House in Maroux, Lot

Reverie: keeping the dream alive

I can daydream, can’t I? I may not be ready to launch a new life in France but that needn’t prevent me from planning. After all, working out what’s important in the property we buy is a vital part of the process.

It’s also a very pleasant way to pass a lunch hour in the office.

Take this townhouse (pictured above and below) in the medieval part of the town of Mauroux, in the Lot département. It’s within walking distance of the river and opens onto a high street.

House in Maroux

The ground floor would lend itself perfectly to the cheese and wine business Damon and I plan to open. There’s a large kitchen where we could prepare cheese dishes to serve and give cookery classes.

It has 3 en-suite bedrooms and is on sale for €190,000. A bit of outside space would be most welcome, though. As it stands, I can’t see where people could sip a glass of Chablis or enjoy a scoop of Monbazillac-and-white chocolate ice cream en plein air on a warm day.

Or what about this Napoleonic-era townhouse in the heart of Villefranche-de-Lonchat in Dordogne?

House in Villefranche-de-Lonchat, Dordogne

This former butcher’s has been partly renovated to create a blank canvas. It’s situated in the centre of the bastide village, with other shops and bars right next door. It’s priced at under €120,000 because it needs some further work to finish it off, including rewiring and re-plumbing.

It’s right opposite a square where people can park, so it is well located. Again, though, it opens right onto the street, so tables outside would be an issue.

Finally, my lunchtime peruse of the property websites revealed a building that is already up and running as a bistro. Importantly, that means it comes with an alcohol licence. It’s in the town of Lusignac, near Riberac and Verteillac, in the north of the Dordogne.

Bistro in Lusignac, Dordogne

Outside space isn’t an issue with this one – there’s plenty. And the price, just €135,000, is great. Sadly, only the ground floor of the building is on the market. The upper storeys are rented out separately and don’t form part of the sale.

Maybe that’s just as well. Damon and I aren’t ready yet – we’re upskilling, paying off the mortgage and getting our Brighton home ready to rent out. Plus, we’ve already had our hearts broken over one property this year, so we would be wary about going to see another just yet.

However, researching is certainly a great way to spend a lunch time.

This entry was published on Saturday, 10 December 2016 at 08:13. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

11 thoughts on “Reverie: keeping the dream alive

  1. Chin up me dears…methinks Casti wasn’t ready for you! Cx

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  2. Dream on my lovely, for if you know where you are headed then you will both assuredly get there. 🙂

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  3. We researched for ages before actually moving. It’s of fundamental importance. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who didn’t really consider the consequences of their choices and now regret where they ended up. The idyllic river front property may be in a zone inondable, the quiet country property may be far from *everything* making even getting mail difficult- and so on 🙂

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  4. I spotted that middle town house online also.Lovely, but you do need a spot for intimate outdoor tables!
    I’m truly sorry to hear about property heartbreak; clearly an even more perfect palace awaits you both!

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  5. Another thought- if you could find a place with big front downstairs room / large garage with a wider width doorway onto the street, you could take all joinery that out and have a covered “courtyard” in that spot.
    Still get all that lovely fresh air, bur showers won’t be an issue to your clientele, and on REALLY hot summer days, even the French like to take their coffee or lunch in the shade!
    My daughter would pick a place like that, she is incredibly fair skinned and can only take so much French sun! She can’t be the only one.

    There you are, I’ve just increased your potential client base!!!

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  6. Damon, after going through the same exercise and living with the results (mostly good), a few things to consider: 1) proximity to an airport; 2) proximity to big box stores (which you’ll need more than you’d like to think): 3) access to a robust stream of English-speaking visitors; and 4) a village with high guidebook ratings.

    You don’t want to get stuck in a charming spot that’s off the tourist map (which may include Castillonés, unfortunately). Think Issigeac, Eymet, Duras, Monpazier, Beaumont, Sarlat. These may be more expensive in the short term, but so is running a business with three or four customers! People love this places, and return again and again to buy stuff.

    Have you talked to Mitch, the Irish woman who owns the wine shop on the square in Eymet? She’s very generous with her knowledge.

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    • Thanks for the advice. The towns you mention are all definite possibilities for precisely the reason that people visit. We saw that very clearly last winter – and I think that is the real test, going out of season. Although we loved the house in Castillonnès, we turned it down partly because we feared we’d go bust within six months. (And I was facing possible redundancy at the time.)

      Thanks for the tip on Mitch. We’ll go and see her!

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