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Long-term Guardians for a former French Farmhouse ,own apartment in rural South West France

France, La Cassaigne, Occitanie

Pets

There are no pets to look after

Duration

  • Period available: 11 months, 4 weeks
  • Starts: 1 August 2019
  • Ends: 31 July 2020

Testimonials

They have 2 testimonial s (view below)

Facilities

They have WIFI

About this assignment

Ideally, we are looking for a highly practical couple. Our sit offers time to get the know an area well as it is available for 1 year at least, starting at the beginning of August 2019.You need to be outdoorsy ,cheerful and motivated,enjoy being in the fresh air.

What responsibilities are required of the house sitter

One day a week would be spent maintaining the garden and grounds, mowing (ride on tractor or the walk behind mower) and quite a deal of strimming, will be the priority outside. You must be able to demonstrate competency with equipment (we will pay for fuel and any parts). All equipment will be provided by us and full training will be given. Watering, spraying, pruning, weeding small borders and pots as necessary, many borders have terram and weep hoses. Be knowledgeable about plants or be willing to learn. Generally keep an eye on our part of the house -air main house as requested. Check for water leaks in very cold weather. Other small house activities to be discussed. Airport pickup from Toulouse or Carcassonne (we will refund diesel/petrol/toll/parking costs) . As much of the work in the garden is weather & season dependent there will be busy and then very quiet times of the year.

What are the good features of the property and location

We have owned the house and land (5 hectares) which was formally a working farm, since the summer of 2008. The fields are now pretty clear of weeds and stones, we have planted some trees, created some small flower borders , rebuilt some walls and most of the land around the house in a state that can be mown or strimmed. Our fields are often grazed by our friend’s cows, separated by a electric fence. Mark maintains the fields and woods, which are the greater part of the land, ourselves. This is a country property, surrounded by farmland, very peaceful with good walks direct from the house and you would be welcome to walk anywhere on our land. We have neighbours, although you cannot see their houses as each one is at least 1 kilometre away.This property stands alone surrounded by our own land and neighbours fields. You are not on the edge of a village or hamlet. In 2013 we created, with our builders, a self contained first floor apartment specifically for Guardians within this former farmhouse. Kay designed the apartment to a standard that we would be happy to occupy. It is well insulated and has independent top quality Haverland heaters in every room. It is light and airy with high ceilings and views of the Pyrenees and our neighbours lake from the sitting/dining/fitted kitchen room which runs the whole of the south side of the apartment. There is a double bedroom, bathroom (with shower and full sized bath tub) and a smaller room currently used as a study and for storage. It is fully furnished and kitted out. Some additional storage and use of part of workshop maybe negotiable. Great walks from the property and in the surrounding countryside. Challenging cycling cross country or on empty roads. History in abundance, you are in historic Cathar country Castelnaudary (on the Canal Midi) great for shopping, including 4 supermarkets for just about everything, good local hospital 20 mins, famous Carcassonne about 45 mins, medieval Mirepoix about 25 mins, Cathar village Fanjeaux 15 mins (mini supermarket, bakery, butcher, cafe, pharmacy , doctors, garage, church and lots of events).There are too many beautiful villages to mention them all, swimming in mountain lakes in the summer and skiing in the Pyrenees in the winter. Swimming or sailing at the sea is about an hour and a half away. One hour south of Toulouse.
We are Kay & Mark and whilst we are in our mid 60’s, we are young at heart and very active. We love being outside and are continually doing some project either inside or outside the house as funds allow. We love the peace, the countryside, the abundance of nature, expeditions out on our motorcycle, history and rock music. We are a pretty cheerful, resourceful and can-do couple.
We are semi retired and fly back and forth to spend time at the house (or more often if work allows, Kay is self-employed, Mark in education) for weeks at a time. When we are around we expect to join in with the gardening, mowing and strimming. Last year we were at the house for just over 3 months of the year.
We have had a number of Guardians, including an lovely American couple who will have been with us a year this summer and a young couple who were with us three and half years , who started a successful business and then bought their own house locally to renovate.

What does the house sitter need to consider before applying for this assignment

Guardians pay for their own use of water, electricity, telephone/broadband and house taxes and are responsible for apartment consumables, e.g. gaz cooking bottle, bulbs, cleaning equipment materials etc Guardians must resident full time and occupy the apartment at night. Time away can be taken at anytime when both homeowners are at the property. Some French would be very helpful in this rural area. There will be a detailed agreement covering all aspects of the sit to be signed by both parties. We always take time to meet and show the property, trial the equipment and discuss the sit in detail with our prospective and will be interviewing for days in March and May.
Quality references & police checks required .- please do not apply if you have none.
You must have a vehicle there is no public transport.
No animals - sorry


Last updated: 30 January 2019

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Testimonials

A pleasure and a privilege!

Kay and Mark were super people to be caretakers for, and we count ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them. From the word go, their communication was really clear and efficient, and they were massively helpful in helping us prepare on a very practical level and in articulating the role and responsibilities we were to undertake while there. We felt very prepared long before we even arrived, and when we did land at their place which is situated between the medieval town of Mirepoix and Castelnaudary on the Canal Midi, we were bowled over by its beauty and serenity, the wonderful accommodation provided for us, the incredible attention to detail in the preparations for our arrival and the briefings of the gardening work and other duties. Our time at Kay and Mark’s home was a real pleasure and it was a privilege to look after it for them. We would highly recommend Kay and Mark and believe any future caretakers to be very lucky people.

Olive, Ireland, 25 February, 2019

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions

A real getaway

This is a lovely place to stay and Kay and Mark are a friendly and very organised couple who make sure you have everything you need. The house is spacious and very tidy and clean, and is set in a private and pretty garden that is literally on the edge of the forest, great for long walks or if you are a runner. The gardens look out onto a field where wild rabbits live, and they are a treat to take care of and to watch play. You feel on retreat even when it's all set in a little village and there are people nearby to help should you need it. I was there during a heatwave and felt blessed as the house stayed cool even in the hottest peak. The nearest town Forest Hill has all you need and there are two organic farms locally as well where you can buy produce.

Andrea, United Kingdom, 22 January, 2019

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions