Alas, there was no TV crew to follow us around this time, but we did do a bit of house hunting over the course of a few months to find this place. Right now in Florence it feels a bit like a renters' market in that you can negotiate a little when you find the right place, but in a city full of old and, um...unique...places, it can take a bit to find the right home. That is, of course, why we jumped on this place when we found it.
As we set out to find a new apartment our wish list looked a bit like this:
- 2-3 bedrooms
- At least 90m2
- Furnished kitchen (less common than you would think)
- Lots and lots of natural light
- If not in the city center, on a reliable bus line
We've learned that when house hunting in Florence you can't make too detailed of a list. Why? You. will. never. find it all. Instead, if you go in with a general list you can find yourself pleasantly surprised with what you do find.
You may notice that outdoor space isn't on the list. As nice as it was to have a garden, we barely used it. Because we work from home, when we needed a break and fresh air, we wanted a break and fresh air...which meant going outside for walks or to the park. Staying at home in the place we'd just worked for 8 hours or more wasn't much of a treat. We weren't nervous about Winston losing the space because any time we go away he stays with petsitters that don't have gardens and he manages just fine. In some ways, the routine of 3x a day walks makes him much better behaved.
What We Discovered We looked at apartments 200euro below and 200euro above our ideal price. It was fascinating the difference in the quality of the apartments. It was clear to us immediately that hitting the higher end of our budget was going to be a necessity. At this point, we also realized that three bedrooms was out of the question. Three bedroom apartments are hard to find and that extra room knocks the price up substantially. That being said, the square footage (meterage?) significantly increased at the high end of our budget, so we knew even with just two bedrooms that we'd have some breathing room.
What We Found When we found this apartment we just knew that we had to take it. What makes it particularly special is that everything has just been redone. Everything. New bathrooms, new kitchen, refinished floors. It's gorgeous. It feels like a place that we really get to shape into our own home instead of adapting to what we find. The showstopper? That photo above with the giant living/diving/working space. Woot woot!
The surprise is that it's much more central than our old apartment. I never in a million years thought we'd be living next door to the Bargello, but here we are and totally loving it so far.