Pricey in Provence
House hunters International contacted me last year through Curious Provence. When I told them that we were interested in buying a house they wanted to start filming as quickly as possible. Usually, I’m very shy in front of the camera. However, we thought it would be a fun experience.
Anglophones abroad on the show generally rent, especially relatively young couples like us. Dedicated to our Provençal dream, we knew that we wanted to buy either in the Aix en Provence area or Les Alpilles. We quickly found out that Aix en Provence is second to Paris in terms of property prices. Urgh. Maybe next time.
Pricey in Provence indeed.
Buying a house abroad is very different from buying a property through Pasadena Texas realtor in the US, for example. There are unique considerations and decisions that you need to make. This is probably what helps make it such compelling TV.
We settled on Les Alpilles region, not much lower in price. Les Alpilles is the olive producing region of Provence. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s chic, depending on the village, while still being in the countryside. A perfect investment for us; rest assured that we had read what people had told us were the best real estate investing books so we felt well informed enough to confidently close the deal. We knew that we could find what we wanted here. Of course, we were more than happy to make sure that we had a home inspection lined up to check out any home we had our hearts set on. If you are in a similar position then I would encourage you to visit your local home inspection service. This might be found by going to https://goldengatehomeinspections.com.
House Hunters International in Provence
Our budget was tiny, not even just for Provence. As we aren’t French nationals, it’s difficult for us to obtain a mortgage. I’m not sure why were thinking that getting a mortgage in another country would be easy, as our friends had recently told us just how hard it is. I think they mentioned something about receiving mortgage advice from Simon Conn, (simonconn.com) who gave them all the help and advice they needed to get an international mortgage. And well, it must’ve worked because they’re living in a different country now. I just didn’t realize how hard it would be for non-French nationals to get a mortgage. See my article on buying a house in France.
We needed a serious fixer upper.
If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll see, of course, that we bought quite the fixer upper indeed!
Watch the Show
If you’d like to see the show and missed it, comment on this post with your email and I’ll send you a link. It’s not up on Youtube yet!
Pictures from the Filming Process
With our real estate agent, Diane, from Happy Immobilier.
The mini! During the show, you see us for only an instant in our mini. My favourite scene! It’s a shame that the shows are so short. Five days of filming, and only twenty-two minutes of showtime.
We needed two cameras for the decision scene close to Domaine de Manville. It was easy to find gorgeous locations for shooting in Les Alpilles.
See the before/after of the house in photos. When the crew came back to film the reveal, the cameraman had no idea how to do the before and after shots. The house looked entirely different. He had to watch the original footage to figure it out. The editors told us that they had never seen such a difference on the show! Radical house renovation on a budget, done. Next, figure out life in Provence.
See more from our house renovation.