When we viewed the property that has become Studio Faire with Estate Agent, Caroline Hubbard, we were pretty disgruntled! Why was she showing us this fantastic property, with it’s stunning 19th century period features, enough space for both us and our residents to live and work, walking distance from a vibrant town and with a vast garden at the back of it, when it was clearly WAAAAY OVER BUDGET?!?!

She had an idea…

A large, luxurious home with parklands and outbuildings near to Agen

Although the north facade is level with the pavement, the south-east section faces parklands filled with a variety of species. Said parklands are fully enclosed by fencing and totally shielded from onlookers by vegetation. They are entered via 2.4 m wide gates, flanked by two dressed stone pillars. At the end of the estate, a gateway opens on to a little used path.

Ahaaa, we didn’t have to buy all of ‘said parkland‘.

The first 1/3 of the garden was walled in and divided it from the rest. The seller had been advised that he would be able to sell the land beyond the walled section as three building plots for between 30-40 thousand euros each, so we could make a much lower offer on the property, if we agreed not to take this land.

‘Oh, but you would really want it, wouldn’t you?’ mourned Julia watching her dream home fade from grasp.

We walked away, disappointed and frustrated.

We viewed several more properties, but this one kept rearing it’s beautiful head in our minds. We agreed to return for another look and to make a crazy offer at our level, just to see what happened.

Whilst viewing the garden for a second time we realised that it was HUGE at 4,661m² (1.15 acres or 0.5 hectares) and we agreed that we would still have a great property without it, especially if we were able to keep a little land beyond the wall as a buffer against anyone building there.

We offered 120 thousand euros under the asking price for about half the land (2,298m²) and our offer was accepted the very next day!

For over two years now we have been opening our shutters each morning to a beautiful, green, expansive view… and fearing the day when this view be taken from us.

A knock on the door leads to a smile on our wee faces…

A couple of months ago, the Notaire knocked on the door. The previous owner had failed to obtain the neccessary permissions for the land and would like to give us first refusal on it.

We were over the moon!!!

Without the necessary permissions, the price of this land was nowhere near what they had estimated it to be and we were adamant… we would get this land afterall!

Our offer must have been a disappointment to them, as we took more than a zero off the original saving, but they had little choice but to accept.

Today this land has been returned to the Studio Faire Estate! A beautiful parkland to enjoy with our friends and residents. A parkland that will remain green, will continue to grow fruit, will stay as a secluded hideaway and a stunning view from our windows.

Colin’s mum Ruth asked ‘…and what do you plan to do with it?’


Colin’s answer…‘Cut the grass!’