We had made the decision whilst in Newcastle that we needed to resume the hunt for a suitable property to create our perfect guest-house and we were going to do this the week we got back. Then an opportunity to go and work in Nürnberg for five days appeared before Phill’s eyes and the next thing ya know we are headed to Nürnberg via Strasbourg on Sunday, 8 February; putting a hold on looking for and visiting properties as Phill had to write the outline of the course he was going to tutor.
We got back to Monty on Sunday, 15 February and we started looking online for property – we had updated our search criteria and away we went. On Wednesday, 18 February I sent a link to Phill re a property listed with an estate agent we met in May 2014, when we had spent a week looking at property with a Consultant we hired.
Friday, 20 Feb
So, our local excursion to Marseillan Plage to look at a property that seemed to have potential was very well executed. Let’s get one way tickets as we don’t know when we would like to return to Monty – we can always get tickets at the train station – they will have machines (they all do, don’t they?).
We get to Marseillan Plage, get off the train, only to discover that there is actually no station and no ticket machines to be seen. Oh well, we can get tickets from the Visitors Centre just up the road, after we have a bite to eat and a look around the area and the house that we considered to have potential.
Enjoyed a delicious lunch, walked around the main town area, where pretty much everything was closed for the winter period. Walked back to the Visitors Centre – closed. Oh well, let’s look at the property whilst we are here and figure out how to get back to Monty after that. Phill was rather keen as it was house and land covering 2000 m2. Main problem – it is right up against the main railway line. Phill – “not many trains go by, maybe one an hour”. Whilst we were there up to five trains in 10 minutes flew by – loudly. When we got to where our train had arrived, one went by so loudly I nearly jumped out of my boxers! Stern veto on that property.
So, how to get back to Monty – no car, no taxi’s, no buses; but we do have legs. Which way to go? Sete is heading towards Monty and it does have a train station, but is three and a half hours walking distance – no. Agde is away from Monty, but it does have a train station and is only one hour and forty-five minutes away; and there are two Real Estate offices which have interesting potential properties for sale. And away we go – 10 kilometres and one hour and forty-five minutes later – civilisation appears before our eyes (feet feeling rather strange, but I am glad I (yes me only) wore my new walking shoes, which made the walk extremely bearable). Phill’s ankles were somewhat worse for wear.
We find the first Estate office and whilst looking at the properties in the window, Helene pops out to give us her card. As I mentioned, we met Helene way back in May last year when we doing our initial look for properties. She recognised us and invited us in to discuss our current requirements – a very honest and trustworthy individual that we both know will not do us wrong. So, the following Tuesday we had a potentially suitable property to view, along with other she may find after doing a search against our criteria. Went to the second office, but the person we met last year was not in, but they did have a number of properties which could be of interest – I emailed her and expected to hear back at some point, but never did.
Got to the railway station at 1815 hrs and there was a train heading to Monty at 1838. Ticket machines are a wonderful thing – punch a few buttons, make the payment and there you have a ticket ready to use – yay.
It is only half an hour from Agde to Monty by train. All I wanted to do was get back to the flat, have a shower, soak me feet and apply anti-sore stuff to me legs before I headed off to la la land. But no, we found a rather good Thai restaurant just across the road from the railway station and stopped for a delicious dinner.
So, in conclusion, even though our day ended up being rather more complicated than we anticipated, a number of positives came out of it – puts a simile on ones face, even if one could not move from the sofa.
Wednesday, 25 Feb
After our initial visit to the property yesterday (Tuesday); we revisited the property again after writing down loads of questions the night before – which, thank goodness, were all answered to our complete satisfaction. We made an Offer to owner at the price recommended by Helene and were informed that we hear back quite quickly as the other two offers made had been quite low. We were then contacted later by Helene that the owner had to consult his sisters, as it is a jointly owned family property.
On Thursday morning we received and email from Helene with the good news that our offer had been accepted unconditionally. Now the ball starts rolling quite quickly!
Here is the link to the webpage: Bourse de l’Immobilier
It is well within our budget, has 1600 m2 of land that can be built on and the house only needs minor alterations to make it into a home (the total area of the maison and garage is 107 m2 – which is double the size of our flat that we sold in London in 2013). We would need to get some sort of transportation to get about, as it is in a semi-rural area, but it is so handy to all the various places that we like in this area; plus a winery is just down the road! Bikes will be one of the first things to get before we investigate electric scooters/cars – which, apparently, you can drive without a licence in France.