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Renovating property: Nightmare SBS show or satisfying success story


While many people’s dream, like ours, is to own a place in France; the extended dream of some is for that house be a renovator. What better than spending months doing up a charming stone maison while partaking in the enchanting French lifestyle.

Sounds idyllic doesn’t it but the reality can be far from it. We have all seen those SBS programs where the English couple buys a chateau on the continent and spends more time and money than they plan and have great difficulty dealing with local trades people. There are those pleasurable moments drinking red wine on the balcony but in most instances they are quite frustrated and stressed out. Stories like At My French Table make you think that maybe Aussies are better at coping with renovating but still many challenges must be met before you can truly enjoy your dream house in France.

We too initially had the ambition to renovate a property – the photo left above is the first house we had a contract on (for 20,000 euro). While losing this house when the contract fell through was devastating at the time and the people who ultimately purchased the house (for 30,000 euro) turned it into our dream house (see top right), the work which would have been involved in hindsight was probably beyond us.

Renovating can be a nightmare but builders like Gareth and Bob can help novice renovators with their projects; they also have places which can be yours in the end…


The first two places are being converted into townhouses and the third into a lovely cottage – click here for detail. Once renovated, these will sell for 65-85,000 euro. If you are interested    in buying one or have the renovation dream and would like Gareth’s and Bob’s help, email us.

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