After the usual Internet searches and attempted contact with a few agencies (without much luck) in the Abruzzo region, we took the plunge and booked a week.
We then heard from Dave, and after we explained our trip and the purpose, he invited us to meet him at his office and offered to show us around for the day. To be clear with him, we told him we wouldn’t buy a house on this visit but he was undeterred and said he’d be happy to show us around anyway.
They sent us some useful instructions on how to reach Casoli and the office (avoid following the satnav and use a map!). We sensed good things from that as the satnav was going to take us the long, long way round.
We met Dave and some of the other guys at the office and we went out to look round the area. This is where the Vigna Verde support and service really comes into its own. We chatted to Dave about what we might look for in the future, what was important to us and about our family and circumstances. He shared his own story and that helped immeasurably. After a good chat about life the universe and everything, we headed out into the beautiful Abruzzo countryside.
We were told about the history of each village we visited, we were introduced to a few of the locals, each place had a story and Dave explained the context of everything we saw and everywhere we visited; when it’s likely to get busy, when the Festa season is, what the weather is like and when the shops / restaurants might be quiet. He showed us what we might be able to purchase with our (modest) budget and gave us headline costs for doing standard works (kitchens , bathrooms and such).
There was never any feeling of, pressure or being sold anything and always a really nice sense that we were being looked after (bearing in mind that we’d already said we didn’t want to buy anything and he was essentially taking a day out of his work to show us around). There’s a lot to see and to fit in and since we were staying a good 2 hour drive to the North, he organised a B&B for us so we could maximise the time we spent in the area. A good job too …
Dave got to know us and our wants pretty quickly and suggested visiting a few places just to see … Bingo, he showed us our dream house within 24 hours of meeting Us! All bets off and we now did want to buy Something!
That’s when the local knowledge and understanding of the ‘system’ become important, and again, Vigna Verde came into their own. They talked us through step by step how it would all happen, they told us about the ways that some things are done and removed any element of surprise or question that might have arisen. Our expectations were managed excellently from day one. They helped us to understand the timescales, the process, who would talk to whom and what we would need to do, provide and pay for as well as when. It’s said that buying a house is one of the most stressful things that one does; not when Vigna Verde is on your side. There was no stress at all. They communicated with us frequently, updated on the status, helped us to organise our return visit and managed everything directly with the local stakeholders.
When it came to completing the purchase, the team stepped up a Gear! We had a consultation with the translator prior to meeting the notary. She not only explained the content of the document but the context of what it meant and why it was included. Bravo! Another potential stress removed.
They took us around everywhere again (from the bank to the notary), guiding us and helping us through each stage. Our Italian isn’t good (yet) but they understood that and helped us without casting judgement or making us feel like we were burdening them.
And finally, when the purchase was complete, the team rallied tradespeople, the Geometra helped us to understand what could be done and the whole team continued to offer their ongoing guidance, support, advice and even their creative input based on their knowledge of previous projects.
When we look at the whole experience, Vignaverde made it stress and hassle free for us from the very beginning and beyond the purchase. It was like having an expert friend with us every step of the way and their service exceeds all our expectations or hopes. They are a truly wonderful team and we look forward to knowing them for a long time as we settle into our new home and become their neighbours and friends.