I’ve been wanting to show you our house, but didn’t want to take photos of it looking “as-is.” I’m sure you can understand, but our house is never clean. I may have all the time in the world to clean, but that’s the last thing I ever want to do. So when my in-laws came to visit a few weeks ago I deep-cleaned the house (and by “deep-cleaned” I mean I swept, made the beds, picked stuff off from the floor, and busted out the Lysol wipes), and decided to take photos since it’s probably the cleanest the house will ever get while we’re here. I also just got a lovely wide-angle lens, so I loved testing it out around the house!
First a bit about the housing situation out here. Yes, we are here because of the military, but there actually isn’t any “on-base” housing at this particular base. What that means is we have to live “on the economy,” which essentially means we live amongst the Italians. (Side note: There is the equivalent of one-base housing, but it’s currently being faded out. The Air Force built homes on their dime on Italian land to
rent out to Americans. Once the government contract is up they give the
house back to the Italians and then the Italians can still rent to
Americans if they want or sell/rent to locals.)
When we first get here we had 10ish days to house hunt. I don’t know if that sounds like a lot of time, but when you’re thrown into another country and culture and have to find a house, that’s nothing. We technically had 30 days to find one, get the papers signed, and move out of lodging (the hotel) on base, but my husband had to start work after 10 days. Luckily, our sponsor was great and started showing us homes on day one. (A sponsor is just what it sounds like—someone who has already “been there and done that” and can help show you the ropes.)
I was extremely nervous about finding a place to live. We got here after PCS season and I didn’t think there would be many places left. The house we ended up getting was the second house we saw. As we walked through it the first time we knew it’d be ours; even though it was completely empty we started visualizing where our things would go. We still saw other homes, just to make sure we were making a good decision, but ended up going with this one.
Our landlord, while 100 percent Italian, speaks great English. This house is sort of a duplex, meaning our neighbor’s house is attached to ours, but it’s still completely separate (we have our own utilities, fenced-in yard, etc.). From what we’ve gathered, this house is on family land; our neighbor is our landlord’s aunt, the field next door belongs to her uncle (or cousin?), and this house used to be her parent’s place. The thing that sold us was the fact that it’s been vacant for several years and they’ve completely revamped it, so everything is fairly modern and new—new floors (tile and wood), new lights, new kitchen, new appliances, new everything.
Enough chatting…here’s the downstairs of our place!
Our front yard is also our backyard and there’s an
apartment complex surrounding our place. We were a bit hesitant with
this situation at first, but we’re fine with it now. Bella has a place
to run around and sun bathe, and apartments will shield the sun during
the summer (air conditioners aren’t like they are back home, so I’ll
take any heat relief I can get)!
|I’m working on getting art up on the blank wall to the left!|
As for the sink. Well, if you follow me on Twitter then you’ve probably heard me complain about doing the dishes
once or twice
a whole heck of a lot. The one thing I miss is having a double sink and
even more than that, I miss having a dishwasher. Rumors are that we
could get one from base (they loan things out—like the microwave below), but since we’re leaving sooner rather than later, I’m just
going to suck it up.
The house didn’t come with any storage, shelves, or closets of any type, so we went to Ikea and bought the island/cutting board stand and the white pantry you see above. I’m also working on an art project to go above the cutting board stand.
If you saw our Georgia house, then this may look familiar since it’s basically the same set up. The only difference is we don’t have anything on the wall behind the TV. The walls are all concrete, so hanging things up is tougher than normal. We put everything up there before realizing we wanted to decorate, but now it’s not worth the hassle. We actually now have this piece of art hanging on the blank wall behind the couch. (Note to self: the next time I take pictures of the house, make the pillows look pretty).
|Someone was very punny 🙂|
And that’s the end of the downstairs tour! There are several things I’m excited to share upstairs, so hopefully I can get that post published this week!
I should also mention that every home
out here is different, so while this is our home in Italy, it’s not
necessarily a typical Italian home. If you have questions on the housing
out here, feel free to leave a comment!