Picturesque village

Meet the Brits Buying European Villages for the Price of a UK House Deposit

Real estate programs involving the purchase of a single-family home are clearly no longer enough. How about taking over an entire colony instead? tea time series To help! We bought a village (Channel 4) followed the brave and potentially reckless Brits who had done just that.

Across Europe, hundreds of hamlets, borgos and cortijos lay empty and unloved. As technology transformed agriculture and people moved to cities in search of work, remote rural settlements were abandoned. Where locals see only crumbling ruins, a growing number of intrepid British expats are spotting opportunities to breathe new life into these neglected beauty spots, turning them into dream homes or businesses.

“Restore the past to build the future,” as the voiceover says. Paul and Yip, friendly landscape gardeners from Kent, explored their beneficial acquisition: a cluster of cottages in rural Normandy on the verge of collapse. They had caught them for £10,000.

When neighboring buildings came up for sale, they got those too. The couple had never owned as much as a studio in England. Now they had bought an entire village for less than the cost of a deposit back home. It was a journey of discovery as the duo made their way through dense vegetation to see exactly what they had paid for.

Fortunately, that was good news. They discovered an oak-framed barn with an old apple press, a working well, and a stone bakery with a domed oven. “It’s the first day of the rest of our lives,” they smiled, planning cabin rentals and a glamping site. Carl and Francesca, a couple from Yorkshire, have set about finalizing the purchase of their hilltop Italian hamlet. They had already spent £55,000 to turn this dank, abandoned village into a picturesque holiday destination.

Now they tried to complete their collection by securing the one building they didn’t own. In a restored medieval fort in Gascony, events manager Anneli was reopening after 18 months of forced closure by Covid. “It’s a whole village and I’m just a woman,” she said, shrugging.

Combining the search for a home with escape, it was classic day down. Quietly captivating, it depicts lovely people in danger. Can they finish spring cleaning before guests arrive? Will the rain stop in time to serve canapes in the garden? With twee olde graphics, lovely landscapes to admire, and bucolic lifestyles to vaguely fantasize about, buying a village was even starting to look tempting. Better start saving.