We couldn’t afford a London flat, so we bought a farm in Italy instead . . .

The UK’s exorbitant housing market has driven Lucie Davidson and her boyfriend Jerry O’Shea to radically expand their property search.

The couple started househunting in May last year. They were looking for a one-bedroom flat in Brixton, Bermondsey or Camberwell in south London and their budget was up to £450,000.

They found nothing. So instead they decided to buy a 110-acre farm in central Italy with no running water or electricity and a farmhouse that had been badly damaged by an earthquake…The thought of starting a new life together as farmers in the Italian region of Le Marche seemed preferable to “spending half a million pounds to live in a box”, said Lucie, 26…

I know the feeling. Been down that thoughtful road a couple of times. Circumstances were never quite right…as far as my personal life was concerned. Owned a chunk of disposable property , one sort or another over time, which could have been sold to fund such a purchase. But, the waiting paid off because I found my wonderful Helen and she already had a delightful place just outside Santa Fe.

We married. I sold my house in town. Moved about 8 miles to La Cieneguilla…30 years ago. Couldn’t be happier.

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