Bear with me on this, there is a lot to describe.
What I have for sale is a large plot of land of about 3.25 hectares of mixed woodland, flat fields and terraces with a lovely trout stream at the bottom.
On it are two complete, self contained houses, one very new and the other very old.
House 1 (3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large kitchen + diner + livingroom)
This is a new build house that we have constructed ourselves with the help of local builders and craftsmen. We have put a huge amount of effort in doing as much as we could using reclaimed materials from an old barn that we had to demolish because it was structurally unsound and was leaning over at a very precarious angle. My wife is an Occupational Therapist and she had always wanted to build a house for people with disabilities to be able to go on vacation somewhere really special. The design of the house has quite subtle differences that make it much easier for someone to access in a wheelchair. It was designed to support a family where one or two of the guests had a disability.
Most people would not notice the difference as the house in many ways, looks just like any other, but to someone with a mobility issue these features make all the difference.
The house is also designed to be really comfortable, 365 days of the year. The whole house is insulated to a very high level with 10cm of insulation in walls, floors and roof surfaces, and we had specially made chestnut windows made locally with double glazed units using thermal glass.
The heating system is composed of three parts. On the roof we have two huge solar panels that feed into an accumulator tank to store hot water. The central heating is done mainly by a wood burning stove and feeds hot water to radiators in all the rooms. Sitting between these two systems is a small gas boiler which automatically turns itself on and off and switches between hot water and heating as required to top up either when needed, which isn’t very often.
The result of all of this is a very comfortable house, cool in summer but warm in winter, that is also very cheap to run. In an average year we use about 100euro of gas and about 150euro of wood. Because of the insulation you can maintain an internal temperature over 20c while the outside is well below freezing.
This house is sort of designed upside down, you come in on the upper floor where you have the kitchen, dining area and living room. Going through the living room you come to the main bedroom with a side equipment room, and through that you have the main disabled wet-room/bathroom.
Going downstairs you have two more bedrooms and a further bathroom with a large shower.
House 2 La Rupina (means the fortress in local dialect)
La Rupina was built in the 1500’s and was originally a fort, and when you are there you can see why. It has commanding views out across the Serchio valley towards the Carerra Mountains on the other side. At some point the fort was demolished and a house constructed on the base of the fort.
The construction is of rock walls with a layout of two bedrooms, a large kitchen plus good sized living room on the ground floor. Some time ago, probably in the 70’s, this house was “remodeled” to make it more modern. The old wooden floors were taken out and replaced with concrete and steel beams which probably at the time were considered to be an improvement but in my opinion are definitely not. The new ceiling was put in much higher which means the rooms upstairs were turned into loft space.
The house is perfectly usable as it is but it could be so much better. We were always told that we would never get permission to move the floors back to where they were but through the persistence of our architect we have managed to get permission to remove all the steel and concrete, drop the floors back to there original height and put back in the wooden beams.
This will double the space and turn what is a two bed roomed, one bath roomed house into a four bed roomed, three bath room, house with a large kitchen, a study and big living room.
Permission to do this work will be included in the sale price so there will be no unknowns in terms of getting building permissions.
We already have building quotes for most of the work required, which includes rebuilding the roof and putting in insulation, removing all the steel and concrete floors and putting in new wooden beams, removal of old chimneys and many other items of work, the quote for this comes to just over 60K euro.
This will complete all the main building requirements only leaving the finishing, electrics and plumbing. These are areas you could do yourself or we can recommend local tradespeople to do it for you.
So what are we looking for
For family reasons we are not able to carry on with this project, so we are putting it up for sale either as a whole, or one that could be split into two parcels of land with a house on each one. I would say this would be an ideal project for either two families who want to have houses close to each other or for someone who wants to complete our original plan of living in the old house and renting out the new. Houses like this which are custom designed to support people with disabilities are very rare, don’t take my word for it just go online and search for yourself. There are probably only a handful of places like this in the whole of Italy.
When you look at the pictures, the first lot are the old house, the following ones are the new house. I have lots more pictures that I will put in an online gallery.
In terms of selling, we would be looking for a price of 720,000 euros for the whole property with the two houses. Or possibly splitting into two and asking 460,000 euros for the new house and 260,000 euros for the old house.
Have a look at the pictures and drop me a line if you want more information. I am not in Italy at the moment and due to coronovirus I can’t be sure when I will return but lets all hope for the best and see how things turn out.
Thanks for reading.