French Country

My life in France is not what I expected.

Buy a Summer House!

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Hey. Wanna buy a house? No, not the one I write about, the one I want to sell.

In a fit of crazy-widow madness I also bought an absolutely charming house in a tiny village in the coastal Vendée. It was built in the late 19th century to house the priests who ran the village church and school. Any sane person would have stopped with this one but I am doubling down on my madness and selling it to help pay for the glorious money pit down the road.

The coastal Vendée is the fashionable part of the area, at least as fashionable as the Vendée gets. The beach towns are about half an hour away. This works for me as I don’t get the crowds in summer or the deserted streets and closed shops in winter. I don’t get the rust on the car, outdoor fixtures and furniture but I do get the softer marine climate.

The village, Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais, has a Michelin-listed restaurant that welcomes folks stopping by for an apero, as well as serving excellent meals. It has a routier, the sort of cafe that will feed you more than you can eat for maybe 12 euros, wine included. The bakery has a bit of extra food on offer. A free public tennis court is at the end of my street. Luçon is the nearest city of any size and is about 10 km away.

The house is super-private, on a one-way street. It has a huge back garden with a pond, many trees and a boules court. There is off-street outdoor parking for three cars plus a garage (shown in the video) that will hold maybe two more cars, plus a workshop area and a laundry/utility room.

The gite potential is considerable but I value my privacy, so I have done nothing about it. I have rented the house in summer. It rents readily for the summer season. I think with a little promotion the season could be extended; Indian summer in the Vendée is glorious. My renters often went to Puy du Fou, which runs from April through September.

So. The house itself is probably not quite 200 sq. meters. Upstairs are four large bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downstairs is a refurbished kitchen with separate dining area, a big living room with working fireplace and a WC. The kitchen and living room open onto a huge south-facing terrace with awnings, shown in the photo. Unlike the money pit, this place is a great summer house as it sits. With a little insulation — it already has central heat — it could be pretty nice all year round. The roof is sound. The walls are freshly painted. It’s a nice place.

I can rarely predict where I will be on any given day, so if you are interested please contact one of the two realtors listed below. They are both fine professionals. Catherine Brown speaks English, obviously, while the folks at Bleu Azur do not. Both have extensive photos of the house on their web sites. I have done my best to keep the price the same in both places, etc., so who you contact is really up to you. And yes, I am open to offers.

Brigitte Jousse, Bleu Azur: 8 place des Acacias, Luçon — bleuazur85@orange.fr, 33-(0)9-63-06-20-97

Catherine Brown, Agence Newton, Vendée: catherine@agencenewton.com — 33-(0)2-51-56-49-60.