No one’s home
When we first arrived in Carcassonne we stayed in a hotel for a few days while waiting for our lease to start on the house we rented for the year. We intentionally stayed in a room with a view of both the river and the castle figuring that we weren’t likely to get that same vantage point again once we lived here. While out for a walk with Heather on our second day in the city we noticed the building for sale that you see here. It’s one block from the hotel, also at the end of a street, so it too looks out across the water up to the majestic Cité fortress. What a view, but at what cost?
Although there are several online real estate databases, there doesn’t seem to be one site that you can go to that lists every property for sale in a given area. At least when looking for this building we had the name of the listing agency and could find the details pretty quickly. Across 3 floors there are 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a balcony, and a terrace for 279,500 euro. Costing a bit over 300,000 dollars it’s way more than we’re going to spend and too big to heat, cool, and clean,but it sure was fun checking it out.
While I was looking at the listing agency’s website I noticed an article about abandoned houses in France of which there are apparently close to 3 million, about 8% of the homes in the country. The reasons cited included that the French prefer living in new buildings so old ones, especially if they are rural, will remain empty once the current residents die; and that because inheritance laws are so strict here often the owners can’t be found, they can’t or won’t decide what to do with the property, or don’t want to spend the money to fix it up enough to sell it. We were surprised to see that directly beside our hotel with the view was this abandoned property that has the same beautiful vista. It would seem that “location, location, location” might not be so vital here.