Theft and absence: what you should know before you buy a second home.

This is a translation of my previous post, which I wrote in Italian, without too many mistakes, I hope, because I wanted to give Italians some idea of what it’s like to own a holiday home in the bel paese.

I had some difficulty in writing this post, because it is the homeless who have problems, not second home owners. Nevertheless, I have described this blog as “An Englishwoman’s personal take including … the ups and downs of owning a second home” and I haven’t written on that subject for some time. Recent events have led me to reflect on the problems of being a second home owner and share them with you in this post.

The real problem of a second home is psychological. When you buy a holiday home, you don’t want problems, be they rats or theft. You are supposed to relax on the terrace, admire the sunset and savour the local wines, Verdicchio or Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, while the agent or the owner sorts out any inconveniences. But we are our own landlords! It’s up to us to get rid of the rats and secure the house.

Tramonto primaverile visto dal nostro giardino

Spring sunset from our garden.

When we bought our house over 20 years ago, there was practically no crime in Corinaldo, or so it seemed to the summer visitor. But things have changed, and in the 21st century we have been burgled three times, like many Marchigiani.  This is certainly a worse problem for the local permanent residents than it is for us. But if were there all year round, we would have taken security precautions sooner, and given our friends better warning of what to do. It was in fact not us, but two of our friends who had to cope with the last burglary. We don’t ever want a phone call like that again!

Fortunatamente la neve non ha danneggiato la casa.

Luckily the snow didn’t damage the house. Thanks to the Mantoni family for this photo.

The simple fact of not being there all the time causes a lot of problems. Damp is an ever-present annoyance, caused in part by our not being there to air the place and open the windows regularly. Then there’s the anxiety of arriving and wondering what awaits you – leaks, blocked drains, a plague of insects … Of course everyone, residents and summer visitors, has these problems: it’s just that on holiday we could do without rushing about to solve them.

You may ask, dear readers, : why not simply move to Corinaldo and stop moaning? The answer is: because our work and family are in England.

Corinaldo: La chiesa di San Francesco.

Corinaldo: the church of San Francesco.

But absence is not just a practical problem: it’s a problem of the heart. We love our house, we love Corinaldo and we love our fellow-citizens.  Corinaldesi, we miss you. Voi ci mancate.

About An Englishwoman in Italy

I have a holiday home in Corinaldo in the province of Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. I have been going there since 1993 and would like to share my love and experience of the area. I speak Italian. Ho una casa di villeggiatura a Corinaldo nella provincia di Ancona, Regione Marche. Frequento Corinaldo da 1993 e desidero condividere i miei affetto e esperienza della zona con gli altri. Gli italiani sono sinceramente invitati a correggere gli sbagli.
This entry was posted in Second home, Survival and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Theft and absence: what you should know before you buy a second home.

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I thought your Italian version sounded pretty good. I can speak and understand Italian reasonably well, but I am not much good at reading it. I miss many important points.
    We have not had problems with theft in our Ponte a Serraglio apartment or Casa Debbio…yet. The apartment is very public, it faces directly into the piazza, so anyone trying to get in would be seen. Having said that, someone pinches my flowers most years.
    Casa Debbio is more remote, but anyone going there would be seen by people in the village as you have to drive through the village and out the other side to get to the house.
    We have problems with damage from storms and bad weather. As you say, damp is always a problem.
    We do have people staying at both places, so they are open most of the time. This helps a lot as there is activity. We have a gardener at Casa Debbio who keeps an eye on things and someone at the apartment who checks every week
    There are complications with having houses in another country, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lyn says:

    It seems like there is a price to pay for everything. I realised a while ago that even if I could afford to buy a 2nd home in Italy I would not. I rented an apartment in Bagni di Lucca last year for 4 weeks which I could easily return to every year and in fact live in. It was so lovely and had every creature comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pecora Nera says:

    Mrs Sensible’s Sicilian aunt used to have a summer home in the countryside. Each August they would shut up their apartment in Syracusa and drive to the countryside.

    One year they decided to go in July, as they opened the front door they could smell food cooking, they walked into the kitchen and there was a family of 4 sat eating bowls of pasta.

    Zia had a little Sicilian shouting match with the family, who responded with “We live here! Why are you here now? You don’t come till next month and we move in with family during August!!

    I asked Zia, if she had ever suspected that a family was living in her house from September to July, she said “occasionally I couldn’t understand why a plate or cup was missing, or a rug was out of place, but I put it down to bad memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Francis says:

    ‘There are no thefts here in Longoio’ affirmed strongly one of our locals. But when I went down to one of our fields after the terrible hurricane of March last year I found the wind had blown my shed down and scattered its pieces about. I also found that my two hedge trimmers (one just bought a few months earlier) and my water pump, which I’d kept inside, had been stolen. I was pretty shocked as the shed is in an isolated area and could not have been known to the common thief. Having said that, the local carpenter who helped me put the pieces back togethr again was pretty shocked too. And another friend gave me as a present a new hedge trimmer he never used. So let’s look on the half-filled wine-glass side of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Isolated area … According to our carabinieri, potential thieves hang about and discreetly observe isolated houses. They treat it like a job and drive round checking up and looking out. So your thief may not have been a local known to you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s