SOLD!! The city pad is sold!! We finally accepted an offer that put an end to negotiations on Monday morning and can confirm that come January, if all goes smoothly, the Piglet family will be homeless unless we find something quick!
As is always the way, as soon as we had agreed a price (less than the asking price but nonetheless a price we are happy with) we got a call from another interested person, an international footballer! Tempted by the money but morally aware that the property was already sold, we politely, but regretfully sent his agent packing. I don’t think they’re used to being told that sold means sold and not if they pay more then they can buy it! Anyway, at least we know we made the right decision on a moral basis even if it was a hard one to make financially.
In anticipation of the sale, Mr Piglet and I started house hunting on Saturday. We had spent some time looking on the internet but had not started really looking as I am very superstitious and didn’t want to jinx selling the property. I could not imagine the heartache if I’d found the perfect property only to not be able to buy it because we hadn’t sold.
Rather rapidly we chose two properties that looked great on paper and seemed to answer everything on our wish list:
- spacious, ideally 200m2
- rural but not isolated
- character building if possible (shouldn’t be hard in France)
- ADSL required!
- Not on a busy road
- No structural renovation required in the main property
Arriving in the village I desperately needed the loo (being pregnant meant that Husband did not moan for once!) so we stopped in the village bar for a coffee. Entering the small room, I was overwhelmed by the stench of cigarettes and alcohol – it’s been a while now since smoking was banned in bars and restaurants but that law has obviously not reached parts of rural France as yet.
I glanced around, taking in my surroundings and saw a woman about my age showing off her new purchases to some other women in the bar. Thrilled at the thought of sharing a shopping addiction with other villagers I looked on. Now, I’m no fashionista, but the excited exclamations and squeals of joy she was receiving lead me to believe that she had acquired a pair of Louboutins or similar coveted footwear, and incited me to take a closer peek into the box she was holding. What a shock! The contents were silver, sparkly trainers! Not quite what I was expecting!
As I continued to scan the bar area, my eyes were drawn to a caricature of a man, the type of person I’d always expected to see in France when I was about 10 but who, rather disappointedly in reality doesn’t exist. You know, the man with the beret hat, the mariner t-shirt, closely cut hair and brightly coloured belt? Well, I had to do a double take, as this guy at the bar was exactly that, the typical French guy that I believed didn’t exist. All that was missing was a baguette and some onions. He was drinking Pastis (at 1130 am) and was discussing hunting so maybe the lack of baguette and onions can be forgiven as he’d obviously not caught anything so wouldn’t be making lunch. Afterall, that would explain why he was in a bar drowning his sorrows in Pastis!
Feeling rather out of sorts in the bar, Mr Piglet and I left rapidly after downing our coffee, bemused by the characters we had encountered. Was village living really going to be the right thing for us? Then again, I’m sure if we went into any bar in Lyon at 1130 in the morning we’d meet some strange souls so we decided to discount this experience as being unrelated to country living.
As for the properties we visited, all I can say was the trip was a waste of time and nothing was suitable.
The first property was being advertised as habitable and requiring comfort refreshing (ie. Decoration) yet, walking around I was scared stiff that the ceilings were going to cave in, that I would be electrocuted or the floor would give way.
The second property was being advertised as being 200 m2 and as having outbuildings, but reality again turned out to be different. Entering the front door, I was immediately confronted with a close up view of the back door. Now, I’m a bit short sighted and things normally look quite far away, but the back door was only 5 metres away from me! The kitchen was a non-existent black hole and the bedrooms could only be called single box rooms at best. Not quite what I was expecting! At best, we estimated the house measured no more than 140 m2. As for the numerous outbuildings advertised, there was one, measuring 20 metres squared on the ground, so maximum extension potential of 40 m2!
Our quest for space may seem excessive but when both spouses work from home, an office in the spare bedroom is not really practical, so we need space to work, to live and to welcome house guests especially now that we have a mini us on it’s way!
All in all, a disappointing first outing. Our next visits are being planned with military precision and hopefully, just hopefully, we will stumble upon the perfect property very soon otherwise we really will be homeless!
ps. I did take some pictures but they’re stuck on my camera for the time being and don’t want to come off!