|12,000 English Pounds got us this place in 1999!|
The first thing to say is... we have been very, very lucky with property over the years. I'm not sure that I should carry on buying lottery tickets... because I'm certain we have had a lifetime's luck in the surprisingly few houses that have marked out our lives. In 1999 we bought, in addition to our house in West Sussex, what is known as a 'Corps de Ferme' in Brittany, in the northwest corner of France. We had been on a couple of viewing trips and seen some frightening stuff, some total ruins where a complete rebuild would be the order of the day and, on one occasion, whilst holding on to the local Immobilier's details which showed a reasonably maintained and attractive looking property we drove round and round the village for so long that the locals were gathering and commenting, beginning to point and some even wave each time we passed by... It was only on the ninth circuit of the winding lanes that we realised the house we were looking for had recently parted company with its roof since the agent's photo had been taken. So we drove off slightly deflated to our Chambres d'Hote for the last night before our journey home. The lack of a roof put that house outside our comfort zone from a level of renovations point of view, although at £9,000 it did tempt someone else just a few days later!
|...The price looked like a typographical error....|
No! just another barmy bargain!
Our ferry crossing home was filled with the most animated stream of conversation of our married life. I'm sure that we didn't really believe that the place was actually going to be ours until - bags unpacked and back at work on the following day, we received a call from the Notaire to put the wheels in motion... con firmation that our offer was accepted, documentation, 10% deposit wired and, then a 3 month gap between signing the Compromis de Vente and the Acte Finale, we were back in Brittany - bank account opened balance transferred signing the paperwork and the place was ours.
Two adjoining hamlet houses - one with 3 bedrooms, one with 2, on an exclusive (you have the outside space all to yourselves) enclosed courtyard with two stone garages, a workshop and barn plus an outdoor kitchen for summer dining with a 3/4 acre garden. It was snapped up after it came in to us from an associate in central Brittany... just an easy woodland stroll from a 5 kilometre lake; a fishing and bird-watching paradise (a back garden gate opens onto a path overlooking the wetlands). It did sound too good to be true.
The price? Well, after an almost cheeky offer and positive currency exchange.... £100,000! Internally both houses are very habitable with heating and up to date wiring and plumbing. At a very attractive extra negotiation were all white goods, some very nice traditional furniture... Oh and a ride on mower and a vintage cider press (sounding more annoying by the minute eh?)... The buyers may need to make your own mark on the decor - but the property can immediately provide an income as two gites, or as your own permanent or holiday home with earnings potential... A thousand miles nearer to 'comfy-cosy' than Le Ros on the day we took possession. All I can say is... because if the new owners hadn't - then I might have.... is Good hunting!