Look what landed in my mailbox, yesterday. A guy in a fancy car personally dropped off this thick volume of real estate listings. A look at the enclosed card told me he drove from Nantes, a good hour away, to make the drop.
Your first thought is likely, what was the stylist thinking with that possibly naugahyde, definitely way-too-diamond-tuck sofa? Neither nauga nor Chesterfield should ever be put through that, then slammed against those tasteful gray-green walls and actual trees, just to emphasize the point that sickly chartreuse does not make it.
But the real question is, why did a high-end realtor drive so far? the answer, of course, is that if he sells one house down here, the drive will be worth it.
I bought here because the location and weather were decent and the price was rock-bottom. At the time, even after I had signed all the papers, the realtor mentioned that prices here were low, even compared to adjacent areas, and were sure to go up. Yeah right, I thought, I signed the papers. You can stop now.
But yeah, he was right. Prices were stable, then rose slowly. Then Paris became unaffordable with Bordeaux and Lyon not far behind. Ordinary mortals moved to close-in suburbs. That pushed up prices farther out. Then covid hit and finally, finally, the French caved in and allowed telecommuting. Prices are now going up all over the place. All these little villages with communal land are chopping it up and selling it in tiny parcels as fast as they can — and these days it’s pretty fast.
Mr. Realtor is hoping for my house because I fixed it up. Even at today’s prices I’d probably just break even. So no, it’s not for sale. And honestly, I think being able to sell without taking a loss is good for me, but on the whole, not so good.
I bought into an agricultural area. In the several years that I have been here I have seen the housing subdivisions grow along with the junky roadside businesses. The gravel easement outside my wall just became a sidewalk, a fancy one, with exposed aggregate, and it is well-traveled. I now live in a suburb.
The villages will soon run out of communal land to subdivide. That will put pressure on politicians to change zoning laws, to allow farmers to subdivide and sell their farms. All that talk about buying locally-grown produce, fields being good for the environment? That talk will go away. Folks will rail against Bolsonaro burning down the Amazon rain forest and never link his actions to their own habit of building over rich agricultural land. And the economic hazards of depending on outsiders to grow our food, the way we now depend on Russia for gas and China for nearly everything else? They will not come up for discussion.
The terrain is flat here, thus easy to develop. Easy money. Climate change projections show the sea level rising to almost across the street from me, but that’s a couple decades down the road. No developer plans to stay here that long.
Wind turbines are our only hope. At least I think so, as they need open land to work. Buildings screw up the wind patterns. Say what you like about the turbines being too heavily subsidized; I’ll probably agree with you. But the wind developers will fight against the land developers and they have the money to do so effectively.
This is a bit of an anxiety rant, I know, but I think there is good reason to be anxious.
That’s enough. No photo of Jacques this time, but he left me this, which I will now share with you.
And here are my Valentine’s Day roses, a few of them, which I am spreading all over the house, definitely not sharing. Thank you to the lovely man who sent them.