This is my first update in a while, but not because things aren’t moving along. I actually officially moved into the place on June 1 and live there now. My apartment is still without wi-fi which should be installed by this weekend! Little did I know, my internet service requires a 60-day notice to transfer to a new abode. To make my wait a bit shorter, I cancelled my account and re-opened a new one, thus only taking about a month (after the request was halted twice for an unexplained reason). Anyway, I should be back online soon.
The kitchen was installed a couple of weeks ago, but not completely. My quartz top has not arrived yet, so they gave me a temporary top with an unplumbed temporary sink and electric cook-top. Needless to say, I am not cooking much and actually having to wash dishes in the garden sink. My refrigerator finally arrived after 2 weeks without one. This is after trying to call the store about 30 times and going straight into holding pattern, then being disconnected. My washing machine sits in a box in the kitchen until all the outdoor scaffolding is removed to be installed in the garden shack. Camping out in your new home is interesting.
The bathroom is actually almost finished (much further along than this photo below shows). The tiles and marble seating have been installed as well as the sanitary items (sink, toilet, and bidet – yes, I decided to go ahead and install it). The only thing I am still waiting for is the crystal shower door. The walls have been painted and treated in grasello, a type of Venetian plaster process that is basically moisture and mold-proof (I sure hope so). It costs more than an normal paint job, but has such a luscious quality.
I decided to get a new garden door and window in the living room. Although the bedrooms are on the street and need to be sound and weather-proofed, I did not do any major works in those rooms. Since the rear facade is already being worked on, it made sense to get these windows now rather than later, plus iron safety gates will be installed at the end of the week. It is important for me to have these especially because I live on the ground floor and break-ins are extremely common in Florence. Some people even have safety gates on their windows 3 and 4 stories up because thieves scale walls and jump balconies! My 2nd floor apartment in the center in the San Lorenzo market was broken into, but they busted down the front door.
My garden is still a worksite through the end of the month. The exterior works are almost finished and the scaffolding will be removed soon. Yes, they have to pass through my apartment with all that stuff to get it out to the street — yet another reason why I cannot fully unpack and settle in. Good thing I like the team working because I have them in and out of my home from 8am-5pm, with regular visits by the condo manager, engineers, the alarm guy, the electrician, plumber, architect, etc. The cat gets to be locked in the bedroom.
And on the tax front… some news to me. For this year, there are actually NO property taxes to pay. This is a little “gift” the government is granting home owners. However, I went to pay my Italian income taxes last week and was informed that because I did not change my residency immediately to the new home, I have to pay IMU taxes for a second home! I always understood that having a second home was only valid for people who actually own 2 homes. Instead, even though I was renting my other apartment, and did not want my mail and documents going to my new place while under construction and not living there yet, this was counted as an “empty home” by the Comune and I have to pay a tax from the time my ownership contract was finalized to when I changed my residency — and they count calendar months, not days, so I have to pay 3 months!
And another thing…there will be TASI fees to pay for both my first home (the rental) and second home! TASI is a tax to maintain the area in which you live. Yes, it should be going towards filling all those pot-holes in the streets and fixing the sidewalks! And, did I mention the garbage tax I have to pay which required filling out a 5-page form including all my square meterage for both living and storage space? Oh, and don’t forget to have your mail forwarded by the post office — another 4-page form and 27 euros to pay. And I am waiting for the TV tax bill to arrive any day now. Oh the joys of home ownership in Italy….