Please Do Your Homework…

Please Do Your Homework…

If there’s one thing we do in this whole process of attempting to sell our renovated home in Istria, it’s provide information – LOTS OF IT – so that anyone who is potentially interested in it, can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for them, very early on.

Initially, we didn’t really refer to a swimming pool on our website and in other places, other than to state we don’t have one. Because, you know, we don’t have one. But, it became increasingly clear we were going to have to be a whole lot more blatant, because when viewings commenced after travel restrictions were eased, we found we were often being met with puzzlement. Because, there was no pool. So, we made it clearer on our website etc that although there is the space to install a small pool or a plunge pool, there isn’t one currently. We found we were almost having to justify why we didn’t have one, and this really started to irritate as it should have been so obvious a pool wouldn’t magically appear. Thankfully, we seem to have got this particular message across – and if asked, we do now politely suggest that should the viewers proceed to buying the property, they might want to consider installing one.

But something new has reared its head – something we’d not even considered.

Our house & gardens (front & rear) would be perfect for someone looking for a holiday home, with *manageable* outdoor space. We do not own any additional land/fields – as we are sometimes asked, even though we make it VERY clear on our website what do actually own, externally. We’re really quite surprised by the number of people who enquire – and often subsequently view – our home, who have on their list of requirements either “land” or a “field”. We can only assume they pay scant regard to the images and textual information as there is NO reference to either, and this does make us wonder what goes on in some people’s heads. These people who enquire – and sometimes take it as far as viewing before revealing this nugget – haven’t come from the next village. They’ve often travelled quite a distance, and usually from another European country. I think I’d want to be pretty certain that what I was putting in an awful lot of effort to view, at least ticked my main boxes so that I didn’t waste my time, and potentially build up the hopes of the people selling.

Most viewings are for the house to be used as a holiday home/let or a second home. And, for us, this kind of begs the question – would you really want to buy a holiday home & also take on the responsibility of more land/fields?

Who’d look after it in your absence? Things grow very quickly here, so you might find you’d be starting your holiday tackling an overgrown field ? Or, you’d have to find someone local, who could look after the land on your behalf, especially if you were letting the house out to visitors. I can’t imagine anyone would appreciate rocking up on holiday and finding they had no view as they couldn’t see beyond the overgrown field.

What would you actually do with it? Soil here is rich, thick, red clay – without a lot of additional work, it’s difficult to imagine doing anything other than growing crops. And, as lovely as this idea is, who’d look after your field of crops in your absence? Who’d treat the crops & harvest them? Who’d actually eat all of the produce? Would they be just left to wither and rot, if you weren’t here full time?

And, finally, if your thinking is to buy a house with a field/additional land attached or nearby, to build on or install a pool, we’ll save your time right now. You’ve NO CHANCE. Land here, which is designated as arable, can’t be built on. There may be ways for locals to get around this, but as someone coming in & planning to develop their property, you really would be wasting your time.

But, if you still think you definitely want a field, I think we can say, quite categorically, our home is absolutely not for you.You’d be wasting your time coming to view it. You might be viewing a number of different properties in the area, and decide to view ours too, as it looks nice and a bit unusual, but with no intention of taking things any further. A bit of a filler for you, on a day of viewings, perhaps. Please don’t do this. It’s cruel. With every single viewing, we ensure that our home is in the best state possible and this takes up a lot of our time. We emotionally invest in every single viewing, as it could THE ONE. We care about our home and who it might be owned by next, so it’s always a bit of a blow to find out that someone really hasn’t done their homework.

We know that the next custodians of our home are out there, and they will most probably be people who we’ll really like, because if they go as far as purchasing, we’re pretty sure they’ll have left no stone un-turned. They won’t have unrealistic expectations as they will know we don’t have a pool, but won’t be fazed at the idea of actually rolling up their sleeves and having one installed. They won’t have the pipe-dream of a “field” because they recognise all of the above points if they are purchasing the house as second home or holiday let. And they will probably be super happy that our (very large) front garden is incredibly low maintenance, so they can get on pretty quickly with putting their feet up and relaxing, in their new Istrian holiday home…

 

House For Sale In Istria

House For Sale In Istria

We bought our Istrian stone house in 2016 and made the full time move out here, from Manchester, in March 2017. We bought it because we saw the potential of the house. It had benefited from some recent renovation works, including a new red slate roof, and overall was in sound condition, structurally. It had been used by the family we bought from as a place to come to in summer months, but it was far from fully renovated, and so the potential was what we bought into.

Externally, although the new roof had been done and new guttering and downpipes installed, it all looked a bit sorry for itself. Because it hadn’t been lived in full time, it needed quite a lot of TLC. The shutters needed to be painted, the patio cleaned up, the grass and vines around the house, cut back. And, life injected into it.

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Internally was where we had to really look through the current condition. It was dark – the internal walls were mostly bare stone, and in places walls had been half plastered but unpainted. Floors were mostly pine. Rooms still had furniture and furnishings, which came with the property, but which we knew would go. It felt cold and in much need of refurbishment.

But, four years on, it’s a bit of a different story. As the house has been our full time home, we’ve worked relentlessly on it and it is now a fully renovated, fully functioning, beautiful home in the most beautiful part of northern Istria…

Why are we selling then, if we love our renovated house so much?

Well, the answer is quite simple. We’ve driven past a property, very close to our house, for last four years and we always used to comment on how it would be an amazing renovation project for someone. Then, we had a light-bulb moment. Why couldn’t that “someone” be us? So, we viewed it – and that was it. We had exactly the same feeling about it, as we had when we viewed our house in 2016. This new one though is a bit of a challenge – an old industrial unit. But when you have that feeling, it won’t go away and so the decision was made to put this house on the market, and start all over again…

If we’d not seen the other property, the idea of selling here would not have entered our heads. We’ve invested so much into this house and we think it’s pretty perfect. The way we’ve decorated it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but a lick of paint will solve that. New owners can be rest assured that they will be purchasing a property which is unusual and which has been renovated to a very high standard. And which we continue to look after and upkeep.

So, if we’ve piqued your interest, do take a look at the website we’ve designed for the house or visit our blog – this details everything we’ve done since we first viewed in 2016, so nothing is hidden, no secrets. There’s a contact form on the website if you want to get in touch, or if you prefer, you can email me directly – helen@escapetoistria.com – and I’ll answer any questions you might have.

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