Brittany beckons - Ron's second property purchasing story
When I saw the list of great little properties for sale in Brittany in the latest French Desire newsletter, I couldn’t resist.
I had recently completed the renovation of a little cottage in the Limousin region, also sourced from French Desire’s website. This cottage, located in the quiet rural village of Dompierre-les-Eglises, has started to generate holiday rental income, so why not tackle another project in another popular region in France. (Read Ron's initial purchasing story and see his property's rental page)
By all accounts, Brittany is an excellent holiday destination for French, British and other European and overseas visitors. The climate is more temperate than southern France, and there are plenty of attractions to experience, including stunning coastlines to the north, west and south.
After making direct contact with the agents in Brittany, Les Bons Voisins (Good Neighbours) and asking lots of questions, conducting Internet research and having a good look around the properties with Google Earth, negotiations to purchase the preferred property were quickly concluded. I chose a small, renovated Breton-style cottage in the village of Locarn, which is slap-bang in the middle of Brittany and within easy reach of all the local tourist spots.
The attraction for this property was the attached land of around 1,000 sqm, which offers the opportunity for a nice garden and perhaps even a little apple orchard (Brittany is famous for its apples and cider production).
As it happened, I had planned a trip to France around the same time, to stay in the Dompierre-les-Eglises house and explore some other regions. So this was an excellent opportunity to take the 7-hour drive to Locarn, have a look at the new acquisition and meet the LBV team.
Property managers Verity and Sean Reeve were on hand to show me around the property and plan out what needed to be done, and LBV founder/owner, Sally Stone, organised the paperwork and pointed out some of the local facilities and attractions, including the beautiful lake at nearby Maël-Carhaix.
Sally was most excited that I was the first Australian to purchase a property as a result of LBV’s association with French Desire. She was keen to understand why Australians might be interested in buying French property. From my perspective, Australians have a connection with France through the language (we mostly all learned some French at school), our 20th century war history, and we have a strong interest in the culture, the food, and of course, the wine. The attractive A$-euro exchange rates and relatively depressed European property market have also been strong factors in recent years. The idea of owning a property in France, even if it’s a just a simple little rural cottage, has great appeal.
There is a bit to do to get the Locarn house ready, including furnishing, decoration and dealing with the overgrown plot of land. The local LBV team has offered to project manage this work at reasonable hourly rates, and once the house is ready, their services may include key-holding, cleaning, laundry and generally looking after our holiday guests.
Another exciting project and another delightful spot for us and our friends to stay when we visit France.