Voila Villas Dordogne

And so it begins...

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This was a lifestyle choice for us, we both had good jobs and a beautiful home and enjoyed our holidays as much as anyone but we kept coming back to the same familiar dilemma of how to achieve a better work/life balance.

The idea was to find a house that provided some earning potential, a gite in the garden or a barn that we could transform into self catering holiday accommodation, that kind of thing.

After six months of research, applications, form-filling, contract signing and lots of red tape we're almost ready to realise our dream of living in the lovely French countryside.

  This was a lifestyle choice for us, we both had good jobs and a beautiful home and enjoyed our holidays as much as anyone but we kept coming back to the same familiar dilemma of how to achieve a better work/life balance. The usual four weeks' annual holiday entitlement just wasn't enough and we felt we were living for the weekend only to find that each weekend passed in the blink of an eye. Something had to change so we went house hunting in the north Dordogne region of France, or Perigord Noir as it is still sometimes called.     

The idea was to find a house that provided some earning potential, a gite in the garden or a barn that we could transform into self catering holiday accommodation, that kind of thing. We have both worked in property management, sales and rentals for a number of years so we felt we were well enough equipped to give it a go however neither of us are quite handy enough to take on a chateau restoration. It did cross our minds (briefly) before we thought it best to leave that to Dick and Angel Strawbridge of "Escape To The Chateau" fame!     

Our property search started around the Sarlat de Caneda area but we soon realised we'd have to look further afield if our budget was going to deliver the kind of house we wanted. I'll always remember the day in late May that we set off to meet our property agent Jon Boella (of Perigord Property) in the village of Hautefort, Perigord Noir - it was just about as wet and cold as is possible in late spring in South West France. Not ideal for finding our dream home but we duly looked around a few charming village houses before moving on to the next village, Badefols d'Ans, which boasts two restaurants, a boulangerie, cafe, charcuterie and even a local chateau. It was there that we hit the jackpot and instantly fell in love with a recently renovated village house with an additional barn conversion and potential for a small gite in the garden. I swear the sun broke through the clouds as soon as we set foot in the garden! The rest, as they say, is history.     

Six months later and we've sold our flat in Edinburgh, traded our car in for a Renault Kangoo and started a crash course in French. In two weeks we'll be packing our bags and driving south towards our new life in the French countryside. Challenges lie ahead but it's exciting and we already feel better for it. 

Voila Villas is our own creation and we very much hope you enjoy following the progress we make.

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