'Fist pump' from smiling driver (buyer's market?)

So, I’m standing in the sidewalk along the narrow street, looking at the building I want to buy. I’m with the realtor and one of the owners of the local construction company, looking at one corner of the building where I’m concerned about something and we’re discussing it together.

A shiny black Audi slowly goes by. It’s a tight squeeze for a car in this narrow street and even though we’re on the sidewalk we’re obliged to step in a bit to let it pass. As she passes, I glance at the driver and see that she’s looking directly at the realtor and grinning, and then she enthusiastically pumps her fist a few times.

I’m not sure what that meant, maybe it wasn’t about what I’m thinking it’s about. But it is a building that’s showing its age a little, and in fact it’s been for sale for a few years… So under the circumstances, quite frankly, that is yet another reason why I’m making sure all of my ‘i’s’ are dotted and ‘t’s’ are crossed. False assumption on my part or no, I guess it’s kind of given me one more incentive for getting the pre-purchase structural survey, yes indeed and making sure all of the right clauses are included in the compromis de vendre and I’ve got the correct diagnostiques & all are up-to-date :slight_smile: … Or, maybe I’ll just rent in the area for a while instead :smile:

Mary it’s a huge move for you - you should absolutely rent first.

As for the fist pump - well, that could mean lots of things :-:wink: :astonished::astonished:


Mary… by the sound of it… the building you are considering is right on the edge of a narrow street…

No problems… perhaps… but it could be suffering from the passing traffic.

Old properties are notorious for NOT having foundations. Walls built of stone may well seem “untouchable” but it is amazing how the vibrations from passing traffic (over a period of time) can sometimes cause damage to the structure… etc.

Also, works done to the road/drains etc etc… all this can have an undesired effect.

Has your property already suffered in this way… or will it in the future…???

But you have raised the idea of Renting… and I would whole-heartedly agree with that idea. :heart_eyes:

That person was driving an Audi, you can assume the worst :wink:
But do rent first, that is a very sensible .


It has a cave.

Oh Mary… what does a cave have to do it… I wish we could see this place you are looking at… my imagination is running away with me. :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

What are the foundations like… that is the more important thing… :sunglasses:


Yes come on Mary show us some pics please.

I have no pics of the cave, tho. :slight_smile:

I reckon it looks just like the one in the link… :wink: :wink:


LOL! Without the loot, yeah. A little smaller.

Hello Mary
I see that you are an artist in ceramics and were looking maybe for somewhere that you could have a studio and kiln

I just wonder what has attracted you to this property ? Obviously you don’t want to be in an isolated area but there are some nice out of town properties that may suit your needs more. Our ‘local’ artist in ceramics has a kiln that she runs at night to save on energy. She has a lot of space where she can display her works, have ideas of work in progress, store finished and unfinished works etc.

I just wonder whether the property you have seen is really suitable for that. If it’s in a narrow street how will potential clients park, how will deliveries be made ?

Having said all that if it’s something you have set your heart on well…

I agree with others here, rather than buying something why not rent and see if the area is really where you want to be. The property you have seen opens directly onto the street, if its in a big town you may have problem of dogs fouling outside, noise, not only of traffic but passers by. What’s it like at night. Are the neighbours noisy?

Lots of things to think about but please don’t rush into anything …

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This is the cave under a house I was interested in a couple of years ago.

Carved straight out of the bedrock.

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Ha ha… David… your “roof support” came from the same tree as mine…

At first I was shocked to see a section of untouched tree trunk holding up the floor/beams… but now I take it in my stride… :relaxed:

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Hi Ann,

Thanks for your thoughts. In fact I spent July through November last year researching properties and demographics, and the art/artisan areas/culture of support in France. I visited twice in the past 4 months, and am scheduling another next month to either put a down-payment or sign a rental agreement.

Here’s a long schpiel for you if you have the stomach for it, below:

I’m trained in ceramics which is great since it’s an ‘unforgiving’ material to work with and requires a lot of know-how. I do sculptural ceramics. But I also draw, paint, and do papier-mache mockups… The town is located strategically close to Henrichemont and La Borne as well as other communes with vibrant arts. Unlike Henrichemont et al, Sancerre includes helpful logistics related to the train/bus systems. If I live in Sancerre, I have access to regular and (I found this out for myself) a very reliable bus schedule to Cosne Cours sur Loire and to the train which takes me to… the Louvre!!! On the way, on the peaceful train, I have time to sketch and think before stepping off the platform into the freneticism of Paris. If that makes sense.

The original thought was to buy the apartment as you see in the photos, plus a small garage/studio.


I’m thinking that the ground floor, which used to be a small shop, would be perfect for a small gallery - although these days it’s best to have a website (in French and English) and the gallery might just hold, say, my papier-mache Kailin (mythical Chinese creature of great good omens) when I finally finish it. Or my tiles, or my wall pieces made from raku-fired clay. Also, I want to go to Coeur de France, a French language immersion school which is just around the corner.

I know, you may be thinking this woman doesn’t have her ducks in a row. I will always scare people a little, I think, and in some ways I suppose I’m lucky to be alive given the way my life’s twisted and turned. And to think I want to bring my motorcycle and tool around. I don’t know though… I’ve got an EMT license so I’d know how to patch myself up :slight_smile:

I want to settle there for the rest of my life, but it does give me the option given its location to rent it for vacation rentals. This outlay would mean I’d have a place to stay all paid-for, and would qualify for the carte vitale soon.

The dog poop… yeah. Well, nothing’s perfect. If I do buy it, in fact there is the issue of the Notre Dame de Sancerre right next door, chiming on the hour… Not that one can actually tell exactly which hour it’s chiming for, but at least it’s punctual. :slight_smile:

I’ve visited and talked with people, and still have more visiting to do. I agree with you, though; even though this is the right choice logistically, if the pre-purchase structural analysis comes up problematic then I will rent.

My thought was, I have to get the momentum going now. No dilly-dallying with rentals no dithering. I’ve owned property before but not in France and I can feel the weight, so to speak, of the responsibility that owning conveys. SF has been invaluable and I will enlist Catharine H’s help as well. So glad to have found this community.

Perhaps I should maintain a blog of my experiences, on SF. It would be good, of course, if I had a positive story to tell and I’ll aim for good outcomes on the house, studio, and art fronts.


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Mary… we live just opposite the church in our village… and the bells strike the hour, twice, in case anyone missed it first-time around… Then at 7am and 7pm as well as striking twice… it strikes the Angelus…which was 179 clangs when we first came, but we’ve lost a bell since then… so it is a little less…

The fact is that we have got so used to the chimes, that we don’t notice them… not in the house… anyway. It is amazing how much difference double glazing makes… but even with the windows open in summer… we sleep through the lot.


I was rather thinking that might be the case, as you describe. I did sit for an hour and heard it chime several times, by the churchyard. It’s quite lovely and not raucous. I think the thick walls on the apartment plus the double-glazing as you say, would make it a soft and easily lovable sound. I can always get a pair of those noise-silencing headphones, too.

Ha ha… Mary… you really won’t need them I reckon.

I was raised in a home which had chiming clocks, so it’s in my blood so to speak. If I heard a chime in my sleep, I would vaguely count and decide whether or not to wake up… was it time for school yet… that sort of thing.

Here, if I do notice the 7 chimes… I think sleepily… I’ll get up after the Angelus… :sleeping::sleeping::sleeping: oooops, missed the lot…

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The chimes were something in my family; my dad keeps a big grandfather clock. He once sent me a cuckoo clock as a gift but I think it tickled him more to have sent it than anything else. I never did dare set it up and use it :slight_smile:

I agree, the chimes are something I automatically cotton to. Good to live by, literally and figuratively.

Mary thank you for your reply, I enjoyed reading it and get a ‘sense’ now of what you want/need to do to fufill your dream.
I was just a little concerned that you might have been carried away by the whole idea of a studio and living here, and sad to say there are some unscrupulous people about, but you have thought long and hard, and done your research, about the area you want to live in.
You have family behind you, a great help to have such loving support, so if it feels right to you, then go for it !

If ever you feel the need to go the whole hog then I know someone with a wonderful mill, parts of which date from the Middle Ages, but that’s a whole other story and far from where you want to live! :wink:

Would like someday to see some photos of your work, see you don’t seem so scary to me, if ever you have the time then please pm me with some.

Ps, the mill owner is also a motorcycle fan and has one dating from the 1930’s :grin:

In the meantime, live life to the full …