With Serge since several years, during our walks in France, in regions that we love or discover together, we used to visit some properties likely to be well suited to our project of opening soon a bed and breakfast.
We would like to find a place that correspond to us, close to the nature, a house with a spirit, full ofhistory, an old property that we could make live through again.
In short, we search for the rare gem !
Our desires guide us to the Ardèche, we find there mountainous area (hard for an absolute Savoyard to leave his mountains), a climate mediterranean yet, simple, welcoming and warm people, this region corresponds to us.
November 2014, I finally have one week of holiday that was not planned and Serge doesn’t have any holiday. I start to look on Internet searching for the rare gem, after a multitude of phone calls, I plan one week of visits. I plan to see at least 35 houses.
Some are too smalls, others have too much vis-à-vis, others are too far from the city, others don’t have land or there is no possibility to park or either too expansive.
Nevertheless, one draw my attention, I am charmed by the place, its stone vaults delight me, it has all our criteria. Near to Vallon Pont d’Arc, center of the gorges of the Ardèche, in a little village full of history, calm and with all amenities nearby. It is spacious, five nice rooms can be built, there is a huge courtyard to park and a land with some terraces, stones, wood, a bit abandoned but full of charme.
During this first visit, I foresee myself into the house, inventing what it could become, all renovation work to do. I have already in mind the wellness area that could emerge from theses wonderful vaulted caves.
So, with lot of ideas and dreams, I meet with Serge, I tell him everything I saw, I show him pictures and we decide to go back together to visit again this house as well as 3 or 4 more so he can compare. He is also charmed by the place and the house, but the only problem is there is a lot of renovation work, and when I say a lot of it is not an understatement. The selling price is expansive compared to all additional costs that we will need to add. We need to admit that this farmhouse full of charme is for sale since 7 years. I think that the previous buyer had been discouraged in front of the scope of work.
We asked a first craftsperson to have a general idea of the renovation costs. It will turn out that he was far away from the actual costs ! But it gave us at least a first assessment of the house with its right price.
Coming back in Savoie, I called the estate agency to make an offer much more lower than the announced price, we don’t have high hopes but we try.
After very long months of bargaining, it is finally in April 2015 that the sale contract is signed.
It is the beginning of the second part of the adventure and it is not the least. We need to create drawings, to file a building permit, to meet craftspersons, make them do quotes, to think to everything and especially to not forget anything…
It is finally only on beginning of January 2016 that the renovation work starts. If you are interested you will be able to see one album at home reflecting all steps and above all an overview of before and after. Impressive !!!
At that time, we are on November 2016, renovation work are not done yet, but most of the companies should be done by beginning of 2017. After this, we still have a lot of arrangement to do, we really want our project to be fully completed before receiving our first guests, today we still do not know if it will be during the summer of 2017 or the springtime of 2018. What we do know now, is that we are going to move in as the latest in July 2017, Serge will be retired and our new life will start…
We are so excited to share with you the future of our adventure, around a nice aperitif and one dinner that will charm you in lovely surroundings.
To give you one idea: