Last weekend, Jean-Marc and I drove around the countryside to search out potential villages to live in. While the apartment we are currently in is quite comfortable and affordable, it's far away from both our places of work; Jean-Marc's work is 25kms away and mine is 30kms away, making for a lot of driving every day. Our current village is also not very inspiring and charming, and I'm craving the beauty of France in my everyday life. We ended up in some villages along the Loire and found a house in Savennières, a lovely village that is known for its white wine. The location is ideal - only 5kms from Jean-Marc's work and 15kms from mine - and there is even a train stop with trains that get to Angers in 8 minutes. The house had a "for rent" sign posted on the door, so we called the landlord right away to see if we could have a look. He asked us to come by on Monday evening, so we headed there after work on Monday. The 200+ year old house was huge: three floors, three bedrooms, plus a big attic with windows. The living room had tomette bricks on the floor, as did the attic. There were exposed beams and the windows had all been replaced with double panes. The drawbacks were the (rather) ugly carpet on the stairs and in the bedrooms, the kitchen, which included only a sink in a huge room (no cupboards, no counters... nothing!), the unattractive woodburning stove standing *in front* of the fireplace with a metal pipe going up the fireplace, and the electric heating (which can be very pricey in France). There was also no garden, just a back terrace-courtyard, and we were really hoping to have our own vegetable garden.
We were quite tempted, despite the ugly elements and drawbacks, and I could easily see the potential in the place, but I could see that it would take some money to get things the way we would like them (the kitchen, for example!). When we got home we had a peek at Jean-Marc's rental agreement and found out that he has to give three months' notice, making it difficult to move right away. We could do it, but we'd have to pay two rents for a few months! Oh well. It was good to see that affordable houses in charming places that are close to our work exist. I suppose we will have to decide when we want to move and then give our notice without having anything else lined up. A leap of faith type of move.