When we first decided to spend the winter in France, we played with the thought of staying for good if we'd like it enough.
You know, find a country home, garden, pool, some space for rent to holiday makers and lead the dream french life we read in books such as a Year in Provence, or read on Blogs about.
Well after having looked at dozens of those country properties over the course of three month, both renovated or still in their raw stages, we quickly realized that in the end, life for us is in town, not down some country lane, 5 miles from the nearest grocery shop.
Many people do like it though and I have to be honest, Victoria realized it way before me. And like a good commercial she kept chipping away at my subconscious mind with her "Let's look at town homes" comment almost daily.
One day, after looking at yet another romantic acreage property in a big field with a realtor who's office is based in Jarnac, we walked the streets of that town discussing the last miss of a property. Will we ever find one we can agree on? What if not? Back to Canada?
At which depressing moment Victoria pointed out a For Sale sign in a shop window. But I am not looking for a shop, I am not looking for a townhouse, I want a pool. Keep walking.
Women have a tendency of being persistent to an annoying point, but what the heck, the listing realtor's office was only a few hundred yards down the road.
A french Realtor....who as if waiting for Victoria, happened to have the keys for the property. Yes, he even would have time to show it to us, if we want. The rest is history. We told the realtor we'd get back to him soon if we would want to see the property again.
The ride back to Villenouvelle was unusually quiet for the first 30 minutes, normally we'd quarrel about Victoria's refusal to see my point on the last property she'd refuse to even consider, though it was a perfect place for me.
Could it be, that a four story townhouse with a commercial space and an attic to develop into holiday apartments is what we'd want? Yes, the floors are amazing, 10ft ceilings are nothing to sneeze at, huge upside at an attractive price? But where am I going to have my afternoon swim with Isabella? In the public pool with my Speedo?
We decided to lay low for 24 hours and then go back for a second look later in the week. And yes, it turned out to be the property it shall be for us.
So as of today, March 15th, we own a property in France. Exciting times, plus plenty of stuff to blog about. Since I am running out of good things to talk about anyway.
Renovations and all it's pitfalls, a new kitchen for experimenting, a holiday apartment for you to visit and eat gluten free dinners with us.
BUILT IN 1849
VIEW FROM THE TOP
WELL SIZED ROOMS
WOOD PANELED DINING ROOM
VICTORIA'S FUTURE FAVORITE SPOT
STILL NEEDS A KITCHEN
SO MANY WINDOWS
ORIGINAL FIREPLACE FROM LATE 1800'S
IN THE VERY BACK IS THE KITCHEN
ONE OF FOUR FIREPLACES
VIEWS ACROSS THE ROOF TOPS
AND MORE VIEWS
RENO COMPANY WANTED
GREAT SPACE FOR FUTURE HOLIDAY APARTMENTS
SCARY. LOOK BEYOND THE ROUGH STUFF
FIRST APPLIANCE VICTORIA BOUGHT. ON SALE, DUE TO SIZE...