Fractional Lives Chapter 2: Peter and Anita Wakeham
Fractional Lives Chapter 2: Peter and Anita Wakeham, owners at Appassionata, Le Marche, Italy
The second in our series of interviews with people who have taken the plunge and become fractional ownership buyers.
Peter and Anita live in Lugano, Switzerland, and had been looking for an Italian holiday home for some time before buying a 1/10th fractional interest in Casa Giacomo (above), a refurbished four-bedroom house at Appassionata in Le Marche, Italy.
The couple were looking for a property they could enjoy themselves, as well as for entertaining their children and grandchildren who visit from the UK and Stockholm (Anita is Swedish). Peter, who is retired after a successful corporate and entrepreneurial career, explains how they found out about Appassionata: “We subscribe to a magazine called Italia – a UK publication about living in Italy – and we saw an advert for Appassionata in there around April of last year. Prior to that I'd been thinking about fractional ownership of a holiday home in Italy for about a year. We already have a fractional relationship with Marriott, so we were familiar with the concept. We decided that we weren't interested in a fractional on a big apartment complex with restaurants and a golf course on site, we wanted something much more intimate and personal. We live in the Italian part of Switzerland and are learning Italian, so it made good sense to look in Italy. The Appassionata advert hit the spot, so we drove down to have a look.”
The couple were impressed with what they saw and “made the decision more or less there and then”. “We fell in love with the property and spent the rest of our three-day visit exploring the area to make sure that it was right for us. Especially with a fractional purchase, you have to remember that you will be visiting at various times of the year, so we went to look at the mountains and did a lot of touring in the car to make sure that this was a place where we would want to spend lots of our time,” says Peter.
“They are superb properties. The attention to detail and the thought that has gone in to the interiors (designed by Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of Appassionata's husband and wife developer team, pictured left with the Wakehams) is great, the property is beautiful. Michael (Hobbs) has become very passionate about the bolt-on facilities. We've got vines there now which we hope will produce our own wine, he's also bought a nearby truffle plantation and is growing olives, so there are some nice touches that make it all a little more personal.”
When Fractional Life spoke to Peter, he had just got back to Switzerland after spending two weeks at Appassionata with the grandchildren, a visit he described as “an experiment which went very well”. The grandchildren range in age from 1.5 to 8.5 years old, and between the nearby beach, the swimming pool and the tennis court, there was “enough to do to keep everybody happy, and they all want to come back next year, which is a good sign.”
He adds that he and his wife will use the property differently at varying times of the year. “The usage programme seems to work so far. We are one of ten who will ultimately own the property, so we get five weeks per year. Two of those are taken during the peak summer months, and we will almost certainly rotate through the summer, so there will be times when our weeks overlap with the grandchildren's summer holidays, and times when our weeks are in June so we will invite friends. In the autumn and winter we have tended to come down on our own, but this coming October we are coming with some friends. It's such a change of environment for us. It's very tranquil and very beautiful there, and we quite enjoy being very lazy, reading and doing a bit of writing. It's a good place to lose oneself.”
The region of Le Marche also gets the thumbs up. “It's very comfortable, very relaxing, and a safe area for the kids. We also find the people of Le Marche really friendly and very easy to relate to. The local wine is very pleasant and there are lots of surrounding villages with good places to eat.”
Appassionata is a member of the FractionalExchange.com exchange platform, of which Peter says: “We are getting so much out of the place at the moment, so I suspect it's not something we'll get to for a few years, but it's a nice option to have. There are some nice properties in the Caribbean that I'd be tempted to visit.”
“We have owned properties in the past – a ski chalet and a Menorcan apartment – and realised you never get the full benefit from whole ownership, so the fractional route seems to us to be a very sensible way to go,” he concludes.
For more information about Appassionata visit www.appassionata.com
To read chapter 1 of Fractional Lives, click here.