Our first home purchase in France turned out to be an amazing success. The home owner moved out of the country and was desperate to sell, our realtor was knowledgeable and always happy to assist, and the house had no major problems. Not to mention, we were given the keys over a month before the closing so we could start our renovations! A bit risky, I know, but we really wanted to get some stuff done before I gave birth. The really great side of this was, we were fully confident that the house didn’t have any major problems at the time of signing. I got to thoroughly test the electric, water heater, plumbing, and see how the roof held up in the rain. I felt like I knew all it’s secrets by the time we closed.
So here’s the overview…
If you are familiar with home prices in Provence, then you know that a 4 bedroom, 100 sq meter home with at least 60 sq meters of additional space to renovate, with an enclosed yard that includes a shed and greenhouse doesn’t go for 90,000 euros, unless it’s missing a wall or a roof, or both. No lies. I had been looking for over a year. Well, we had found just that. We took our neighbors over to see it, and the grampa next to us told my husband that if he was his son, he would be very disappointed in him if we didn’t get this house. Everyone was shocked at this deal.
This house was on the market for 2 years for 170,000 euros, but the real estate company in the nearest large city did nothing to promote it. The house wasn’t even listed online for people to see. Even when it moved to our local small real estate office, he only provided us with one black and white photograph that did the house no justice. The house was now listed for 110,000 euros, but our realtor told us in confidence that he was sure he could get the price lowered to 90,000 euros.
We weren’t in the market for buying a house. We had only visited the office to see if there were any bigger houses for rent in the area, as we realized with the new baby coming that we wanted more space. The picture he showed us was terrible, so we decided to pass. Then, several days later, we were out and about and decided to drive by the house. It was unlocked! We took a quick peek inside and immediately saw the potential.
The house is located in a small village of just over 100 people. It’s sitting midway up on a hill, and completely surrounded by hills. Whichever direction you leave our village, you’re greeted by fields of lavender. Everywhere you look, you want to take a photo… even the 40 minute trips to the grocery store are a pleasure. There is a small store and biweekly marché only 10 minutes away, so you don’t need to make a long haul if you run out of ice cream.
Okay, so without further delay, here are the before pictures of our hidden treasure. The beauty is a bit hidden too… so continue to the AFTER photos on the next page.
Continue to the next page to see the after shots of our paradise.
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