Why did you choose to buy a property in Sardinia?
Sardinia is a traveller's paradise and it is among the top, if not THE top, holiday destinations in Italy among Italians. There are no other islands in Italy that are comparable to Sardinia in terms of beaches, crystal clear waters, landscape, environment and of course, opportunities. The northern part of the island has already been discovered and also "overdeveloped", and has become a very fancy destination, with subsequent high prices and elitist holidaymakers (at least during the season). The southern part and especially the South-West is still practically intact and pristine and it is here that we chose to invest, as this is the land of opportunities for the future touristic development of the island. Prices are still manageable (whereas the North is for the rich and famous) and the coast is like it was in the fancy northern part of the island in the 1980s, so it's obviously the right place to do a good investment. As Europeans first discovered Tuscany, then Umbria, Le Marche, now Apulia, it is certainly just a matter of time until the day Sardinia will skyrocket in people's minds, like the abovementioned regions previously did. And last but not least, we wanted to move to the sea for part of the year!
When did you buy the property and approximately how much did you pay for it?
We bought the property in three phases in 2007, 2008 and 2009. We had two mortgages, so you can imagine what we paid for our dream to come true. We had no idea or intention to buy the whole property from the beginning, as it was well beyond our possibilities. However, we later realised that we could dream big and we consciously paid a lot more than its market price for our house. We knew there was no other way to get what we wanted and that came with a price if we wanted to have things done properly, something a bit hard to find in Sardinia (NB: one of the major concerns when investing here is finding the capable people to run all the renovating work, which can cost you a fortune if done improperly). You can buy quite cheap though and save on renovation if you know a little bit of housework yourself, so it can be a real bargain to buy here today, something that in 10 years time will cost a fortune. The whole area is indeed in the eye of investors, due to its great potential, so we assume it will become as fancy as the North within the next decade or so.
Why did you decide to make it into a holiday home / rent it out?
We thought that by making it into a holiday home this would help pay for the mortgages and allow us to move in part of the year, once we are done with all the payments.
On average, how many weeks do you rent out per year, and during which months?
We get by quite well and are able to get guests visiting during the season.
Why should people come to visit Sardinia?
Sardinia is a wonderful island, full of incredible treasures and yet partially unknown to foreign visitors. Locals are great, especially in our area, where people are very friendly with foreigners and the food is very good too: basic, genuine, not elaborate and yet very tasty. The beaches are among the most beautiful in the world and many experienced travellers say it is very hard to beat Sardinia's incredible water colours and beaches. The climate is awesome, especially in the South where we are, so that we could virtually say it is pleasantly sunny 10 months a year. And we built a house that is really special, and it is not by chance featured in lots of magazines. Enough to convince?
What are your top three tips for ‘living like a local’ in Sardinia?
Sampling the Sardinian specialty "Porceddu", a pig cooked under the ground. Taste it together with the locals you met during your stay in a holiday home and you will make their day! Knowing locals gives you access to a world of secret things to see and do that one could never imagine. Sardinian cuisine is very typical and the way they feast is awesome too.
Stop along the road to the countless improvised street vendors and stock up on fresh local produce. You'll taste the best veggies, fruit and cheeses you've ever had. And you'll have a chance to make friends with some interesting characters.
Last but not least, enjoy your days at the beach, as the sea is really a must in Sardinia.
What is you favourite place in Sardinia?
Casa Teulada! (and the beaches around too, of course).
What is your favourite local dish and the best place to enjoy it?
What’s the best thing for travellers to take home as a souvenir from Sardinia?
Pecorino cheese, Grappa Fileferru, Mirto liqueur and Bottarga. By the way, a handful of memories and pictures of a stay in our area.
How would you describe the local people in Sardinia?
Very genuine, easy going, warm and friendly, laid back and simple.