After looking for many years for the right place we finally found it at Watersmeet. Our problem was always going to be the fact that we would be owners not living in France, so our choice had to be somewhere we could get to for a long weekend, otherwise it wouldn’t work. We run a business in England and look forward to our time off… we figured northern France would be workable.
It took us about 18 months to get the house and lake up to scratch. We re-dug the lake and had it stocked and totally renovated the house.
The couple we bought the house from were English and had owned it for about 15 years, even though they only visited about 3 times a year. They had left the care and maintenance of it in the hands of the bar owner in the village and when we bought the house his son-in-law became our handy man and later good friend. Christian spoke little English and over the next couple of years we had many laughs over the language barrier. One problem we did find is that the French are like the Spanish and have no urgency about them, unlike us who want everything done yesterday! This did cause a problem sometimes as we would go over on a flying visit only to find nothing had been done… very frustrating!
A major benefit to us is that we can go for a long weekend (only in the closed season) as once we are in France we are only a 2 hour drive to the house. To buy a similar holiday home in England would cost much more. We are lucky that we have a steady supply of people always willing to go over do some work and in return have a holiday… we couldn’t keep it up to the standard it is if it wasn’t for their help. Plus Christian still keeping an eye on the place, with the constant cutting of the grass etc.
I can’t really say that we’ve had many problems with owning in France whilst not living there. We did try to use the local people for the cleaning and the ‘meet and greet’ but this didn’t really work because of the language barrier and their understanding of the lake regarding the fishing was poor. They find it hard to understand that the English would travel to France to fish when they could do this in England!
I must also mention the fact that not living there means we are not there to nag (sorry ask nicely) our guests to send photo’s and feedback. I do find compared with other venues we sometimes lack the volume of entries on our home page.
To finish we must thank Heather, Larry and Steve’s of Genets as without their help we definitely would not be as successful as we are.
AND LASTLY THANKS TO MUM AND DAD… can’t even start to list their contributions!
June and Mick Bedford, Watersmeet