If you would like to know more about the house or the competition and can’t find the answer to your question below, please feel free to contact us.
When will the draw take place?
The closing date for entries is 3o September 2019. Once we have all the entries they will be given a randomly generated number and, using an automated system, the winners will be chosen at random, overseen by the notary. This draw will take place within a month of the closing date (unless we sell all the tickets early, in which case we will decide upon a suitable date) and we will notify the winners immediately.
Why is there a question to answer?
In order to conform to strict UK Gambling Commission regulations and the Gambling Act 2005, we are legally obliged to use a “game of skill, knowledge or judgement” as the first and main part of the competition process and only the entrants that submit the correct answer are then entered into the prize draw to determine the final winners. A multiple choice question has been chosen, the answer to which can be found by carefully looking through the information on the site.
Why does the ticket cost £50?
We have put the ticket price at £50 each because, whilst it’s not a lot if you end up with a house in Italy, it’s a reasonable amount to have to think about the realities of owning a second home in a foreign country. All of the house taxes and the notary fees will be paid, meaning you have no immediate outgoings in order to own the home.
Who can enter the competition?
If you’ve heard about it and are here, then you’re eligible! The competition is open to our friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, colleagues, clients, allies and playmates. No immediate family can enter though.
Why a competition?
We have tried to sell the house via the usual means, using knowledgeable local and international agents, but the market has been quiet and, despite some expensive advertising, there have been no serious takers. The house was even featured on the BBC’s ‘Escape to the Continent’ (season 1, episode 8), but the couple chose somewhere else in the end. As such, we’ve decided to run this competition so one lucky winner will get the keys to this gorgeous house in Italy.
Does the house have good rental potential?
The house has been available to rent on AirBnB for a couple of years and has had a huge amount of interest, not just in the summer months but throughout the year. It is rented out for 100 euros per night and last year was rented for over 90 days. If you wanted to continue renting it out and making an income on it, there are people here who will manage it for you. Have a look at the listing on AirBnb: www.airbnb.com/rooms/10694997.
How much does the house cost to run per year?
Once you take ownership of the house, it will cost you about 1000 euros per year in ownership taxes, waste tax, water rates, and gas and electricity standing charges. Obviously you pay for what you use for the utilities, but there is a small monthly standing charge. There is an accountant in Pescara who can pay the house taxes for you automatically, and the bills can be paid online.
What is the process of actually owning the house?
Unlike in the UK where solicitors slowly send letters back and forth to reach an agreement, in Italy the buyer and seller meet together with the notary to read out the deeds, make any changes and sign the paperwork, all in a couple of hours. The notary already has all the paperwork for the house and will not transfer the deed of ownership unless everything is legally in order. In order to meet the necessary requirements and for the winner to become the owner of the house, we will include a third party at the signing of the contract, meaning that there will be an additional signatory. We will all meet at the notary’s office in the city of L’Aquila together with an official translator, if necessary, read through the paperwork to make sure both parties are happy with it, then sign the deeds so the winner becomes the new official owner. The notary will then register the house in the winner’s name.
Are there any ownership requirements?
In order to own a house in Italy, you will need a ‘codice fiscale’ or tax code, which is easy to obtain and something that we can help you with. Everyone in Italy has one, it’s very similar to the national health insurance number in the UK or the social security number in the US, and you will use it for everything from opening a bank account to getting a SIM card for your phone. You will also need a valid passport, but other than that, that’s it!
Is there danger of an earthquake in the area?
Italy is known for having earthquakes, and central Italy has been in the news recently with a number of large and damaging earthquakes. So there is always the danger of an earthquake, but the house has been reinforced and sustained no damage in the recent earthquakes. It is built directly on the natural rock which is a massive advantage as the house will move with the ground. After the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake it received an ‘A’ habitability rating, meaning it is safe to live in. Should the house sustain damage in the future, it is possible to insure it, as we have, against earthquake damage.
What’s the climate like?
The climate is fantastic in this part of Italy, and there are still four very distinct seasons. Spring sees warm days with cool evenings and an abundance of wild flowers. Summer is hot, but not oppressively so. The altitude, 850 meters above sea level, keeps the air dry and there isn’t the humidity you get in the coastal and city areas. Autumn continues to have warm days and the colours of the changing trees is phenomenal, and then winter gets cold, but still with the dry air. It could be bitingly cold one day and then warm with sunshine the next.
What are the neighbours like?
If you are open and friendly to the local villagers, they will be very friendly in return, often inviting you for coffee, lunch or a glass of home brew. There is a small farm opposite where you can buy firewood and the farmer often shepherds his sheep past the house to the adjacent pasture. The closest neighbour actually lives in Milan and is rarely there, but is the sweetest, most kind and caring elderly lady who it’s always an absolute treat to see. Behind the house is a complex of small units that are used to house scouts who are on hiking trips, or members of the clergy who have come to visit the area. It’s used mainly in the summer months and gives a bit of life to the area. Otherwise there are friendly locals willing to lend a hand or have a chat, and then some like minded foreigners who are there for the joys that the area has to offer.
What does the village have to offer?
The village itself is very small, in fact it’s the smallest municipality in Abruzzo. There is a small grocery store in the village, a bar that opens sporadically, a small town hall and a post office. Close by there is a wonderful farm that sells fresh eggs and rare breed organic meat, and you can spend a lunchtime there picnicking, grilling and exploring the farm. There is also a well known olive oil mill where people bring their olives to be made into oil. The nearest big supermarket is in San Pio delle Camere, 10 minutes drive down the hill, and then there are numerous restaurants in the nearby villages.
What activities are there in the area?
You will never be bored here as there is so much to do! There is a gorgeous swimming lake, caves and waterfalls, endless hiking trails, skiing in the winter (both downhill and cross country), climbing, canoeing on the nearby river, castles and Roman ruins to explore, exceptional restaurants, horse riding, hilltop villages, cycling and much more. The beach is less than an hour away and you can be in the centre of Rome in less than two hours.
Does it snow in the winter?
Winter 2016/2017 saw some heavy snowfall but the roads are cleared quickly and efficiently by the local municipality. Winter 2017/2018 has been relatively warm with little snow in the village, but lots on the surrounding high mountains. It is law to drive with winter tyres or snow chains on the roads in the area and also on the motorways to both Pescara and Rome.
Is the house furnished?
The majority of the furniture and fittings are included with the house with just some personal pieces being removed.
What condition is the house in?
The house was restored nearly 10 years ago and has been well maintained and looked after since, so it’s in great condition. As can be seen inside, the foundations are the natural rock, so it’s very solid. A new central heating system was installed, together with new hot and cold water pipes, new electrics and wooden double glazed windows and doors throughout. A survey of the house has been undertaken and a copy of it is available on request.
Is the house suitable for wheelchairs?
Wheelchair users have stayed at the house, but it isn’t ideal. The lower level has access from the street, but there are still a few small steps to negotiate. But once inside, the living room, kitchen and bathroom are all on the same level. The middle floor is also accessible from the street but there is no bathroom on that level, and the top floor has a relatively narrow staircase to access it.
Is there Wi-Fi at the house?
Yes! There is an excellent wi-fi connection and we will just change the service over to the winner’s name.
How do you get to the house?
Pescara is the closest airport, just 50 minutes away. Ryanair flies there from the UK and several European airports. Rome’s two airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino, are less than two hours drive and almost every worldwide carrier flies to Rome. You can hire cars very cheaply at the airport, but there are also buses that will get you to L’Aquila, the closest big town, and then you can get a local bus or taxi to the house. But public transport is not great and you really need your own transport to fully appreciate all the area has to offer.