. We have not yet given it a name so its working title is "The Other Place" until we can think of a more appropriate moniker.

Our current apartment in Cisternino is small but perfectly formed. It is a one room apartment with limited storage which is fine when we spend six weeks a year here but with the plan to spend six months here we need more living space.

We have a takeaway pizza place on the ground floor directly under our feet providing unwanted underfloor heating through the summer. The dream was to buy the place and convert it into a bedroom with en-suite bathroom and kitchen corner. For that dream to come true three things would have had to happen. The pizza place had to go out of business, the owner had to be prepared to sell and he had to ask a sensible price.

On our visit in July the first happened, we bumped into the pizza guy working in the nearest bar as the business had folded. We put out discrete feelers to discover that the owner would rather rent for the income. Then later that he might sell for a price that was 50% above the going rate. Had he sussed that we were the interested parties? Anyway we were not prepared to be ripped off so decided to let him stew.

In the meantime we started to investigate alternatives in the old town, either for ourselves or for our friends Grant and Helen who loved our apartment and could be tempted to buy a holiday home in Cisternino if one like ours came up.

After several interesting viewings in the old town we saw "The Other Place" a four room apartment on the second floor in the old town. Three times the size of Sotto-Le-Stelle and not much more expensive. We gave Grant and Helen the details but they passed. It was too good a bargain to pass up. In the end we made an offer which was declined, we split the difference and sealed the deal.

This is what will be the kitchen and dining room with a star vaulted stone ceiling under the plaster.

The living room with barrel vaulted ceiling.

The view from one of the bedrooms down Via Regina Margherita.

The plan of the building as it is today. The room at the top of the plan has been subdivided with internal walls. They will be the first to go.

We came back a month later to complete the purchase and pick up the keys. We originally thought of it as a buy-to-let investment but then realised that the extra space made it an idea home for us. So we decided to move and in future Sotto-Le-Stelle will be let as a holiday apartment.

More about the place in the next post...

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