Monday, October 8, 2012


Yesterday, we went to the notary to complete the purchase of the apartment on the Piazza San Francesco.  It was usual Italian chaos.  At the meeting were the Stoic One and me, the notary, the scribe the witness, the woman from the bank the translator, the two people selling AND their 3 year old daughter.  We were supposed to start at 10:30 and I thought we would finish in an hour and that would give us plenty of time to pick us Joseph and Paul at Terontola train station.  How long have I lived in Italy? How naive am I???

So of course we didn't start on time.  The sellers were late.  Then everyone had to have formal greeting and comments on how much the little girl had grown since they last saw her.  She was not a quiet 3 year old let me tell you.  She had a video she played at maximum volume, ran around like a banchee, and everyone paid attention to her.  Italians love these little ones.  Ok. So we finally start 15 minutes late.  Then here is what happens.  The notary reads all of the documents in Italian, while the scribe shows us the computer and makes changes as the notary speaks.  The notary stops (I love our notary by the way...more on her later) then the translator reads all of what the notary has just said in English.  This takes some time.

So what took the most time, is one of the sellers was certain we needed to pay IVA on our purchase.  Since this would have been 22% of the purchase price, this would have been a deal killer for us.  The notary said no, the seller said yes. (Why the seller would care is complicated...the sellers were basically a company not an individual and there are tax implications for the seller if we didn't pay the tax) Ok. the seller insists, calls her accountant who says, yes the buyers must pay this tax.  Faxes go back and forth. Our notary says no.  Show the person a written copy of the law.  More faxes.  Our notary does not budge.  We don't have to pay.  Seller not happy.  Stoic One very happy.  We exchange checks, pleasantries and it is over.  Only 30 minutes late to pick us Joseph and Paul!

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