Where it all Started.
In the beginning.
We had been thinking about buying somewhere abroad for holidays and possible business potential. Originally we were looking at the Med coast in Spain around Malaga, but a mixture of not seeing anything we liked that fit the bill and the ‘dodgy’ English ownership laws that existed then, we decided to concentrate on the South of France instead.
In the summer of 2005, after years of research and internet searches, we finally had a short list of properties we wanted to look at in the South of France.
We had 2 weeks to find our dream, our area was wide, we didn’t know actually how wide it was until we noticed the huge amount of driving we were doing, the best part of 3000km over the 2 weeks. We wanted the Languedoc region, but it was just out of our price range, so settled on searching within the Midi Pyrenees, especially the Lot, Aveyron, Tarn and Tarn & Garonne departments. We stayed in a typically ‘French style Gite’ which was our favourite from our research,
as this would give us a real insight into what running gites is all about. While we loved the area, the complex was built on the hillside overlooking the beautiful Tarn river.
But it was immense and needed so much work doing to it (in excess of £500 grand on top of the £600 grand selling price….). It was not really an option for us.
We looked at every possible type of property you could imagine. Fully running Gites businesses, converted farm holdings, derelict tumbling down hillside houses, some we liked some were a definite ‘stay clear of that money pit’
But after exhausting our fairly extensive list we were beginning to think we would not find the dream. As a last gasp we called our friendly agent to see if he had anything else on his books that we might like.
After a trip out to the country, and I mean the country, as he lived in a beautiful barn conversion in the middle of nowhere, we looked through his books and came up with another 3 to look at. So off we tottled to the first one.
Our eyes sparkled a bit, when we saw ‘Le Chateau‘, we were shown around by the current owners, a lovely German couple who had it as a family retreat as it was central to their global family. It gave us some food for thought.
We went to see the next one which to be honest was only fit for knocking down, well the bits that hadn’t already fallen down that is.
Again the far ends of the spectrum of choice…. We couldn’t stop thinking of the potential of ‘Le Chateau’, even while walking around the last one we had made our minds up. We had officially found our dream.
We had 3 days left of our time in France, and had now found the property, all we had to do now was open a bank account, get a mortgage approved and make an offer. Simple..!!!!
Well you know what we did it. We went for another viewing and this time spent a few good hours chatting with the owners, enjoying the wine and revelling in the beauty of Le Chateau de la Rivière.
We put in an offer that was accepted despite being under the asking price. All we had to do now was wait for the machine that is the French house buying process to roll into action…
We agreed to book another few days in August to come over and stay with the lovely Heiko and Ingrid, where we would discuss the finer details of what furniture they wanted to sell, and what the best dates for the Act de Vente would be. It also gave us a chance to have a good look around the area and confirm our thoughts that it is as beautiful as we remembered.
more to follow