We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Big changes coming

I've got a bit of news to share with the blogsphere and my readers today. Mike and I were notified this afternoon that our offer on another apartment (rental) was accepted by the owners. We'll be moving effective October 1.

I've been mum on the subject because we didn't really know what was going to happen, and I didn't want to jinx anything while it was all in the works. We'd been mulling over the idea of moving for the last year, but didn't act on it. Not until the passing of our dogs, Sam and Leo, did we seriously consider it. We really needed to. Our rent is increased every year. We're now at the pretty high end of rentals, and just about hitting the upper reaches of our housing budget. Venice is expensive to live in, way more expensive  than we were used to in Baltimore. However, it has  always our intention to live in the city. While we know  it would be much less expensive living on the mainland,  that's not going to happen. We want to be right here.

In July I started researching available apartments, and the search began. We went to see a few apartments, but nothing was exactly what we were hoping to find.  We were torn. Should we move, should we stay?  Quite by chance the first week in August I noticed a brand new listing for a fairly large apartment, at a rent considerably less than what we are currently paying. The photos on the real estate's website piqued our interest. My phone call to the real estate agent was not exactly positive, unfortunately. They told me they could not show the apartment yet because the current tenants had not moved all of their belongings out.  A few days later I called back, this time I was told the owners are away for Ferragosto holiday- call back after August 20.  I suspected I was getting the run around because I am clearly not native Italian. Determined I would at least see the inside of this apartment, I made a note on my calendar to call back on August 20.

At 10:01 am  on August 20, one minute after the offices opened for the day, I called agent, hell bent on getting an appointment to view the inside. He told me he would call me back. 10 minutes later, I had an appointment for 3pm the following afternoon. We went, we saw, we met one of the owners, we liked it.  No, that's not true. We loved it. This place was perfect for us. Beyond perfect. We slept on it for one night, then returned to the real estate agent the following morning to make an offer on the apartment.

The offer that we signed required that the owner give us a response in 7 days time. Seven days went by, still no word. Why not??  All because of  Ferragosto , we were told. This holiday is the excuse for everything imaginable!!  Do you want to get up today? NO, it's Ferragosto. Do you want to go to work today? No, it's Ferragosto.  Despite that explanation, we were skeptical. I thought it was all because we are expats.  We really wanted this apartment. Not only is the rent lower, but we also would be getting a contract with a fixed rent for a period of 8 years.

If you have been reading my blog over the last few years, you know that I have fallen in love with Campo Santa Margherita. One of the things that has kept us torn over moving is we just don't want to leave the area. However, it's apparent to us that it's time for a change. And change is what we will be getting. Big change. The new apartment is in Sant'Elena! Sant'Elena is the island just past Giardini. Way, way down in Castello.  Couldn't be much farther away from where we currently are if we tried.  In fact, the house the apartment is in is the very LAST house in Venice. Seriously!  Next stop, the Lido!!!  Our new neighborhood is one that few tourists pass through. In fact, not many Venetians who don't live there get to Sant'Elena either.

 This is our new terrace
 Here's the view off the terrace...
  And here is the front of the house.

So...we're off on a new adventure!  The immediate fun:  finalizing the Italian rental contract, packing up all our stuff (not fun), selecting and having a new kitchen installed , finding a moving company to haul our stuff by boat, and last but not least, enjoying settling in to a new location and making new friends and neighbors.

Get ready for some prosecco on the terrace!!!


Anonymous said...

Woot!! I think Sant'Elena will be a great place to live, so much space, and the views from your new place are wonderful. Auguri.

Linda Sue said...

What a story! What a perfect apartment in a quiet area. LOVE it! You are persistent- paid off big time! Congrats.

Andrew said...

Great news Karen. Is the bureaucracy going to be horrendous? I remember reading about petty officialdom on your blog before.

Alex said...

Congratulations on the new home in Venice!

Just yesterday I've decided what hotel to book for my week here in December - The BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel Sant’Elena. During my last visit I've stayed at the Luna Baglioni, and it was very good but there are some issues. Venice is very intense, after the day of soaking in the sights one needs some respite. But in Luna Baglioni you are met by masked mannequins in historic costumes and the decor that goes for a kind of sensual overkill.

Staying in Sant'Elena neighbourhood you are just minutes from The Campanile but you have a choice of "switching Venice off" - for a time.

maryk said...

What a great looking apartment. Congratulations. And how exciting to have such a fascinating neighbourhood - and views to enjoy.

Jon (Bilbao) said...

Congratulations! Enjoy that wonderful terrace and Calmed St. Helena district. I'm sure you'll miss the freshness and youth at Santa Margarita, but will enjoy the solace of Castello.

Rob C said...

Wow, you really are going to be in the 'burbs' aren't you?

Good luck, hopefully you'll be settled in by the time we get to Venice for Christmas.

Rob & Natalie

Michelle said...

Wonderful! And I won't be far away. We'll have a housewarming when I get there. Be sure to let me know if I can bring you anything.
Only 73 days till my arrival.
Funny, I was thinking that area would be a new place to explore...and there you are...or at least will be.

tom said...

Good luck in your new home! I like that part of Venice, quieter, with some green.

Tim The Nomad said...

All the best in your move. Having seen those boats with cranes leaning over in the canals loading and unloading, I know my heart would be in my mouth watching my goods and chattels being loaded/offloaded like that! Those Venetian boatmen, however, know their business.

My partner and I will be in Venice again at Christmas. We've had some good news on his cancer and we can't wait to see Venice again, and if that isn't enough, next year I'll be going to the school for 2 weeks and trying my hand at murdering the Italian language! I hope to see you on either visit!

Lynda said...

Hi Karen,
I've seen that house. I thought it was so cool with the rounded front. When Vince and I were there in 2011, we walked all over that area.

karen said...

Yvonne- Grazie!!! We've already had our celebratory first prosecco on the terrace the night we received the keys. Get ready, there will be more when you arrive! 21 weeks!!

karen said...

Andrew- you are correct, there are some hoops to jump through, but we are nearly there. I'm about to write my next blog describing the signing of the rental contract event!!

karen said...

Alex- you will be my neighbor when you stay at the Best Western in Sant'Elena. Let me know when you are here, we'll meet for a spritz or a prosecco. You will fall in love with Sant'Elena, as we have.

karen said...

Michelle- just bring yourself! We'll hopefully be all unpacked and settled in by the time you arrive (hope!). We will certainly do that housewarming with you!