Helen (43 years) and David (46 years) Ponsford (married). The professional couple currently own and live in their flat in St Johns Wood (NW8). Helen originally is from Yorkshire and David is from Kent. Both works in IT- Helen is a Director at Microsoft and David is Director at Wonder Pl, a video start-up.
The Ponsfords had been looking for a holiday home for quite a time and have made many week end trips to the south of France searching for the right property. Their search started on the Riviera but the couple found the prices too high for what they had in mind and so started looking further to the west, to Toulouse and the surrounding villages. The properties here were in the right price bracket but then Helen and David began to doubt they could realistically cope with looking after a property overseas with their time challenged lifestyle and demanding jobs. Therefore they turned their attention to the UK.
By chance, a short while later Helen saw an advert for La Durantie and immediately recognised The Tarn area in the south west that she and David had visited and loved. She telephoned Jeanne Boden who is based onsite and chatted to her about the chateau development at La Durantie and soon all the setbacks previously anticipated with owning a holiday home abroad were answered. Helen and David flew-out to see La Durantie site and to meet the development team and they are now happy owners of a 3 bedroom property (Le Castelnau – €491,920/approx. £404,100), which is one of the first ten properties to start construction in April.
Rental return was not a key reason for the Ponsfords purchasing at La Durantie, but as the Management Team offer a ‘check-in and check-out ‘ service for rentals, they have decided to put their new home into the rental programme. This means it doesn’t matter if they decide not to visit so frequently one year – there will be no pressure!
Helen says: “We went through quite a big change in thinking as we were originally looking for a romantic, independent property before realising that buying a second home with a fully managed rental suits our lifestyles much better as we will be able to ‘lock-up and leave’ the property with no hassle. We anticipate we might use our new home for a 2 week summer holiday per year as well as numerous week-end breaks and probably Christmas too. We are also looking forward to inviting our families to enjoy some time with us in France and it is good that the Country Club and Spa extends the season – I can imagine chilling-out in the spa with a girlfriend in February or so. Visiting as often as we wish should be easy as BA flies from London to Toulouse and there are numerous flights to choose from.”
Helen likes the fact that the Country Club will have a bar and restaurant as the rural area is very quiet. She is also looking forward to making the most of the local food markets and vineyards in the region, especially as she finds the Gaillac wine really good quality and inexpensive.
The couple is happy that the style of their new home is in-keeping with the local style villages and arranged in small clusters with a sense of their own community.
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