Tuesday, May 24, 2022

YOU DID WHAT??? - 48° 27' 46" N 07° 28' 41" E

With Florence and her sister Claire in London in 1989

Florence and I have been friends since before she moved to Alsace for University.  From the time she has lived there, it has been a dream to renovate an old Alsatian house.

Glamming it up in Strasbourg 1992

The years rolled past, marriage, kids and life went on but that dream to renovate an old Alsatian house was still brewing in the back of her mind. 

This wine is nearly older than us! Bischoffsheim 2005

On each visit I made, we would flip through the real estate listings - no garden, too dilapidated, not in the right village, too big, too expensive...  And this trip was no exception.  My house searches were met with 'it is rubbish', 'out of my budget' and other such encouraging phrases. 

House search text messages

That was until I found a listing for a very cute house somewhere in Obernai. Without wanting to call the agent, we decided to spend the day exploring Obernai on our bikes to see if we could find it. Our methodology? Stick to the old part of town and turn left, turn left, turn left!  We meandered down narrow lanes, dead ends, through archways and along the Ramparts.  And remarkably, there it was!  The à vendre sign still up, tucked away in a narrow lane just a hop, skip and jump from the centre of town!

Perfectly located, this 200 (ish) year-old house looked in reasonable shape.  The roof wasn't caving in, the walls looked solid and, best of all, the price was right!  Flo rang the realtor and we toured the house. It was in need of a full gut job, but oh, those lovely bones! With vision, some hard work and a bit of cash, could this be the dream, could this be the old Alsatian house?

Phone calls to realtors, bankers, friends who have renovated, trades persons who specialize in Alsatian houses, plumbers, builders... an offer was made, an offer was accepted.  

OMG Florence, what have you done?

Ground floor entry - just look at those gorgeous stairs

Kitchen with those beautiful original beams

Living room - that drop ceiling needs to go!

The attic, the third floor, the master suite?

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