About : The gite owners

Design is a funny word

How We Came to Own a Holiday Rental in France

There were many coincidences that led us to a holiday rental in France. It was not part of some long-held desire or great strategic plan. This is our (Yvonne and Pat’s) story.

  • Eighteen months before arriving in France we began to learn business French. Eventually we could say hello, goodbye and order coffee, and of course beer. We could ask for an invoice, check delivery times, and almost understood directions (when asking the way to the bar).
  • We both got laid off and two days later we got offered the temporary use of a house in France. Thanks to distant relatives, for the cost of a cheap flight we got use of their car and house for a week.
  • The Boss (Yvonne) and I were discussing the possibility of renovating property before we went to South West France. While in France we looked at only one house which was just right to renovate, live in, and use as a holiday home rental. So, we went home thinking about the possibilities of renovating where the weather is warmer.
  • We got our house valued to see if moving and doing our own renovation was financially possible. One estate agent called to say they have a possible buyer who had “sold” their house. We agreed to them looking round and got an offer at the asking price and we accepted it.
  • Having accepted the offer to purchase our house, we made an offer on the proposed future holiday rental in France, but the offer was too low. After several days looking at houses for sale on the Internet we decided we had to visit South West France again, so made a short list and started contacting the agents.
  • An offer of another holiday rental in France for nothing was too good to miss. A free Euro-tunnel trip added to the coincidences. That’s a long story, anyway, this time we drove.
  • We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon. A friend knew an estate agent who had “just the thing we are looking for”. And that’s it. We saw it on Thursday afternoon and were in the notaire’s office on Monday afternoon to sign the contract. And you might think that’s it, but …
  • Our UK house sale fell through on the day of exchange. Despite the temporary panic this caused, we sold our house for more than the original sale price, to people who had sold theirs and were renting, needed no mortgage and could therefore complete within weeks.
  • We needed additional funds to complete all the renovations. At that time, we owned a commercial building and selling it would fund the renovation work. We anticipated the sale taking six months at least. However, after a call from a friend, we sell it two days before signing an agent’s contract, saving fees and time, and the buyers rent it in the interim, so they can occupy it before completion of the sale.

Now if that’s not spooky, what is?

Just to finish the story, a week before we departed from England, we got a call from the agents selling the first house we looked at in France. The sale had fallen through. Were we still interested?

So if you’re looking for a challenging renovation project, I know just the place!


holiday home in France

No, I did not Photoshop the sky colour

South West France, imagine

And this was after cleaning up!

Holiday home rental with pool

The roof had more holes in than a sieve

Holiday home in France

Clearly a sparkie is on the job!