Wow, one year down the road ‘renovating in France’ and 784 of you have found our blog. Thank you for reading and viewing. We hope you’ve found some light entertainment. We are adding more videos and getting to grips with #hashtags to help people find their way to a little bit of escapism.
The header image shows just one of the views and wide-open spaces that we fell in love with over a year ago.
We saw our Farmhouse online and booked to see over 20 other houses in Creuse. All needed various levels of work. Many were beyond repair.
We chose the area for the tranquillity, countryside, undulating views (Not Flat). Other factors included competitive house prices, internet connectivity to continue our business in Software Engineering while also fulfilling our dream to share a larger home with family and friends.
As the days drew closer to travel to France. One of our fave houses went under offer. Not to be put off we didn’t postpone. This was a viewing exercise only. We continued with our plans to visit. Then, would you believe it? The day before we set off we found out that the house under offer was now back on the market and we wondered why it fell though. We booked with the estate agent and added it to our list of viewings with 4 estate agents in the area.
The viewings were magically overwhelming! Here are a few pics from some of the houses that made it on to the list back in July 2018;
Named because the loft was filled with them. Very remote. A little bit scary.
Named because of the huge porcelain doll collection in the master bedroom. Freaked Simon out completely. Overlooked a lovely lake but too close to a large farm for me.
Merc house, so-called because there was an old Mercedes in the garage. The car wasn’t sold with the house because it was probably worth more than the house. The added benefit for this house was that the farmer had recently plowed the garden for planting veg.
Self-explanatory really but we weren’t too bothered because the massive Alsatian kept in a cage across the road and the road long and straight put us off.
Lots of rabbit hutches here and an old pigsty. Lovely bread oven and space for Simon to have a workshop in the barn. A nice little village with amazing views too. Although a little too close to the working farm buildings.
This was one of my faves because the house was so pretty. Again no keys we couldn’t see inside and the owner was living in Greece so tricky to get in touch with according to the estate agent. We called it the village because all of the outbuildings were dotted around the land and there seemed to be so much to take on. When we got there it was a beautiful day. The house sat in a bit of a bowl I don’t know what it was, but it just didn’t feel right. I still think its pretty and I may have to revisit just to see if someone has taken it on.
This was a collection of three houses each one in worse repair than the last. A through the ages decaying property. Nope, we gave it a miss.
After all the houses and a well-deserved glass of wine I had a bit of a meltdown. I just couldn’t imagine myself taking on a massive project, learning to speak French, and learning to drive on the wrong side of the road. The amount of imagination required to take one of these places on seemed insurmountable.
On the last day with high hopes, we viewed our ‘fave’ house that we found on the internet and discovered the challenges that could be ours. The house roof was solid, the interiors left a lot to be desired and the roofs of the barn and other two outbuildings all needed replacing URGENTLY. The garden was a forest of knotweed (an invasive plant that is difficult to remove and unlikely to ever be free of – that’s why the previous sale fell through). We did the right thing and moved on swiftly to the next house to look for more positives.
We found a small cottage with a smallish barn, put in an offer and waited…
Nothing? Then something about SAFER turned up (farmers’ opportunity to buy the land before a public sale). Then Nothing. Then NO? Very puzzling. We did find out later that the property was already under offer and another English couple moved in around the same time that we bought our farmhouse. Perhaps the estate agent shouldn’t have shown the house to us?
By now we were feeling a little low and kept going over and over the many house details to remind ourselves what was available within our low budget. We decided to let our ideas settle. 8 Weeks later we got in touch with the estate agent who showed us the first house we saw on the internet. The one that was under offer. The knotweed nightmare with massive holes in the barn roof. Yes, that one.
We put in an offer and bought it. We loved the house and the room sizes and Simon’s deal clincher was. If all the outbuildings fell down and were removed would I still buy the house? The answer was yes, and three months later it was ours. (eeeeek)
Do you need help looking for a new home in Creuse? Are you looking for places to stay while you view and an English guide to give you some local perspective? We’ve been through the process of buying in France and we certainly don’t have all the answers but we do have a good understanding of properties. We understand the vision needed to succeed and what skills are needed for DIY. If you are interested in finding your dream getaway in deepest rural France. Or just simply fancy a browse ask yourself (villages, towns, remote…) what are you looking for? Feel free to get in touch.
We love reviewing properties and can view and report back to you with unbiased videos and images to prepare you for your future viewings. There is a fee for this service but well worth the money to remove the rubble and find your gem.