Well, a lot can change in a few days. Especially when you have decided to go for it - "it" being to take the biggest risk you have ever taken or probably ever will, in your life. We loved our first farmhouse down the hill from the village of Sumensac and were able to view it the day after Paul had called the owner for us. Since the owner lived out of the area, his neighbor (who happened to be Theirry's mother of course because things like this just keep happening to us) was able to show us the house and property which we loved. It had so much potential and we were seriously entertaining how we could turn the barns into gites. Only problem was, there was a neighbor living in one of the barns who had not paid rent for years. A "freeloader," as Isabelle was so keen on saying after I introduced her to this new English word, whom the current owner could not legally force out. French law is very interesting in this regard and once again, the people are very well protected, except in the case of the owner in this situation.
Plus, we found out that the owner was not interested in selling this barn even if we could get the man out. So, as much of we loved our first farmhouse that we had been fantasizing about since January, we had to set our sights elsewhere which just happened to come up the next day.
While "websurfing," as my old fart husband likes to say, Hank found this sweet little farmhouse with large barns and loads of land on our British acquaintance/realtor's website: http://www.duras-immobilier.com/ . Rosalind is the same woman that we almost rented a beautiful apartment in Duras that she and her husband renovated when we thought we could stay through the end of June. Anyway, as he is driving through the countryside looking for this farm (with no address mind you), Rosalind phones to let me know that the farm is in a village called St. Jean de Duras, just past village's only boulangerie and just down the road. With Hank on the other line, I begin to relay this while he informs me that he is right in front of the exact boulangerie as we speak. Another sign perhaps?
So, he sees it, falls in love, picks me up. I see it, it's "coup de foudre" (love at first sight) and with just days before we are due to leave the area, we make an offer, meet with our bank representative at Banque Populaire to discuss a loan, have our offer accepted, schedule the "diagostic de l'existant," prepare a complete inventory of the house and barns as the owner has asked us if we would like him to leave any house's contents (why, yes please, we'll take all the antiques, tools and equipment thank you!), meet with the notary and sign a "compromis de vente" the day before we depart. Oh, and Thierry informs us on our last night that when he worked on this farm as a teen (bien sur), there was a bucket of gold found under one of the trees. Maybe there was more buried long ago and now Thierry and Hank plan to be partners when we return and of course, Hank is already shopping online for metal detectors. All we need now is the rainbow to guide us.