“So you bought a house in France online? Pas de problème!”

“So you bought a house in France online? Pas de problème!”

Très mignon! Miriam found her picture-postcard cute house online, in the heart of a quaint French village!

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 56

Guest: Miriam Eckerle

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Miriam Eckerle loves flowers, her cats and France. Just like moi! To enjoy all three at once she made the life changing decision to pull up stumps from her home in the US and move to the Charente region in France with her husband Jon.

Miriam and Jon discussed for many years the idea of retiring in France, so they would spend hours scrolling through real estate websites. Eventually they found one, did a virtual tour with the realtor (including a virtual drive through the village!) and decided this was the one! Without even stepping foot on site! The house met lots of their criteria: not too isolated, near a Plus Beaux Villages de France, not too big, not too small, with a lovely garden and in an area with quite a lot of English speakers to assist John who has no French.

Miriam spent a few years in France as a child as her mother was French, but has no fluency after so many years speaking only English. Hopefully that will change once back immersed in French language.

So back to the house…

Miriam didn’t use a buying agent, but found their house on the French Entrée website. When they finally got there to see the house it was just as they had seen in the virtual tours. The only thing Miriam was concerned about was the neighbours, as a good or bad neighbour can make a huge difference to the experience of living somewhere. Luckily Miriam found the neighbours to be gorgeous, helpful people. In a village of about 450 people it is quite a close-knit community and she found that she couldn’t even get around the block without the neighbours calling her into join them for a drink!

The house has a few things Miriam would change such as the kitchen. The kitchen currently in the house is modern and new, with the old stone walls plastered over. As is common in France the vendors moving out will be taking the kitchen with them. Kitchens are not always considered a fixture in French properties as they are in Australia, the UK or US. Cabinets that are freestanding might not be staying with the house so it’s worth checking this out if buying in France!

So Miriam has cousins in the Charente area near to her new home. A bonus is that these cousins have a vineyard! A FrancoFiler’s dream! Well this FrancoFiler anyway! Miriam talks about being with her cousins as children, playing in a deserted château. I can imagine with strong family ties and beautiful childhood memories the pull to move to France would be strong.

Miriam is craving the simple quiet life. She talked about being able to walk out the front door to go on a long walk or bike ride. Opening the shutters in the morning and hearing the village come to life. She would like to spend the day wandering the streets of Bordeaux, sit and have coffee and watch the world go by. It sounds beautiful to me. Simple pleasures to fill a FrancoFiler’s soul.


Tomates Aux Oeufs

Miriam recalls her grandmother making her eggs in tomato sauce as a child. This is a particularly rustic French dish. Miriam says she loves the peasant food and I must say I completely agree with her!


Miriam has shared this song with us as it symbolises the way the stars have aligned for her through this move so far!

Melody Gardot – Les étoiles

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