Michelle Reed bought a holiday property in the Languedoc on the south coast of France, in an area with great beaches, year-round sunshine and delightful villages.
What led up to your decision to buy your holiday home in France?
I first went to Le Lac des Rêves (lake of dreams) in 2001 with my two young children ( 10 and 16 ) and with my friend who had her two girls with her. We had a wonderful time with the younger ones who loved the clubs and the facilities on site, and Jill and I loved the area and the fabulous weather. After entering the weekly talent show my two, Dan and Beth, were inspired to start a musical career which led to them playing at festivals and theatres all over the UK, including an appearance at Glastonbury.
After that first year our children insisted on returning every year to share more fun with the friends they had made. Jill and I were delighted as we loved the site and the area so much. We have made life-long friends from all over France and England.
What is your favourite thing about owning in France?
I have now retired from teaching French and live at Lac des Rêves for nine months of the year. I love leaving the bustle and dampness of the crowded North West of England to appreciate the guaranteed sunshine, the laid-back lifestyle and the beautiful area around the site. I love city life so Montpellier is great for restaurants, cinemas and sporting venues, then I also have the wild scenery of the Camargue nearby and the sandy beaches on the coast.
I am much more active when I am living at the lake. It is so easy to cycle everywhere, the pools are open from April and there are daily exercise classes.
How did you find this property?
I chose my Charleston Louisiana mobile home because it is not a traditional ‘caravan’. It is more like a little flat with every facility I could need, including a modern bathroom, a bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, extensive garden and terrace. I even have a dishwasher which comes in handy as life is very much about entertaining friends and family.
What about the buying process?
I was helped at every stage by the Siblu team. They facilitated the transaction with the French owner I bought from. The van was two years old and in immaculate condition. I thought the price was very reasonable as it was to be my home for most of the year.
How did you manage with the language?..and the paperwork?
Fortunately I am fluent in French as I was a French teacher for 35 years but the Siblu staff have excellent language skills so there are no problems. When it came to transferring the money from my account I used a financial company called Currencies Direct who did everything over the phone and charged a lot less than my bank. I was very nervous about the sums involved but it really was trouble free.
Would you consider living in France full-time in the future?
My ideal situation would be for Siblu to open the park for the whole year but at the moment I still have my house in the UK and work as a supply teacher in the months when the park is closed. I would not consider living in France in another community, such as a village, as I would miss the community spirit on the park as well as the pools, restaurant and sporting opportunities.
•With thanks to Michele Reed
If you would like more information about buying a holiday home in France or the holiday villages mentioned in this article please click here or call 0800 960 512