France, Why Not?

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Having bought a small farmhouse with outbuildings and 1/2 acre of land in 1994, we as a family thought, "What have we done?" 16 years on and the word is "WOW are we glad that we did.
" With just 10% deposit and a 15 year mortgage, the process couldn't have been easier, albeit a little long winded.
We have been blown over with the high winds that can occur, we have been slowed down with the occasional snow fall, we have been slowed down even more with some of the 50C summers in this beautiful part of Poitou, Charentes.
The dream is to retire to this part of the world and watch the endless acres of golden sunflowers flourish, but it still seems a way off.
If I was to give anybody any advice on a similar project, then it would be do it sooner rather than later, make sure you can afford it, ask people's advice on the ground (that is people who have done the same) their encountered problems.
The French people in the countryside where we are seem to be the most laid back and friendly bunch that you could ever wish to meet, but they do have a hangup, they call us the "mad English," because when we are there, all we do is work.
They have an order of priority: leisure, fun, leisure, work, leisure and take it easy.
It's easy to understand why the lifestyle on the Mediterranean French coast has the lowest heart disease rate in the northern hemisphere.
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