Would you prefer somewhere you can ‘do up’ yourselves as this is what you have done with successive homes here in the UK? Would you like to know whether this is something that can be done easily in Italy? Is there a legal requirement to have a professional project manager working on restoration projects?
In Le Marche, I always tell my clients that buying a property is a process. Usually, clients start by looking for something finished and ticking all the boxes regarding their list of wishes and requirements, hoping to discover their perfect house. Often, during their search, they discover that there is no such a thing as a perfect house; the kitchen is too small, the bathrooms too basic etc. All of these require more investments to fix them. But now also, questions are being asked about how sound is the house, is it built in accordance with the latest building requirements (remember the earthquakes), is the roof okay? Is it really damp proof?
So, gradually clients are considering a more minor restoration or buying a builder finished property thereby avoiding wasting money on a so-called finished and habitable house. With the right people and attitude, the building/restoring of a house is fun. For example, clients of Marche Property Restorations (www.marchepropertyrestorations.com), with which we are associated, are always surprised by the smooth and pleasant implementation of the building works. They even have problems explaining to their friends at home that they do not have big problems or horror stories when they are restoring or building their dream house. Of course, you should be realistic and critical but also you need to be patient and should try to understand the various procedures and regulations.
It is not a legal requirement to have a professional project manager although you certainly need to have a geometra (surveyor, building supervisor), sometimes an architect, and an engineer to present the plans to the council and the province. One of the difficulties, we see, is the poor communication between the geometra/architect and the client. It is not only the language barrier but also the cultural differences and the explanation and understanding of the regulations and procedures. What might be “normal” (or obvious) in Italy is not “normal” in the UK and the other way around. Furthermore, not many geometras cover the whole process, for example, the decoration and organisation of the fittings for your house.
Therefore, I recommend that you find project managers with a proper understanding of Italian and English who can understand your wishes and dreams and can properly translate them to the geometra or architect. A track record and the chance to talk with previous clients is a must. If you find a team consisting of a project manager and geometra it is even better!
As I mentioned before, helping clients to find their dream house in Le Marche often ends in a search for properties to restore and creating your own perfect house. I must say that in the end Le Marche offers lots of opportunities – look at our website for examples.