The first time we viewed The Olive Hill (mid June 2017), our Friendly Estate Agent cheerfully told us that it could be ours in six to eight weeks. He assured us that one of the great things about buying from his agency, rather than the Unfriendly Agency down the road, who were also marketing the property, at a GREATLY reduced price, was that he had already done all of the due diligence on the paperwork, meaning that the only thing that could slow the process down was our requirement for a mortgage. With the summer shut down looming (Italy effectively closes for the month of August), we rushed to our Friendly Personal Banker, and then to her friend, the Friendly Mortgage Advisor….. And then to the Uncivil Servant in the town hall, and then spent the next five months rushing to one of these characters after another.
Now, with the Christmas shutdown starting this Friday, IT IS ALL HAPPENING, AND WE MUST HURRY!!!!
If we hurry enough, The Olive Hill could be ours in … six to eight weeks!!!!! Unfortunately, this seems to necessitate the arrival into our lives of two further individuals: The Friendly Mortgage Advisor’s friend, The Friendly Notaio, and, because nobody seems to have a friend who is an accountant, The Irish Commercialista. We will meet The Friendly Notaio five hours before the Christmas shutdown commences, but sadly, Irish is unable to see us until next year. This is A Problem, as it turns out that one must already be a farmer in order to buy a farm, and neither of us are farmers. And amazingly, it takes both an accountant and a lawyer to become a farmer. One can buy land as a non farmer, but at a punishing tax rate, in order to discourage mere mortals from buying up prime farming land, and turning it into golf courses and other such nonsense. No problem, says Friendly Estate Agent, we will draw up a rental contract! Because, in order to become a farmer, as well as having residency, seeing an accountant to incorporate your business, and seeing a notaio to, um, I’m not quite sure, you must also be working land already! So, you can rent the land until you become a farmer!
Of course, we already knew that we had to become farmers, because The Olive Hill comes with a tractor, and only farmers can have tractors. Nobody ever told us that we had to jump through yet more rings of fire to become farmers, nor did they tell us that we could have been renting the land for all these months and months, in fact, through the harvest season, which would have prevented the sad sites that met us when we walked the land at the weekend, like this year’s olive harvest, which appears to have been carried out by a blind, axe wielding murderer, and this year’s grape harvest, which seems to have been done using the “dump and run” method.
Hey ho, we had a lovely lesson the following day, on how to taste olive oil, and hopefully, the above will all be ours in the next six to eight weeks!