Stefan and Alicia - Suffolk & Scalea

We had travelled to different parts of Italy frequently through our lives before we were married. We discovered Sicily and toyed after many visits of purchasing a holiday home close to Taormina in a historic centre. After much debate we decided that we would put this on hold and purchased a rather run down Victorian police station in England, which after a year we had fully renovated. During this period we married and Alicia fell pregnant with our son Oscar.

Holiday and travels went on hold for a while until my mother and her husband bought a holiday home in Scalea and invited us to come on holiday with them in September 2006. We instantly fell in love with Scalea, the people, the food and the wine and the fact, culturally, that it reminded us so much of Sicily but easier to get to with regular flights from Stansted airport.

We enjoyed our stay so much we contacted Tony Hackett at Calabria Property Consultants to ask if he could show us some properties in Scalea’s centro storico. Accommodating as always, Tony showed us many properties and patiently spent the day showing us total renovation projects and some part renovation projects. We talked and decided on a property in centro storico.

Upon arriving in England, the tumultuous buying journey began. We offered on the first property and had our offer accepted. The proof of ownership as sometimes happens with old properties could not be resolved although Tony made huge efforts to resolve this. We then found a second property which was fully renovated and our offer was accepted. However, this was not meant to be, the vendor decided he wanted to sell two apartments together. We considered this proposal but after a lot of thought we decided to look again.

Due to the disappointments we had suffered, Tony arranged for us to come to Scalea in June 2007 for two weeks and provided us with accommodation with the intention of finding us our dream home in Scalea’s centro storico. Within two days Tony had shown us eight different properties and we found the perfect property on the second day and it was under budget!

The property needed some renovation work such as decorating and fitting a new kitchen and furnishing the property and bringing the electrics and plumbing to a satisfactory standard. Tony arranged this with a local builder and the guys at Sarubbi did a fabulous job supplying the kitchen and furniture. They planned and fitted it perfectly. We arrived in October 2007 and the work was completed and the purchase finalised. At last our long journey was at an end.

We purchased our property for €77,000 and the refurbishment work and totally furnishing it to a high standard cost approx €9,000. Our purchase story is probably unusual, as Tony said we were probably the most unlucky people he had ever met.

However, the thing to remember is that knowledge, skill and expertise are not required when the process is simple it is required when it is complicated as it can be with historic properties. Tony at Calabria Property Consultants guided us through the problems and delivered us the perfect historic building in a perfect location. I think this proves Tony is a true professional.

It is now 2010 and we have frequently visited Scalea and had a new addition to the family, our daughter Xenia-Rose, who also enjoys the wonderful food, community spirit and family culture that Scalea provides.

Thanks again Tony.