Virginia’s story: We did the unthinkable and purchased a village house in France sight unseen from the internet
‘We started looking for places in France in 2007 after realising that property prices and interest rates were very good compared to Australia. What started as an investment decision quickly became a passion. We found a terrific agent through the internet although we looked at many houses on many websites to build up a picture of what was available. Once we found the house at La Tour Blanche we fell in love with it and the village which is in the Perigord region of the Dordogne, famous for its bastide castles, medieval villages, ancient cave paintings, black truffles and foie gras. About 400 people live in the village (right). It has a small bar, bistro, chemist, doctor, petrol station, small mixed business, two excellent butchers and a great patisserie as well as a picnic ground with a restored windmill.
We paid $140,000 AUD for the property including notaire fees/taxes. It has a small, neat modern kitchen, a cellar (or cave), a large loungeroom, two main bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor and three small wonderful, but unrestored, rooms on the second floor. We understand that the main part of the house was built during the reign of King Louis XV. Attached to it is a 15th century barn which contains the oil for the central heating, a washer and dryer as well as a large empty first floor and a very large attic which is curiously closed in all round, although you can peek through to see there is an electric light in there! From the barn window you can see the small castle, still inhabited, at the end of the road (centre).
Our house (left), although much more recent than the castle up the road, is still significant as it is sited within what would have been the old castle walls, next to the medieval village square. Part of the house opposite is the arch left over from a ruined 12th century church.’
Virginia admits they were lucky having purchased their place of the internet as it was exactly what they expected (and more). Apparently the house was difficult to sell with no garden - but for Aussies, this is good! Virginia’s house is available for short/long term rental - it sleeps four adults and two children in the bedrooms and the loungeroom couch folds out to a double bed.