One of the things I love to do when I travel to different places is to find out what the real estate market is like. I love looking at the boards that real estate companies display on which they show pictures of homes for sale. The descriptions of the properties plus prices gives a person a pretty good idea of what the market is like in that area.
For example a few years back my husband and I went to Rome, Italy. We stayed in a “Bed and Breakfast” that was located about four blocks behind the Vatican in a non – touristy neighbourhood. I put quotations around bed and breakfast because it turned out to be located in an apartment on the 4th floor of a 10-floor high rise. NO we did not have the whole apartment – just a bedroom, shared bathroom with the elderly owner and a breakfast each morning!
The lady who owned the two bedroom apartment was in her 70’s and spoke no English. She had to get a younger man who was her neighbour to help answer our questions. (Apparently this had happened before). We finally figured out that she and I could speak French so that solved that problem. She told us she had been doing this B&B business for many years “to make ends meet” she said. I realized why after seeing the price of a similar apartment for sale at just under a million US dollars!
Exotic real estate programs are fun to watch because it lets you sneak a peak into the way other people live in other countries. So what is my pet peeve if I enjoy this?
Well it’s this… I hate it when North Americans make comments like “Well it certainly isn’t like this back home” or “What a dinky bathroom – we certainly wouldn’t put up with this in …(fill in the blank)… It makes me want to scream “Well you aren’t in…. – what do you expect? Or when the decor is very much a product of the country where the home is located and the comments range from “It’s not my taste – everything has to go! or ” I don’t want it – it doesn’t have granite counter tops!” Or the house is very old. “How can people live in something so old?”.
It’s unbelievable that people can be so ignorant with their comments. If you want everything to be like it is back home – then stay there and spare us! The bad thing is that it paints the rest of us who would willingly embrace that experience with the same brush on national television.