Rent Before Buying?

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Rent Before Buying?

Post by Lisa C. on Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:21 pm

Now that we are getting closer to retirement, we hope to move to Italia within the next 2 - 3 years.  We plan on being in Italy most of the year, although my compromise with my husband is that we will come back two to three times per year to visit family and friends.

We have several areas that we really like and have spent quite a bit of time in, namely Le Marche and Abruzzo.  We have also considered Basilicata, where most of my husband's ancestors came from but think it may be too isolated and difficult to get to from the States for family.  My husband is wondering if it would be better to rent before buying so that we don't have buyer's remorse and wish we had chosen a different area.  We know that spending 3 weeks at a time in one place on vacation is not the same as living there year round.  We have spent the past 9 years or so in vacationing in southern Marche, which I love.  My husband thinks that all of the areas we like have their pros and cons. 

I'm sure I mentioned in the past that we lived in Pisa while he attended the University but have no wish to live there as it has gotten too busy and built up for our tastes.  We also do have dual citizenship.

I was wondering what experiences those of you who have taken the plunge had had regarding buying versus renting and if you had wished you had done things differently?
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Vicino on Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:36 am

I would STRONGLY urge you to look VERY carefully before you leap into buying, you have options. take a year or so.

Seriously !


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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Gala Placidia on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:00 am

You still have many doubts and do not seem ready to take the plunge. I would advise you to rent for a while before buying.
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Angela Fuller on Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:20 am

I agree. I think Lisa C you have posted similar posts before....I don't think it would be wise to buy and better for you to rent to test the water....
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:59 am

In your shoes I would look at being near an international airport to facilitate trips back and visits from family at a reasonable cost. As you will be retiring I would also want to be in a Province with good healthcare and in a village or small town not to far from a clinic or hospital.

If it were me retiring to Italy I also would not buy a country property but a house in a small town/village with a good selection of amenities. Don't underestimate the weather in Central Italy in the sense of floods, snow and landslides. It can mean you will be snowed in, have your driveway impassable etc. Whilst it is an adventure the first few times it soon gets very tedious. Hence why I would retire to a town.

I agree with the other posters that renting before you buy is definitely the way to go. Often if you like the place you are renting there may be the possibility to buy the actual property so it is a good plan.
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Lisa C. on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:20 pm

Admin wrote:In your shoes I would look at being near an international airport to facilitate trips back and visits from family at a reasonable cost. As you will be retiring I would also want to be in a Province with good healthcare and in a village or small town not to far from a clinic or hospital. If it were me retiring to Italy I also would not buy a country property but a house in a small town/village with a good selection of amenities. Don't underestimate the weather in Central Italy in the sense of floods, snow and landslides. It can mean you will be snowed in, have your driveway impassable etc. Whilst it is an adventure the first few times it soon gets very tedious. Hence why I would retire to a town.I agree with the other posters that renting before you buy is definitely the way to go. Often if you like the place you are renting there may be the possibility to buy the actual property so it is a good plan.


Thanks everyone for your wise advice.  It is a very emotional issue for me as I have wanted to be back in Italy ever since we moved back to the States.  So far we have avoided rushing into anything, partly because we haven't found a house that we really liked yet.  With the dollar being more in line with the euro, now, it seems like a more opportune time for us.

Penny, the area I really like is around Fermo/Offida but I think we need to be there other times of the year as well.  We have gone in the fall and summer so far.  We are trying to find a house near or in a village.  One of the difficulties of village life is that it is so hard to find space for a garden, which my husband really wants.  The airports of Ancona, Bologna and Rome are all doable from there.  It would be easier if the airports were a bit closer but so far we haven't found an area nearer one that we like.

Again, we appreciate everyone's advice and will keep you posted as our plans progress.  Can't wait to be there!  Very Happy
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:56 am

I used to live in that area. You definitely can't fly to the US from Ancona and I'm not sure about Bologna either so you would really be looking at Rome. Bear in mind it is a good 4 hours to Rome from there and you gave to cross the Appennines which in winter can be difficult as there will be snow.

Where we live now we are 45 minutes from Nice in France and it makes a really big difference to going back to the UK being so close to a major airport. You can find houses in villages and towns with gardens but they are rarer.

I would strongly recommend visiting in early February when the weather is generally at it's worst to give you a better idea of whether it is for you or not. If you're feeling really adventurous fly into Rome and drive over to Fermo to see what you think.
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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Vicino on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:11 am

I agree with Admin, Rome is the nearest real international airport, I would say nearer 3hrs away. Summer is can be HOT, winter can be cold and snowy. It is a wonderful area but RENT RENT RENT !!!!!

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Re: Rent Before Buying?

Post by Lisa C. on Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:48 am

Vicino wrote:I agree with Admin, Rome is the nearest real international airport, I would say nearer 3hrs away. Summer is can be HOT, winter can be cold and snowy. It is a wonderful area but RENT RENT RENT !!!!!V
Thanks Admin and Vicino, I think a winter trip is definitely in order.  We have experienced very hot summers in Le Marche and Abruzzo, but no winters yet.  We have been there in early November but not in the dead of winter.  Where we live in New England is frightfully cold so anything has got to be much better than here!  Smile We live very close to Canada.

We actually have flown in and out of all of the airports that I mentioned.  We stop in another European country first, which is not a problem for us to do.  Even when we lived in Pisa, we had to do this.  The nearest international airport for us in the US is Boston, which is also 3 hours away and there are very few non-stop flights from Boston to Rome, except on Alitalia. 

The only thing I am a bit nervous about is driving in these areas with a rental car in the winter.  We are used to driving cars with studded snow tires here and while I know that we would need to also rent snow chains, I can't imagine that the quality of tires on a leased car would be very good in winter.

Is it difficult to find rentals with pets?  We currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats.
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