A UK Couple who couldn’t buy a house in their home country with their savings have gone on to buy a village in France.
Appearing on Channel 4’s Help! We Bought a Village, Paul Mappley and his partner Yip Ward said they have never owned even a studio flat in the UK but are now planning to create a luxury holiday destination in the historic hamlet of La Busliere, in Normandy, after buying it for €14,000 (about £11,775).
The village is made up of six cottages, two barns and a paddock, plus a two-storey workshop, cider press and communal bread oven. Although the cottage has no electricity supply yet.
The couple used to live in a caravan in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, when a friend offered them the chance to buy it in 2019.
Yip said to The Sun: ‘In the area we were living before 2021 it was about £300,000 to buy a tiny place to live, and that was just never on the table for us.
‘We had always rented and we were living in a – really lovely – static mobile caravan belonging to our friend.
‘But when they looked to sell it, we began to worry.
‘So it was incredibly exciting when we heard from a friend about Le Busliere. We began to think: ‘This could really happen for us.”’
Paul admitted it has been ‘stressful at times’, adding they are short of money, but are ‘so grateful to be here’.
‘It was like a squat when we moved in, but we’re quite comfortable now,’ he said.