Last week, our sale advisor Nathalie told you the story of the Montmaur Manoir sale. This week, meet Nicole Montgomery, the person who bought the property and renovated it with her family. You will find at the end of the article more photos of the renovation.
Can you introduce yourself?
We are a family of six. I have worked as a designer as well as a stay at home mum. My husband is a physician. We have four children. Our oldest daughter Garland, is a full time student at the University of Tennessee and is studying to become a nurse. Our son Gates, is 16 and a high school student and we also have two middle school children, Gwyneth is 12 and Gray is 13. Needless to say our household is very busy!
How did you discover France?
In 2012 our family travelled to Paris for the winter holidays. We had a magical time touring the city, ice skating at the Grand Palais and ringing in the new year along the Champs Elysees. When the time came to plan our summer vacation we decided to explore the south of France. As luck would have it we found a beautiful home just outside the village of Montreal. We spent the next five weeks falling in love with the French countryside. When we heard that there was a house for sale down the road from where we were staying, we went to take a look. The next few weeks were just that… looking at many homes.
How went your property purchase?
We found a house that we were interested in viewing on the internet and contacted the agent Nathalie. That particular home was not what we were looking for, however Nathalie had another home in mind that she thought we would like. It was not too far away and had a beautiful view of the Lauragais. From the minute we walked in the door we knew it was our house. A maison de maitre in a lovely village. It was important to me that the originality and authentic features of the house were intact. There was a garden to the left and to the right which would be a perfect place for a pool and evening dinners under the stars. The home needed a considerable amount of work, but we saw the potential and since we love older homes we were up for the challenge. The buying process was very straightforward. Nathalie walked us through step by step which made for an easy closing. A significant amount of renovation took place over the course of four years. We chose to work entirely with local workers and artisans under the direction of our contractor.
How is life in France?
We have now owned the home for four years and still love France as much as the day we bought it. We are slowly becoming more fluent in the language and have wonderful neighbours and close friendships here. The fresh produce and quality food from the markets are amazing and we enjoy cooking throughout the summer. The countryside is such a beautiful place to be. We go for walks, bike rides and fish along the canals. We feel very fortunate to have found a home in this region.
Can you tell us some anecdoctes?
Here’s a funny story for you. A couple years ago, we came to our home in November and decided to host our French neighbours to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In the
United States it is a tradition to serve a bread roll with the meal. Since I couldn't find a traditional American bread roll I decided to serve petite croissants. We sometimes serve those for dinner in the States too. I immediately knew I had made a mistake by the look on my guests faces. They were very confused to have a breakfast food for dinner! I also once mispronounced beurre in a restaurant and got a Heineken instead!
Any last word?
I would absolutely recommend Americans to buy a home in France!
BEFORE/AFTER THE RENOVATION