So after arriving home from our epic road trip across Croatia and Montenegro, we had some serious thinking to do. There were three apartments we were interested in, each for different reasons, each with their own pros and cons.
There was one apartment that we kept coming back to. The one that made the most sense. The one that was for sale privately on the island of Ciovo.
Why? Well, first of all, the location. Ciovo is an island connected by a road bridge to Trogir, a popular Unesco Heritage Old Town with some buildings dating back to the 1100s. A beautiful town. The nearest airport is Split, one of the largest and most popular in Croatia, and less than 15 minutes away by car. About 20 minutes away are the Kastellas; Split itself is just 30 minutes away. Within an hour are two national parks.
Ciovo itself is also a lovely island with many beaches, walks and sights. Being about halfway down Croatia, it is hot during the summer, pleasantly warm in the Spring and Autumn, not really ever getting cold during the winter. Well, not cold in the Northern English sense!
The other two we considered were the large apartment in Kotor and the apartment in Cavtat. The latter had just one thing going for it: the location. And that location only good because of its proximity to Dubrovnik. Not enough though to warrant the extra expense, along with the slightly dubious title.
As first time buyers – ANYWHERE – this whole thing was quite daunting. More so with it being overseas. If we also had to worry about construction, as we would have to with Kotor, I think it would have been too much. Who knows how much it would have cost to have the exterior wall fixed on top of a whole new bathroom and some flooring? The kitchen wasn’t too hot, either, and it would have needed front to back decorating.
Another great thing about the Ciovo apartment was how it made us feel. I loved it and got a great vibe from it and so did Vikki. I felt very much at home there – it felt right.
Next step: to put in an offer. It was listed for sale as €100,000 ONO (approximately £85,000 at the exchange rate back then). On 7th February 2020, I sent the owners an email asking how we should proceed from that point. Unfortunately, they mistook that as me offering full price, so I had to quickly backtrack and I emailed back on the 9th offering £78,000. They said no, so I upped it to £81.5k which they thought about for a bit before saying No. It took a bit more back and forth before we agreed upon £83.5k. So that was my most expensive email, ever!
According to my diary of that day, after that, I couldn’t quite think straight! Exciting and scary times ahead. If only we had known what was just around the corner…