The secrecy aspect of house hunting in France is frustrating in the extreme and this house is a good example of why.
From this angle it looks really quite appealing. A modern, attractive bungalow, set in a nice plot of lawn with trees.
The picture in the agent’s website was something like this.
At the bottom of the garden was about 50m of gorgeous river bank. For a person who enjoys fishing like Nick it could have been a real joy to live there. Except for one detail.
You can get a hint of the detail from this picture. The house was well below the road.
But just imagine riding your Harley-Davidson down this driveway! Getting down would have been a challenge – getting back up and out onto the road positively terrifying!
This picture was not in the agent’s website!
Imagine the difficulty in getting up and down these steps to the garden when we become less nimble on our pins. At our age we do have to think of these things!
The house itself was empty and rather ordinary inside but that could have been fixed with a bit of imagination. The problem was that it would take more than imagination to make the drive suitable for our needs. The slope was so steep that it would take serious civil engineering work to somehow create a gentler slope by curving the driveway round to the side of the house.
We wasted ages pointlessly discussing how we might achieve this, knowing all the time that it was probably impossible and we would never attempt it. It’s strange how, faced with something completely and hopelessly unsuitable, we would still try to see the best in a house and work out how we could make it work for us.
In actual fact we had driven past this house a couple of times by ourselves purely by chance and, as it was one of the few that actually had an “à vendre” sign fixed to the gate, had already rejected it because of its position and the incredibly steep driveway. If we had known it was this one before the agent took us there we wouldn’t have wasted his time, our time and dashed the hopes of the owner who had come some distance to meet us there and let us in, not to mention mowing the huge lawn for our benefit.
Still, we didn’t invent the system, we just have to work with it and we had more houses to view so on we went……….