We'd thought of buying a house in France for several years and so in 1998 took the plunge and bought an old farm. The renovation was going to be expensive and after a while, to get an income, we registered with the Chambre de Metiers as a Property Management company looking after English-owned second homes. The business developed and we found ourselves doing more varied work, roofing, sourcing qualified artisans as well as the cleaning, gardening, key-holding etc. The years have taken their toll and my days of climbing on roofs has come to an end. The opportunity to work with Leggett, combining customer service and property, for me, is a dream life.
My area - "The agricultural heart of France"
For every valley there has to be a plateau and here, where I live in the Seven Valleys, we have eight of them! We're lucky enough to live on the plateau between the Canche and Authie rivers at the southern end of the valleys. When the sun is shining, my view is over green trees and golden wheat fields under clear blue skies.
Only five minutes away, to the north east, is the small town of Frévent, from where you are the same distance from Paris, London and Bruxelles, while seven minutes in the opposite direction is Auxi le Château, gate-way to the Somme and Picardie. This is the agricultural heart of France and outside the towns, the communities are all farming based and the tractor is “King of the Road”! The climate here is very similar to southern England but usually a bit warmer in summer (we can get to a blistering 35° and the roads start to melt) while winter can be severe, with temperatures of -20° not uncommon.
Between those extremes we have fresh springs and misty autumns – life here revolves around four real seasons. The older houses here are built from “torchis” a mix of mud, straw and lime under tiled or slate roofs, very different from the flemish style of the north, or the red and white laced brickwork common to the south of Picardie but “torchis” is a very efficient insulator while being totally natural. Having suffered from two world wars there has been plenty of new building over the last sixty years and that continues today. The lifestyle here is also natural, fresh meat, fish and vegetables and not being a wine producing area, the beers and ciders are locally produced and can be pretty heady! This is THE life and we love it.
Bienvenue en Nord-Pas-de-Calais
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Local knowledge is the key; we help you find not only the property you want, but also the lifestyle. Hauts de France is a large region with many areas of outstanding beauty and miles and miles of coastline, but it is also a subtly varied region. We can help to guide you so you find not only the perfect home, but in the perfect location.
Our own portfolio includes hundreds of properties from manor houses to country cottages, from family homes to barns for renovation and our network of contacts gives us access to many more.
Our experienced team will support you throughout the buying process and beyond to ensure you settle in and continue to enjoy your new home in Hauts de France. From help with bureaucracy, finding artisans and enrolling with clubs or schools we are happy to help. Just e-mail or call us and we will be happy to discuss your project.
Many of our agents contribute to a blog about their areas. These blogs are a great place to find out what life in France is really like.