Destination dilemma

map-france-departments

February 2014

So 3 whole weeks have passed since I first began writing this blog, and we’ve already started to change our intitial plans. Originally, the idea was to move to the Aude department of France, in the Languedoc-Roussillon, where both the Mediterranean beaches and the Pyrenees mountains are within equal distance and where there are 300 days of sunshine a year. I researched everything, from the the tourist  attractions, the job possibilities, the airports and flight schedules to the UK and even the wine. It is a much sought-after area with a lot of potential for investment. The trouble is, we are very limited in what we can invest. The Minervois area, north of Carcassonne sounded ideal but it is rather pricey. The towns of Limoux and Quillan, south of Carcassonne were also considered, and although the property there was more within our price frame, there was just no ‘wow’ factor at the properties available. It is true that on the whole, the house prices in Aude are still very reasonable but the houses on the market just don’t meet all our criteria. Something had to give if we are to live this dream, and this is why we decided that Aude was not to be.

I then broadened my search to neighbouring departments, such as Hérault, Ariège and Haute Garonne. Both Hérault and Haute Garonne appear to be too exclusive for what we are looking for and this is evident through the house and land prices. Ariège was a possibility, and could still be, should our plans come full circle. Ariège being in the Midi-Pyrenees region, led me to research the departments of Tarn, Lot and Aveyron, which at last started to get us excited. Relatively undiscovered, with breathtaking landscapes and picturesque villages, we immediately warmed to these northern departments of the Midi-Pyrenees. With lower house prices, it means we can afford to have more land to work with, and after all, it is the land which will allow us to develop our little “food forest” over a number of years, using permaculture principles which we will talk about later. The house search continues…

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