A Second Life in Italy Without the Stress: The Appassionata Experience

An article written and published in Italy Magazine by Georgette Jupe | September 21, 2018

Have you ever dreamt about owning a vacation property but couldn’t quite justify the cost, or the day-to-day upkeep? Luckily there are solutions that are alternative to renting that can allow you to have a second home in one of Italy’s most unsung regions without all of the red-tape hiccups that can come with investing in a second home abroad.

Appassionata is a luxury and boutique Fractional Ownership business run by Brit Italofiles Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs and husband Michael in the heart of the beautiful and relaxing Le Marche region of Italy, in a place where life sings to a different tune. Where strolling charming cobblestoned streets and spending hours sipping coffee in a piazza are par for the course. Their well-designed properties are also all within close proximity to Le Marche’s mountains and coastline, and to two local airport to make travel to and fro as seamless as possible making la dolce vita much easier to reach.

But it’s one thing for me to tell you that but what about those who chose to change their lives and actually take the plunge in one of these beautiful luxury homes?

Diane and Mark are in their mid-fifties from South Africa, now based in London for the last thirty years. Both of them are successful businesspeople with two older children who are now embarking on their own vibrant careers.

Like many in similar positions, they always expressed an interest for a second, vacation property but had a hard time finding properties that truly fit their needs. Italy was always foremost in their mind, having spent time in Rome, Florence, Venice and Sicily so they decided to embark on a discovery visit with Appassionata without having ever visited Le Marche previously. The idea of fractional ownership was intriguing but naturally before making any large financial decisions, it was best to see the place in person.

Diane and Mark had a few requirements, namely a high standard of property (needed no renovations) with a garden and swimming pool — and in the case of the house they visited, the tennis court, vineyard and views were an added bonus. An important aspect was to find a place that wasn’t overrun with tourism and filled with predominantly locals.

Location-wise it needed to be sufficiently rural to allow for outdoor activities, but within a close distance to local shops for basic necessities. Lastly, it needed to be large enough to accommodate a group of friends and their children and partners. With this in mind it was time to visit the property.

They flew to Rome and drove to Le Marche, a beautiful drive that offered the first taste of what was to come. They settled in the accommodation that Appassionata owner’s Michael and Dawn Hobbs had arranged for them and instantly integrated into local life, visiting local restaurants and cafes before visiting Casa Leopoldi to inspect the property available. In their words “we found the rooms to be impressively decorated and by the end of dinner on the first night we decided to buy the final share of the property.”

Regarding the concept of fractional ownership this proved to be just the ideal situation for Diane and Mark. It enabled them to have all of the benefits of ownership, including a say in how the property was run, without having to deal with the daily management of the property itself. Each owner has a 1/10th ownership in the property which they have total control over and are allotted five exclusive weeks a year to use. As stated in The Sunday Times “The expense of buying a holiday home outright, along with the annual running costs seemed crazy, when you may only use the house for an average of 40 nights a year. – That is why Appassionata was born!”

They knew that any second property would be standing empty most of the year and renting it out to strangers would allow tenants who did not necessarily feel an attachment to the property as they did. The fact that there were only a small number of owners meant that there was a “family” feeling among the other buyers who all shared a common interest in maintaining the quality of the property.

Also attractive was the fact that the weeks set every year are not set in stone. allowing them to visit the area in a range of seasons. Due to the way the system works, if other owners aren’t using their weeks, that opens that time up to anyone who wants to use it.

Mark also sits on the board of the company as one of the owner representatives who meet for board meetings to stay involved with the management company during the year regarding matters of running the property.

I asked him how he typically spends a day in Le Marche to give us an idea of someone’s normal routine. He said “We normally start the day by going on a walk to the village to buy bread from the bakery or down the street to a local farmer for vegetables. If we are feeling particular energetic they swim in the pool or run by the beach before breakfast.” Something they often do is head to Cupra Marittima to rent bikes at Carlito’s bike shop to cycle at the seafront before heading to one of the many seaside restaurants for lunch. “In the late afternoon, we play tennis before heading to the village for an aperitivo before dinner at home for an evening barbecue.”

I also spoke to America-based Deborah of Italian descent who despite living in the states kept the beloved traditions of her Italian relatives alive. Her and her husband are working professionals who love travel and come often to Italy. Deborah explained to me over email “I felt a deep connection to Italy most of my life. As a young girl, I was fascinated watching Italian movies with actress Sophia Loren and my biggest dream was to one day own a home in Italy.”

Their intrigue for Le Marche was ignited after reading an article about Appassionata that made them ponder, could this be the solution for us?

As you may have predicted, as soon as they arrived in this often-overlooked region, the landscape was the first catalyst that took their breath away.

Deborah explained “Where else can you travel from the mountains through the rolling hills to the Adriatic Sea in less than an hour, the authenticity of this beautiful place is really what created such a hold on me”

This region indeed is one of Italy’s best kept secrets where one can swim in the blue sea, hike the rugged mountains and stumble upon so many charming medieval hilltop villages and hidden places carved into ancient stone.

Deborah was also won over by the seamless solution to own a luxury property for a fraction of the price. One of her initial concerns was an eye for interior aesthetics, something that she well appreciates in her home in Le Marche that Appassionata-owner Dawn has lovingly decorated. Her eye for detail is one of the reasons that the shares in these properties typically sell rather quickly. Dawn spent ages working hard with local artisans to make sure every single room was unique, with no small detail overlooked.

Mod-cons like a washer and dryer and other high-end appliances were an attractive bonus along with three attractive terraces with sweeping vistas of the countryside.  As Deborah says “If you look closely on a nice day, you can even spot the Adriatic Sea in the distance.”

Additionally, one of the biggest hurdles they had before while house searching was the idea of owning a home but not being able to regularly maintain the day to day works, this making Appassionata’s full daily management of the property especially attractive for their needs.

“Appassionata meticulously maintains the property through the year so that when we arrive we can immediately embrace “vacation mode” with no worries. Everything is in full working order when we arrive and we can even have a stocked refrigerator if we arrange in advance” Deborah says.

I asked what else Deborah appreciated about local life in Le Marche as for me. She replied “It is a wonderful experience to just throw open the windows and watch the local residents going about their day, chatting over morning coffee and freshly-baked pastries or just taking in the delicious smells wafting from our neighbor’s cooking on Sunday afternoons. Not to mention the sound of church bells chiming in on the hour.”

They felt the warmth of the village and welcomed by other residents, helping them to fit into the fabric of local life. Deborah continues with “Needless to say, we have a fun, active social life in Le Marche.”

I asked her to explain how she spends a day in her village to which she replies “our days can be whatever we want them to be. Luxuriating at home, doing nothing or enjoying a glass of wine overlooking a beautiful vineyard. We may visit one of the many medieval villages and towns and choose between the sea and the mountains. The food and wine here is absolutely sublime. One can choose to dine under the stars at a gourmet restaurant or at a more casual seaside chalet.”

She finished with “For my family, the entire Appassionata experience has been the best decision we’ve ever made, rejoicing in “La Dolce Vita” year after year.

Fractional ownership is fast becoming the smartest way to enjoy the benefits of owning a luxury holiday home in Italy at a fraction of the cost of buying a holiday home outright, learn more about Appassionata’s properties in Le Marche and contact them to arrange your discovery visit today!

The Business of Fractional Ownership with Appassionata.

The Business of Fractional Ownership with Appassionata.

Fractional Ownership is a successful, growing concept, but few people really understand exactly what it means, or the benefits it offers those of us wanting a holiday home.  It is frequently confused with timeshare, conjuring up a very negative view of being chased down the street in Marbella by an over enthusiastic salesman inviting you to enjoy a liquid lunch and sign on the dotted line!

Fractional Ownership was developed to create a more secure and reliable solution for those wanting to share ownership of a luxurious item.

The key to Fractional Ownership is ‘ownership’; you own a share of the property in perpetuity, with the right to sell at any time.  Timeshare is all about ‘time‘, you have the right to use the property for only a short period each year, normally a week, but without ownership in the freehold asset. Timeshare is likely to reduce in value over time. Appassionata owners have undertaken several re-sales on behalf of owners over the last few years, achieving an average return of over 10% on the total value of shares sold.

“Fractional ownership with Appassionata was a much more pragmatic approach to owning a home in Italy. The properties are meticulously restored and fractional ownership was the solution to all of the expense and hassle of overseas home ownership.” 

Victor & Sandra Jason – Owners USA

Ownership with Appassionata- means owning a luxury property which is professionally managed and maintained throughout the year. The ten owners split the annual running costs between them. Financially this makes good sense. On average a holiday home owner only uses their property for 40 days each year, but have to pay for the entire year.

Appassionata owners are all pretty savvy. They often have the resources to buy a property outright, but don’t want the financial burden and stress. They know they haven’t got the free time to use it all year.

With Fractional Ownership you arrive and everything is ready for you to start your holiday immediately….. sound perfect?

Appassionata are a delight to deal with and the reason that everything works so incredibly well. Friendly, helpful, professional and most of all passionate about their work.”

Joanne Evans-Webb – Owner/Dubai

Fractional Ownership provides a modern solution to owning a holiday home. It’s makes more sense having a group of people share the running cost of the property and the house to be fully used throughout the year. It breathes more life into local communities having a property consistently used, adding to the rich culture and diversity of the local area by developing long term relationships with the local people.

It is a given that the legal structure for Fractional Ownership must be robust. The legal structure must protect the owners and the property, providing a simple and transparent way for the property to be managed. The Appassionata structure is secure, tried and tested.

Appassionata sells 1/10th shares in each of their properties, owners have exclusive use of their house during their 5 weeks of annual residency. Residency is booked in September for the following year, and gives all owners real choice and flexibility, with the opportunity to experience different times of the year.

To experience the quality and uniqueness of Appassionata  properties or to find out more information please get in touch and we can arrange a discovery trip to Le Marche.

“The expense of buying a holiday home outright, along with the annual running costs seemed crazy, when you may only use the house for an average of 40 nights a year.

” The Sunday Times”

Enjoy the luxury of owning an Italian home, to share with family and friends.

www.appassionata.com

info@appassionata.com

 

 

 

 

 

The five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property

Fractional ownership is, at its core, a means for individuals to purchase a luxurious item as a group that they would not individually be able to afford. From jet planes to super yachts to high end property, fractional ownership has opened up a world of luxury to those who might otherwise never have known it.

petritoli_housex2

Overseas property, in particular, is ideal for fractional owners looking for a holiday home a cut above the rest. With a management company in place to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of the property, fractional ownership offers the capital growth benefits of a regular holiday home, but with less hassle and a far superior property.

As fractional ownership is still a relatively new concept compared with other methods of property investment, Italy-based fractional expert Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of luxury holiday home company Appassionata here provides her five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property.

The five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property

  1. Location, location, location – as with any property purchase, be sure that the location offers everything you desire, whether it’s mountain views, access to stunning beaches, fabulous local cuisine or an easy flight from the UK. If it’s all of the above that you seek, then look no further than Italy’s Le Marche region!
  2. Value for money – ensure the purchase price is in line with the local market and offers value for money, with transparent annual maintenance charges. Check out the purchase procedure as well – it should be simple and straightforward, with clarity built in at every stage.
  3. Property size – think carefully about how many bedrooms you need and the property’s other rooms and features. Bear in mind that over time your holiday needs may change, with extended family and friends all able to join you if you have a sufficiently spacious property.
  4. Residency calendar – be sure to investigate how the property’s residency calendar works. It should be a simple system that is easy to understand, with a means of allocating weeks that is fair to all owners.
  5. Confidence – ensure that you have confidence in the company that you are buying from. The fractional ownership company should engender trust from the start. Here at Appassionata our clients get to meet the whole team, which as we are a family business even includes the grandchildren. We like our clients to know that we are nearby should they need us, especially for their first visits when everything is new to them.

Appassionata currently offers three fractional ownership holiday homes – two nestled within the rolling hills of the Le Marche countryside, plus their latest property, Casa Tre Archi, which offers Italian urban living in its purest form, in the medieval town of Petritoli. Dawn was careful to look at all three properties through their potential fractional owners’ eyes before purchasing.

Attached to the ancient turrets and entrance arches of the town walls, Casa Tre Archi offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three levels of outside space, including a stunning roof terrace with sea views. Unique features abound, including beamed ceilings, old turret walls and travertine stone floors. Fractions are currently priced from £65,000 each for a one tenth share, which entitles the owner to five weeks’ usage per year.

For more information on fractional ownership and the wonders of the luxury Italian urban lifestyle, contact the Appassionata team on 0039 073 465 8775 or visit www.appassionata.com.

Italian property is the flavour of the month ranking 3rd most popular in the world

According to a recent report conducted by leading overseas property portal, TheMoveChannel.com, Italian property is now the third most popular in the world, receiving more enquiries than both Spain and Portugal.

casa giacomo terrace

Following a slight dip in popularity at the end of 2013, the Italian property market has enjoyed a promising start to the year. The report shows the number of enquiries received for Italian property rose 7% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous three months and throughout April 2014 with Italy’s bargainous prices helping the nation become the third most popular destination among house hunters looking for ‘La Dolce Vita’.

Food tourism is a huge draw for visitors to the country and is the first and foremost in expenditure: 67.5% attend restaurants and pizzerias, spending on average €16 per person, and 68.3% are entertained in bars, cafes, and bakeries, consuming about €6 per day. Many buy their food and drinks in supermarkets and shops (60.4% at around €23), while 32% of visitors choose to bring home souvenirs of local food and wine, spending about €10 per head.

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of family-run Italian fractional ownership company Appassionata based in Le Marche comments,

“Indeed, Italy’s racy love affair with foreign property buyers continues despite the tumultuous economic times experienced over the last few years. Buyers are returning in their droves to live la dolce vita and find second homes offering something more than just bricks and mortar.

casa leopardi

“In comparison to other traditional European second home destinations Italy offers superb added value. The cuisine and wine alone is a huge draw bringing food tourists and potential property purchasers to Italy to find their perfect pad in gastronomy heaven. Indeed here at Appassionata, we combine the cuisine that Le Marche region is famous for with a luxury holiday home setting which has proved extremely popular with buyers from as far afield as Canada, the USA and South Africa.”

Sympathetically restored from rustic farmhouses by interior designer Dawn and her family, one of the key attractions of Casa Giacomo and Casa Leopardi, located on the delightful 5 acre Estate Giacomo Leopardi, is the share of the produce which includes the a truffle orchard, lavender plantation, olive groves and a vineyard large enough to produce 5,000 bottles of wine per year.

Appassionata Marche Rosso

Dawn continues,

“Last week we finished the first wine bottling for Estate Giacomo Leopardi, complete with our own Appassionata designed labels and seals. It was very exciting to see the first bottle coming off the machine, especially as our whole family had planted the baby vines just 4 years ago, 2,500 vines by hand!”

In addition to the Estate’s organic red and white wines, Appassionata has also introduced a new VIP service for fractional share owners, offering a top local chef to make and deliver delicious locally grown, organic dishes to the Appassionata properties.

So for those property hunters looking for a tasty offer why not check out 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom Casa Leopardi . With only one share remaining at £195,000 Casa Leopardi is a must see boasting its own private swimming pool and surrounded by terraces for outdoor dining, the property offers a level of luxury that most holiday home owners can only dream of.

Estate Giacomo Leopardi pool

Casa Leopardi – last share

casa leopardi 1

There is now just ONE share still remaining in Casa Leopardi on Estate Giacomo Leopardi for £195,000. This property has its own heated pool, access to the Estate’s large pool and all weather tennis court and each owner gets a share of the wine harvested off the Estates vineyard each year. This year each owner gets approx 180 bottles of wine. If you would like to arrange an inspection visit to come and view this stunning property please contact us now.

casa leopardi _13