Yesterday, I arrived back stateside from a one week trip to Mussomeli, Sicily to close on my 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 1300 square foot vacation home. My closing was set for Wednesday, November 17th at 230pm. I landed in Palermo at 11 and proceeded to rent a car and make the 60 mile drive to the mountain village of Mussomeli.
Now, you may have heard of Mussomeli from the 1 euro house buying project as it is one of the many villages that participate. During the summer, I decided to buy a house, sight unseen and over the last few months we had been working up to this point…the closing.
As I drove to the village though, I received a text message from my agent who informed me that something was wrong with the paperwork and the closing would have to be pushed to this week. Fine. These things happen. I figured I would just enjoy my time there and wait for the next closing date.
Coincidentally, that Thursday was the next 1 euro house tour so I decided that I would go look at houses. 8 hours of climbing hills and stairs looking at 20+ homes. In the back of my mind I figured that if I found another house at the right price I would jump on it because…why not?!?!? But really, I wasn’t “shopping” because after all, I have my house.
Now, let me take you back for a moment.
One of the things that I have said repeatedly about my house at via Gorizia is that it would be perfect IF I could buy the house next door so that I would have more square footage, if it had a rooftop terrace and if the owners hadn’t remodeled by ripping up the original flooring. The plan had been to restore the remodeled house back to something with hand painted tile floors that looked like art work and to expose brick on the wall. The house next door? I figured somehow that would workout. But the terrace? Well, there were 2 really large balconies that I figured would suffice if need be. No biggie right? Did’t seem to be a deal breaker for me.
Well, that was until I walked into houses with terraces. I don’t know what it is about a rooftop terrace but it is a game changer. One you don’t know, until you step onto one.
Long story short, because honestly long blogs for the sake of SEO annoy me a little, Ill fill in the blanks on stories over on the instagram page, I walked into a house that I LOVED! So much so, I kept telling other people to buy it. Because after all, I am under contract and closing ANY DAY NOW on my house.
Let me tell you about this house.
It is about 2500 square feet. It has a finished garage. A small kitchen and a huge dining room which wall can be removed to create one large cohesive area, an amazingly large family room, 2 large bedrooms both with huge balconies, original flooring that looked like art and chandeliers, antiques that remain in the house AND a rooftop terrace with views of the mountains and the historic center above as well as a small bar/kitchen area on the roof. Amazing right? Amazing! This house had EVERYTHING! A few short minutes from my house, there was a house with everything that I desired. But I am not done. It came with the house next door. One that can be easily expanded into. This second house is gutted and basically a shell but it’s spacious. About 3k square feet, an outdoor garden with fruit trees, room for 2-3 bedrooms, a terrace and several balconies. Between both houses which are to be combined into one is 9, yes, 9 outdoor spaces.
Honestly, I was smitten. I needed someone to buy this house. It deserved someone who was going to know how to love it fully.
After attempting to talk a newcomer to the town into looking at the house and explaining how perfect it was, it hit me “plain as day”. The house was perfect for one person. Me. It had everything I asked for plus things that my heart desired that I didn’t ask for.
It was over my budget AND I was to close on this other house at any moment.
But, I heard my heart clear as day.
And just like that, I messaged my agent to let her know that I COULDN’T buy via Gorizia and that this property was meant for me. After some back and forth and negotiating, my offer was accepted on this new place and I have to tell you….I haven’t been this happy. As happy as I was about the other house, nothing trumps this. Everything, I mean everything that you can ask for in a house. Not just a vacation house but a forever home.
It is funny. I was planning to make all these changes to Via Gorizia. I was attempting to “create” something that was already created for me.
And just like that I’ve gotten what I asked for plus more in Mussomeli, Sicily.
A few things to keep in mind:
Because I backed out of the deal, I am losing my full deposit/earnest money which was a little over 10% as the owner did request more. I also lose the agency fee which is based on the price of the property. And let me just tell you, my new agency fee is over double the initial.
But, by the time I hired an engineer, an architect, a contractor to create more stairs and the terrace and pay for the permits and get it approved by the historical society (if I could get it approved), plus buy the house next door (which we don’t know the condition of), rip up current flooring to put old hand painted tiles to create the “dream home”, I would have paid WAY more than I did between the cost of the house and the monies lost.
What have I learned?
You CAN buy sight unseen but going and seeing what all is available to you is important. Also, if you can stretch your budget some, you might just find your dream.
I feel like this just started the process over, which is did, but I am so very excited for all that is to come! This is about to be FABULOUS DARLING! JUST FABULOUS!
Here are a few pictures of the amazing flooring in the new house and the amazing view from the terrace. I took zero pictures because I didn’t plan on buying anything. Thankfully, one of my new friends took pictures and video and set them over to me.
Do you love original flooring? Are you as excited about them as I am? Let me know in the comments! Im sure you can feel my excitement through the computer.
And today, Thanksgiving day, I am thankfully that everything that I desire is available to me. And, I am grateful that the universe is always reminding me of this.