Found the property of my dreams!

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Beyond my fantasies, in fact

It happened: while traveling with Kristian, we went to a house that had enticed me online, and for once the house was better than advertised. We both love it. It’s affordable and in good shape, needing only cosmetic work. I’d/we’d be a year shaping it up, but easy to visualize and, I believe, to realize. We were both stunned by how fabulous the property could be. Three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a small yard out the back but a separate orchard as well, just off a grassy alley the other side of the garage. Yes, a garage, and it has a full rental unit above it which would provide income. The house (built in the early 1600s!) has high ceilings upstairs as well as on the ground floor. It doesn’t seem like anything much from outside, but inside it’s stupendous. The little town that it’s in is attractive, clean, just as nice as it seemed when we studied it with Google maps street view. The streetside upstairs windows of the house give a view towards elegant municipal buildings, as well as a tidy convenience grocery and the mediathèque just across the street.

So did I make an offer, sign a contract, – ? No ….

Color me deçue – you can translate that as Blue!

Here’s the reality smackdown. We’ve been thinking of France as a country with great public transportation, but then, with thousands of small communities, it’s not possible to have bus service everywhere. This town, Arc-en-Barrois, is served by one bus that makes one run to Chaumont on Wednesday afternoon, and back about two hours later. Even that one bus is transport on demand, and it is the only on-demand route for Arc. There is not even a private car service to be had. And the roads to this town are quite narrow, shoulderless two-lane roads, where you can go twenty minutes or more without a crossroad, and never a place to pull over.

Why is the lack of public transport a big deal? I drive, you drive, we all drive, right? Well, I’ve had a great shock, finding I was not comfortable driving those roads. Not sure how often I’d feel like doing it. For friends, it would hardly be easy to get to. Perhaps I’d have to go as far as Montbard to meet someone. And when I’d want to travel, it would be even worse than where I was in Virginia, where I had a 65-mile trip to the airport with no transport options. I don’t want to repeat the situation I last had. LOL – my friends don’t want to see me do that, either – I think they’d gather to lynch me if I were to make such a mistake.

Of course, I’d seen on the map where Arc-en-Barrois is, and knew it was rather out-of-the-way – in Haute-Marne, Grand-Est, of the zone I’m more interested in – but the house was too tempting to skip visiting. And I thought, 20-40 kilometers to a train station is no big deal. But I found it can be. And, I think, in winter if those roads were icy, I’d stay off them entirely.

Besides, there’s not much of tourist / sightseeing interest in the area that I’m aware of. Good place for people who like long walks in the forest. Quite a famous forest area, in fact. There is a bit of river in the town but I didn’t think it looked promising for kayaking. I am hoping that a good number of friends will make the effort to come visit once I settle. While of course I want to believe it’s worth it just to be together, anyone who comes to visit in France is sure to want to see some iconic French attractions. Kristian and I, granted on just a quick look, didn’t conclude that nearby (30-40km) Langres would fit the bill.

Moving along, and trying to focus elsewhere

It’s been very hard to stop dreaming about living in that house, and consider more accessible properties. But I am resuming the search, and have had to adjust my search parameters. I write about that in a separate post.

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  1. Barbara Maness

    Very nice home but trasportation is so important keep looking you will find the perfect place love Barbara ❤️