I'm living in France since 3 years, married to a french wife and looking to install myself & family in some french region. Currently I live between the Cote D'Azur and Herault.
My situation: I'm a classically trained chef, entrepreneur and with my wife run a european online business (commerce). This is giving me the freedom and possibility to 'work from home'. Its 1 year that we have travelled around France to discover the regions. Since I have build this business 5 years ago, and now Its almost running by itself, I am looking forward to invest my energy in a second income and diversify my assets.
My goal: Is to live simple, ecologically, in the countryside, and have an activity may it be in the form a of gite, b&b, chambre d'hotes etc. I also would/could run workshops, seminars from home and online (cooking classes). The idea of growing food small- to medium scale too is appealing.
I have experience in gardening and organics, lived 10 years abroad in NZ, Australia, Austria, SouthAmerica, Thailand etc. etc. I have attended various workshops and have a diploma in Permaculture which is a Holistic Agricultural Management Practice .
Now looking for 'objects' to fullfill this potential I have come across possibilities
1) I could buy a House that is in good condition , has some land (3000-4000m2), install 2 gites and run the in a 'tourist' minded way (meaning focus more on gastronomy)
2) I could buy a house with lots of land, for example 1 ha in the Hautes Pyrennes, then become more self-sufficient and slowly offer retreats for guests.
3) I could buy just land , 5000m2-6000m2 and build my house from scratch using local and natural materials. Then slowly install small units for tourism. Similar to option 2.
Because I'm not living alone my requirement are as follows:
1) Main House with 100m2 and possible separate apartment (Duplex) of 20-30m2 for my mother in law
2) 2 or 3 separate Gites or little dwellings for guests
3) some orchard/land where to grow food and entertain my guests.
My budget is about 200-250k which is just enough for such a concept (?), however it all depends which region one chooses and the scale. I'm not going to buy a Chateau, this project can be done relatively well if simple and bootstrapped.
As an 'example in the Dordogne you could get away with it, if you invest some time and do some homework. I can build the chalets/units over time.
Knowing there's plenty of people here with good advice I'm curious what you think!
Which problems/errors would you tell me to avoid? Where to invest ?
My regional preferences are : Languedoc, Auvergne, Lot, Gironde.
I'm using the most beautiful villages of France as a reference for where to look http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/en/map-most-beautiful-villages-france
Any feedback, honest one very appreciated.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 !!!