Sunday, June 02, 2019

A New Home

For the past 18 months, Earl and I have been homeless.
It's a chosen path, selling our house and moving to France, wandering from housesits to rentals to friends’ homes to housesits, but it does wear on a person, especially my husband who did the heavy lifting -- literally -- carrying the suitcases up narrow French staircases. And, slowly, our belongings have started to expand, six glasses, then 12 glasses, sheets, towels, wine openers, cheese slicers, cutting boards. It's only normal.
When the apartment we thought we'd rented for the year didn't work out because of slow wifi, we knew we needed to make a change so we started looking for houses to buy. So we started looking in Quillan, the town we settled in last May.
Housing is inexpensive in Quillan. It used to be a more bustling town but the population is down now that the Formica plant is closed and it relies more on tourism than other industry.
Our requirements for a house were not many. We wanted a couple of bedrooms, good wifi and some outdoor space. It turns out that the really inexpensive houses, think 25,000 - 40,000 euros don't have outdoor space because they are in the middle of town -- those traditional French houses built touching the wall of the house next to them.
We looked at a few houses. Thought about going for an auction house as we scrambled to transfer money and get our documents in order, but then we instead chose a house just across the railroad tracks (the train doesn't run here anymore) with a small garden and a terrace.
It can use a little powerwashing

The terrace is just off the office where I'll teach
The house felt good inside, lots of light. Two bedrooms, an office. We looked at it with a builder friend who wisely advised that a utility room be turned into a kitchen/dining room, 

Our future kitchen
giving us a living room with a fireplace,

This red marble is very common in our area
 and a bonus room with a giant fireplace.
We'll probably put a wood burning stove in here. 
It used to be the kitchen, but the French take everything with them when they move, leaving only a sink and a fireplace. I figure it can be the summer bar area since the door leads out to the patio. But I also picture putting a pull-out couch there where it can be a cozy room in the winter - a fire in the woodburner we'll install, the door closed as we read on the couch.
See the linoleum floor running into the fireplace? We lifted it up and guess what is underneath it?

These gorgeous tiles are beneath the linoleum
I hope the tile work is in good shape throughout the entire room.
We have a twist wooden staircase that is pretty spacious for a French house.

The master bedroom gets plenty of light too.
Just need to put our stamp on it. 
Right now, it's all imaginings in my head, but come August, the house should be ours, and we'll be in Massachusetts instead of here. But friends will begin working on it, so in the fall, after we've returned to France, we'll have a full-time home.
It's an exciting new step.


The Knitting Llama said...

What a lovely new home :-) I'm envious of those beautiful tiles. All we had was bare walls and a few scraps of wallpaper! I wish you every happiness, and bon courage with all the cleaning and decorating!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Absolutely fantastic news. I hope everything turns out well for you both in your new home. Those houses with walls touching next to each other are Semi Detached and if they have both sides toxuhong, it is a terrace. We have them here. Goidblyck. It looks fab. Shame about the train. Same at my new place. Oh but we do have one train a day on Monday to Friday.!!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oops sorry Typing on my phone. GOOD LUCK AND CONGRATULATIONS.

Brona said...

Congrats that's exciting news! Sounds like you're starting to put down roots.

Jackie McGuinness said...

This sounds fabulous, a place to call your own and it will be such fun decorating.

Unknown said...

So exciting, Paulita! The light, the fireplaces, and the staircase -- looks like you will have the makings of a charming and welcoming home. love ya

John and Lynn Phillips said...

How wonderful!!! That is very courageous!!

jlphil said...

Fantastic news, Congratulations on this new home, I love your plans. Can't wait to hear how the purchase transaction proceeds. I understand it's more complex than we're accustomed to. Bon chance!

Kiwi said...

Congratulations! Hope it will be everything you need it to be, and more!

Sim Carter said...

This is like an episode of House Hunters International and I love it! Congratulations Paulita I look forward to visiting you in your new home one of these days. And it looks perfectly charming. ����������

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. We’re excited. Just waking up for our first morning of hiking so I won’t linger but will take your congratulations as we head over the Pyrenees

Jeanie said...

Paulita, I am so excited for you! It looks beautiful -- so much potential! And it will be HOME. Nothing is better than home.

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