A pair of British landscapers, unable to put together enough cash for even a 'starter' property in their native Kent, have solved their problem by buying an entire unpopulated hamlet in Normandy for €26,000.
Living in a friend's trailer in Kent, they began their search when the friend decided to sell the trailer, and found minimum prices far beyond their stake. They were then told about a cottage for sale in La Busliere, Normandy. The couple, Yip Ward and Paul Mappley, bought it for €12,000 and moved in to the habitable but minimally-equipped space in 2019.
Two years later, they reached out to owners of the derelict other buildings, with the idea of renovating them and creating a glamping site. Eventually, they were able to buy the whole hamlet for an additional €14,000, including a row of cottages, two barns, a stable, a two-storey workshop, a well, a cider press, and a communal bread oven, surrounded by two acres of land.
Mappley told a TV interviewer “There’s not pots of money for us to do this but we would like to be able to try to get it to a point where it’s not falling to bits... To own any building is a huge dream, but something like this with so much history is an amazing feeling, we’re very lucky to be able to do this. This wasn’t ever on the cards for us.”