If you’re budget is under 150,000 euros you’re not likely to find a house with a garden in the Aude
Are you having trouble finding a village house with a garden for sale in the Aude? Do you send e-mail after e-mail to immobiliers saying that you want a village house with a garden, don’t want to do any work, and that your budget is about 120,000 euros, and never get an answer?
It’s because there aren’t a lot of houses with gardens here. Villages were built initially to be defensible which is why there are so many circulade villages in the Aude. The church or the chateau is at the middle of the circle and still today you often can’t see them until you get to the middle of the village.
Before we arrived here lots of us dreamt of little rose covered cottages in the middle of the countryside. Private but close enough to a village that we could walk or cycle to the bakery in the morning for fresh croissants. Then we came to visit and realized that those kinds of houses just don’t exist here. Landowners lived in Maisons de Maitre in the village or even in a town. The farmworkers lived in the village and walked to the fields or vines to work. The tradition of building village houses with no land continued. If people wanted a garden they had a potager on the edge of a village.
Where there were farms with resident owners the houses were big and the workers’ houses were small, often just two rooms on top of a barn. No sweet little cottages.
There are choices. Decide what’s most important. If it’s having a garden then start looking at small villas in lottissements – housing estates – sub-divisions. If you want to be in a village think in terms of a small court or a roof terrace. If your budget is really limited then plan to renovate. Buy a house in a village that still allows new roof terraces – there are a few left.
Do what the French do, sit in the square and socialize.
One option that almost everyone overlooks is buying a village house without any outside space and using the public space in the village. There are squares with benches. People put their chairs and table outside the front door. Picnic in a vineyard. People do it all the time and no one minds as long as you don’t damage the grapes.