Gary and his wife Lucie, a British couple from Portsmouth, felt like finding a quiet place to get away from their stressful and busy hometown during the holiday. Former building and decoration contractors, who were accustomed to traveling a lot to France and America, decided to make the most of their holidays in the peaceful French countryside. After a two year research, they achieved their goal in April 2011, when they found a charming character house in Aquitaine.
Their idea to buy a French property came out following a summer holiday in France, when they decided that from then on they would spend about 12 weeks per year in their favorite holiday country. They discovered the real estate agency, Sextant Properties, on the internet and contacted them to see what options met their requirements. What they expected from their future property was an old 4 bedroom house with character and at least 1 acre of land so that their children could enjoy a large area to play. They focused their research essentially in south western France. Gary and Lucie were particularly fond of Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine, and then Midi-Pyrenees. These areas are reasonable priced considering the natural beauty they encompass.
After a phone interview that is conducted by the Sextant team in order to gather all their requirements has taken place, the agency proposed a selection of suitable properties to the couple. Regularly in touch with the agency, the couple travelled a few times to France to view houses with Sextant’s local agents. This took place until they found the right one in the countryside of Sarlat in the Perigord (Aquitaine). The purchase process was completed in July 2011, without any difficulties, according to the couple, who has been satisfied with the follow-up and the quality of service Sextant had promised from the beginning.
This long research led to a better result than expected! The selected property not only has great character, but also comes with 5 bedrooms on 2.6 acres of land with a courtyard, not to mention that it offers a one bedroom cottage, garage, and a workshop. Since the purchase, the couple and their children have been to their new French home for all their holidays. They have fun in their big garden and enjoy the peace of the countryside they are surrounded by.
When they viewed the property and decided to purchase it, the agent introduced to them some neighbors who live a few minutes away. Then they progressively built a friendship network in their holiday host country. Their love for France is due to “everything, particularly the food, the weather and the peaceful atmosphere it offers!” expresses Gary. In the future, even though they haven’t thought about retirement yet, they would not be opposed to the idea of coming to live there permanently. Indeed, Perigord is an ideal area to retire with its preserved natural heritage. Among the most unspoiled regions of Europe, it also offers numerous historical sites, such as, the pre-historical cave of Lascaux or medieval castles, as well as a renowned gourmet food made from quality products (foie gras, walnuts, truffles.)
Although the real estate prices tend to increase, especially in the past few years, the properties remain widely affordable in Perigord, from an average of around €90,000 for a 2 bedroom to €122,000 for a 5 bedroom house. It is even possible to find some charming properties below these prices, i.e. around €60,000. For higher budgets, you can afford a Perigourdine villa for €200,000 or even less. €600,000 is the range from which the price of prestige properties, like mansions, houses, and/or castles start.