Buying a house is a pretty big deal all on its own, but buying a place sight-unseen, during a pandemic, in another country is next-level real-estate adventure. (Or insanity. Call it what you will!)
When this place first popped into my inbox, I was immediately struck by its potential. It just seemed sturdy and solid, and even though it isn't the prettiest thing ever, I liked its French-country homeliness. The price was pretty damn good, too! (Around the price of a new Prius.). And then there were the wooden beams, the fireplace, the cute little yard, and its location, a mere five-minute walk to the historic center Montrichard, France and a 90-minute train ride to Paris.
My friends in France knew I was on a perpetual hunt or something pas trop cher, and pas trop loin de Paris, so when I told my friend Jenny about this place, she offered to take the train down from Paris to scope it out on my behalf. I felt like I'd won the French real estate lotto! Someone I trusted to be my eyes (and nose--I did NOT want a weird-smelling house) and offer an objective, honest opinion. Now, we're getting somewhere!
So, last July—as the pandemic raged on--Jenny trekked down to Montrichard and met with the realtor at l'Addresse. The realtor picked her up at the train station and drove her to the house, and Jenny took me on a WhatsApp virtual tour of the space. The real-time visuals reinforced my initial impressions: funky, with potential. And potential doesn't come cheap. There would be much work involved (and €€€) to make the place cute and cozy and functional. I needed to think it over.
Having written a few books on how to move to France, I knew a little bit about the house-buying process. I knew it would be complicated (because EVERYTHING in France is complicated) and that a pandemic wasn't going to make it an easier. But after giving it some thought and with encouragement from my closest Parisian friends, I decided to make an offer.
It was rejected.
More on that and what happened next in my next post!