A Torontonian thought about purchasing a assets in cottage country. Instead, she purchased a $1.25-million chateau in France

Minnie V. Muir

A Torontonian believed about obtaining a assets in cottage country. In its place, she purchased a $1.25-million chateau in France

Increasing up in Thunder Bay, I had an obsession with architecture, particularly big castles and sprawling outdated-income estates, the sites you could possibly study about in a fairy tale. I even keep in mind telling my mother I wished to are living in a home with a turret when I grew up.

I was in French immersion from kindergarten till significant faculty. Back again then, my teachers often explained it would direct to world wide alternatives, but I was not fully confident.

When I ultimately traveled to France for the initially time in 1992, at the age of 20, Paris appeared like a film set. The buildings were being in contrast to anything at all I had witnessed in Ontario. I definitely enjoyed the architecture: the terrific curves, the tall home windows, the stone specifics, the background, the grandeur and romance of every thing. France had actually taken hold of my head and coronary heart.

Sooner or later, I analyzed economics at Western and acquired my CFA. Then I went to Toronto to commence a vocation in financial commitment management. I was constantly an artistic particular person, with a knack for drawing and visual arts, but I thought I experienced to do the practical factor and get a secure position.

Over the future 15 yrs, into the 2000s, I uncovered myself searching actual estate listings for chateaus in France. I need to have been hunting for fulfillment or a little something. Oddly adequate, home prices in Toronto constantly appeared to be outrageous, yet you could invest in a chateau in France for half the cost. Go determine.

Quickly-forward to 2019. By then, I had a husband, Oscar, and a daughter, Ella. But I form of felt like lifestyle was slipping away. I realized I had normally been carrying out what other people today envisioned me to do. I imagined, When am I heading to do one thing for myself? When am I heading to observe my passions? I resolved to choose a journey to France, all on my own, to look at some chateaus.

That summer months, I got in contact with a U.K.-based broker to plan a couple of viewings. I flew to Paris, then took a two-hour coach journey west to a city referred to as Rennes, recognised for its artwork and record. There, I rented a vehicle and visited 5 homes in the location over the up coming week.

It is a single thing to glance at a map, but I had an chance to seriously examine. It was in essence a meals paradise, with unbelievable wine, cheese and patisseries. I sampled a ton. I found a bunch of smaller cities, all of them prosperous with history and brimming with power. 

For my last viewing, I visited a chateau in Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé, a quaint township with a inhabitants of less than 1,000, positioned in western France, a brief travel from the cultural hub of Poitiers. It is just a 1.5-hour educate trip from Paris on the higher-pace prepare. There are rolling hills, caves and lovely limestone cliffs in the space, in addition it is close to Michelin-star eating places and the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. 

The put, acknowledged as Chateau de Molante, was outlined for 850,000 euros (roughly $1.25 million Cdn.). Designed in the 1800s, it sat on a 70-acre house, with its possess forest and a very long driveway major to a little town, making it uncomplicated to get to the marketplace by foot or bicycle. It was also just a 10-minute drive from the thermal springs of La Roche-Posay, the popular skincare manufacturer, which I identified right absent.

On the outside, it had a beige stone façade and two massive turrets.

Inside of, it was 4,500 square toes throughout 3 storeys, with 11 bedrooms and 12-foot ceilings. It experienced marble fireplaces, vaulted home windows, crown moulding and chevron oak flooring. It’s referred to as a petite chateau I joke that it’s a “starter chateau.

There were being a bunch of outbuildings on the good deal, created about 1500, which would have been utilized for lodging, winemaking, stables and storage.

Just one of the outbuildings

There is even a caretaker’s house, rented to an Englishman named Alec, who lives there with his German pointer. It’s an included reward because it supplies some rental income, moreover anyone on-web site to seem immediately after the assets.

The caretaker’s cottage

When I returned to Toronto, I took some time to think about the buy, with options to pay a visit to once again in early 2020. Then the pandemic strike, placing almost everything in limbo. So I waited.

Then, in the summer months of 2020, my spouse and I drove out to stop by his brother in Prince Edward County. After the journey, we briefly talked over acquiring a secondary property out there.

But then I confirmed my partner the listing for Chateau de Molante—which was even now on the market—and informed him we could have it for about the exact cost as a pleasant area in PEC. I also discussed that it could be a foundation for our daughter to master French and explore Europe. He desired to go for it.

Dealing with the paperwork and order system took a whilst, but in the winter of 2020, we last but not least obtained the keys to our new chateau. I viewed as it a Christmas present for the family members.

Cheryl, with a image of her new chateau

 

Inside the following a few yrs, we’re setting up to do some renovations, together with portray anything in a clean up palette (whites and lotions), locating some attractive nearby home furniture, opening up the kitchen, changing some of the second-amount bedrooms into a master suite, replacing the wallpaper, introducing an elevator. Hopefully, I can use area sellers and do all of it for about $500,000 Cdn.

We’d like to commit a few of months there each individual yr, preferably in the summer months, until eventually my husband and I retire and my daughter finishes school, at which level we’ll prolong our stays. Additional than just about anything else, I’m looking ahead to acknowledging my childhood dream of dwelling a fairy-tale daily life in a castle with a turret.

– As instructed to Katie Underwood


Do you have an intriguing story about buying or providing serious estate during the pandemic? We’d really like to hear it: [email protected]

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