Observations from an Eataliano
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The decision to be an owner, not a renter

I was having a tough night. I’d come to Italy under the direction of my wife – “Don’t return without a house”. I’d been there for about 5 weeks, on a one-way ticket. It was the middle of February, in the mountainous northern region of Tuscany – the Garfagnana.

It was cold. It had alternated snow and rain for a week. I’d been looking for houses in this region and several others. I had changed lodging, and the place I had moved into had just turned on the heat. It was so cold! You see it was an OLD place constructed of rock. It had heat, but it can take days for all that rock to heat up, and then finally radiate back.

I cuddled up in bed, fully clothed, and with a ski hat on. I lay there thinking about the people that NEVER had heat in their homes. Homes just like this one, and the ones I’d been looking at. Their lives were much more difficult, but I wanted to be warm and comfortable. One of my now good friends from the village subsequently told me of winters ‘back in the day’ – “We made a lot of babies!” Well, my wife was back in Colorado, and that wasn’t an option.

As I lay there shivering, I thought “What am I doing?” Home rental rates in the area were really cheap for truly interesting places. For the money I was looking to spend, I could just have invested, and then rented there every year with the interest earnings. None of the headaches of homeownership! Being as it was to be a second home in a foreign country, there were no tax advantages. If I was a renter, I wouldn’t locked into just one place. Able to go somewhere else if and when I wanted. Renting was sounding pretty good.

Finally, with my breath visible through the moonlight coming in through the frosted window, I dozed off.

The next morning was GLORIOUS! The skies had cleared, the air was chilly but the sun felt wonderful. The mountains were beautiful with fresh snow on them. I was re-invigorated.

I walked down to the local bar to have a coffee and a sweet. I thought to myself as the regular barista brought me my treats – if I want to be an Italian, I’ve got to be a homeowner. If I own a home, the people of the village will know I’m coming back if even just for a few months each year. If I were to rent – they’d always think of me as the ‘renter’, and not as one of them. Mentally, renters aren’t committed to places.

I had to purchase. I had to be an owner.

That day, I drove to the three places at the top of my list. They were all wonderful and interesting. With positives and negatives. Any of them would be great. At the end of the day, I picked a favorite and made my offer. I was going to be a homeowner! In a little way, I would be an Italian. Or, at least an Eataliano!

Eatalianos commit to the places they call home!

6 thoughts on “The decision to be an owner, not a renter”

    1. Truly, to appreciate it, you’d have to come see it in person. Consider it an invitation! Let’s have a glass of wine on the terrace and watch a Tuscan sunset. Then… we eat! I’ll shoot you some pics tonight. But first, I’ve got a meeting. To get there – I’ve got to cross this bridge. (About 30 min from the house.) Ponte Sospeso - San Marcello Pistoiese.

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