The expat good life in the Gers, south west France

Written by on July 2, 2017 in Expats in France, Living in France

Julia Grange from the UK  lives in a small village near Nogaro, Armagnac country, in the Gers. She talks to The Good Life France about life for expats in this lovely region of south west France…

What inspired you to move to the Gers area?

We initially looked at buying in Brittany, but after a damp and chilly three weeks there one summer we decided it was too much like the UK, so we decided to look further south. We literally put a finger in a map and it landed in the Gers.  We had never been to this part of France but we ended up buying the first house we saw and decided that though it was dark and damp, it gave us scope to create something light and airy and more to our taste.

The house was originally a bar/restaurant on what had been a campsite in the 1960s. The owners had dug out a lake, terraced the area around, and built this building.  Sadly pre-internet it wasn’t a success so they gave it up and used the building to become duck farmers.  Then they retired and abandoned the building.  Brambles were climbing in through the windows.  We did most of the renovation ourselves.

What made you fall in love with the region?

We loved the green rolling hills of the area, covered in vines and sunflowers.  We loved the house as it wasn’t a traditional style and has large arched windows/doors. We also loved that it is beside a lake so we can enjoy watching the birds throughout the year.

Nogaro is a vibrant place. Unlike many small towns in France you can always get a meal in the evenings throughout the year. The Paul Armagnac race track brings in lots of visitors, and the cinema sometimes shows films in English. We can be on the Atlantic coast in 1h30, in the Pyrenees in 1h30, and in Spain in 2h.

If I have a day off, I’m a local agent for Leggett Immobilier, there’s loads to do. I love Larressingle, a tiny fortified town about an hour’s drive from Nogaro. Maybe some wine tasting in Madiran, or some Armagnac tasting at a local distillery. There are two lovely leisure lakes, one in Aignan in the heart of the woods, and a larger one in Lupiac. Lupiac is where Count Charles de Batz-Castlemore, the person on whom Dumas’s character d’Artagnan, was based.  The village has recently started to hold a d’Artagnan festival in the summer.

What are your three top tips for people searching for a home in the Gers area?

If you need a loan to buy your new home, do speak to your bank or other lenders and find out whether or not you can be offered one, and for how much, before you look to buy. It will save you time and worry when you find your dream home.

The main tip is to be flexible.  We, like so many people decided that we wanted to be in walking distance to the boulangerie. We have ended up a 10-minute drive from town. Your perfect house might not be where you expect, or even the style you expect.

It is wonderful when I take clients into a house and I know that it is “the one” for them.  You can usually see the delight in their faces.

See Julia’s portfolio of property in the Gers

Related Articles

The expat good life in Auvergne

Tim and Ingrid Bell moved from Lancaster, UK to Auvergne… They took over the Auberge de Chabanettes which  has a long and colourful history, a familiar landmark in this part of rural France for over 150 years. In bygone years, it served as a butchers shop, an abattoir and a petrol station, but never lost […]

Continue Reading

The Expat Good Life in Nontron Dordogne

When Linda Chamberlin from the UK met up with someone she met on a school exchange trip 22 years on, she little knew how much it would change her life. Living the good life in Nontron Linda Chamberlin left her home in a small fishing village in Cornwall, England, to move to France in 2010 […]

Continue Reading

The expat good life in Mayenne Pays de la Loire

Mayenne in the Pays de la Loire is the ideal place for a gîte business say expat Brits Zara Bampton and Simon King… Running a gite in Mayenne When Zara Bampton and Simon King reached their mid-50’s they decided to it was time to follow their dreams and move to France. Simon had worked in […]

Continue Reading

How to buy affordable property Cote d’Azur France

Many of us think of the Cote d’Azur as a place of dreams that we’ll never be able to afford. It’s where the millionaires go – but we don’t all have millions. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. We talked to local agent Tim Clark about property in the area and discovered that […]

Continue Reading

The expat good life in Pau Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Jane Damian from Dublin, Ireland lives near the beautiful city of Pau, the capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the south of France. It’s an area that so far has been relatively unknown to British and overseas buyers but it has so much to offer, we think it’s a hot spot in waiting. Living the […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top