15 May 2009


The lovely fireplace in our gite just outside Le Grand Pressigny

So far we had spent 3 days looking at houses and had viewed 10, none of which came even vaguely close to our specification. The house at Rilly was pretty but would be way above our budget by the time it had been altered to provide a proper kitchen and 2 bedrooms. And, although it was in a lovely spot, it was still a car-ride from any shops or other facilities, which was not what we wanted.

A fireplace in one of the houses we had seen

In the comfort of the beautiful gite we had hired, we talked about it for a long time and came to the conclusion that we were not prepared to compromise on our specification. If we deviated too much we would not be happy and therefore there was no point. So how could we try to get the estate agents to show us properties that we might actually be interested in buying, rather than ones they thought we might fall in love with once we saw them, even though they were nothing like our original spec.

The bright and cheerful bathroom in our gite

We came up with the idea of dropping our budget by 50K euros. If we told the agents we could afford a lot less than before, they would be obliged to show us smaller and cheaper properties. Consequently, if a house needed some "doing up", we would have the funds to be able to do it.

On the other hand, would you fancy taking a bath in this? We didn't

On Friday morning after breakfast we drove into Le Grand Pressigny and went to the butcher, the baker and the Spa shop to buy stuff for our dinner that evening.
Hmmm......what we really wanted was a little house somewhere like this.

Our gite was full of lovely features, like this old fashioned light fitting

We called in at the estate agent's office in the village. There were several smallish, cheap properties in his window, although as usual it was impossible to tell exactly where they were. The boss was out but the young lady took our details and promised to get in touch when he returned. We afterwards heard nothing from him at all.

After lunch we went for a ride round and decided that we stood more of a chance if we shifted our attention from the area around Chinon to the area around Descartes or Loches. Looking in several "immobiliers" windows, we saw lots of houses, in various states of repair, that were small enough and might suit us better. In the late afternoon we found ourselves in Descartes and looking in "Lochois Immobilers" window we saw this :-


I thought "now that narrows it down a lot"........ if it was at the foot of the chateau, then it couldn't be 25 km outside the village ! It was a bit more than our revised budget but probably worth a look. That evening we went for a walk around the chateau. We walked up and down the narrow streets with all the quaint little cottages. There were no "for sale" signs to be seen and we saw nothing that looked even vaguely like this picture. This was not entirely unexpected but we thought that anything around there could be a possibility. The agent also had several other small, cheaper properties advertised in his window so we decided to pay him a visit the next day, Saturday, half-way through our house-hunting fortnight.

One of the narrow streets around the old chateau

From the beginning, I always thought that once we were standing in front of the right house for us, I would know that "this is it."

The next day, it happened.

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