Start of renovation

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Let me first tell you a bit about the house. It is sat right opposite the ‘place’ and the Mairie, with the Chateau behind which also houses the library. The previous owner of this ‘maison de maitre’ was a lady Pharmacist, of Italian origin. And prior to that, the house belonged to a Vet. We found both a great picture of a handsome dog jet black in colour and a collection of medical journals as well as tools. The lady had quite a library of books, it was really exciting to see all the English classics in French, Life , Time magazine dating 1965, and the painted celebrities’ mags as colour printing was way too remote.

The house itself is of the local lime stone, and comes with 5 bedrooms, with the rooms in similar squarish dimensions, tall ceiling of 3 metres plus, large french windows, oak flooring, and a fairly wide corridor with painted vintage tiles. The loft is open and takes on the whole size of the house with a velux window. There are two stone barns which offer two storeys with windows. The barns have not been lived in for a long time, and the impeccable oak floorboards would need some dusting and a good sanding. We have recently put some concrete flooring on the ground floor of one of the barns to store our stuff.

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We are at the start of our renovation, but the thought of taking a break to the nearest beach looms at the back of the head. Both of us love the surrounding of the marshy Venise Verte of Marais Poitevin, with classical Fontenay le Comte displaying a small but well planned town.

When the sun shines here, the area bathes in a strange bright light, you would almost think you are in the sunny Southern coast of France. Afterall, it is this light which intrigued us.

The Search

One is never too old to do crazy things.

After a long search of nearly 5 years, and 3 in Vendee, we have bought and sold twice over a span of 14 years before this last house in France.

It came as we say, when winds have changed, heart and soul tired, and saying ‘No’ to any French house. We had shlevd all our plans, as we have put in quite some ‘compromis’ and something or the other went wrong. Most of the houses were not really what we could call, exactly like what we would like. They all had the ‘ but’, but compromise was key, as we thought one can never find the perfect place. However, when this humble ‘maison de maitre’ presented itself by the hand of our French friend, Olivier, who had recently turned himself into an estate agent, we both took a look at the pics and description fo the property and thought … ‘hmmmm’.

Ray acted quickly. Which is rare. This plushed my thought that we probably had hit the right one! What unfurled after, only concluded in a purchase promise, and we signed the compromis. This time it could not go wrong. We hopped on the next ferry, heat and mind in turmoil at unison. Are we buying or not?!

After we arrived in the Vendee, where we had located our search for the last 3 years, our friends Stephanie and Olivier helping to scour each and every house for sale in the area. They would drive us to check out every possible ‘A Vendre’ sign they had seen. I should say, the whole family got involved in our search, except their horse, cats and goat. But am sure, they were all excited at the idea we could be neighbours at … anytime!

When we saw it, we knew it was it. Ideally located, with most facilities we wanted and walking distance from our friends! what more could we wish for?