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Paul and Yip couldn’t buy a house in England, so they bought an entire French village | Abroad

Buying a house in the United Kingdom was not possible for British couple Paul Mappley and Yip Ward. The prices were too high. In the region where they lived, they had to pay at least 300,000 pounds (358,000 euros) for a very small house. That option was never really on the table for them. “We had always rented and lived in a – really nice – mobile home of a friend. But when they wanted to sell it, we started to worry.”

In their search, the men looked beyond national borders. Finally, in 2019, they ended up in the tiny village of La Buslière in French Normandy. A friend wanted to offer them a cottage for sale there. They paid 10,000 pounds (just under 12,000 euros) for that. Their cottage was the last in a row of several cottages. “After our first purchase, we became aware of the fragility of the rest of the row, in that they were in danger of collapsing if left unattended for years, as the roofs had collapsed in places and allowed it back in,” can be read on the GoFundMe page of the two. In 2021 they could also buy the rest of the houses for a total amount of 12,000 pounds (14,300 euros). As a result, the entire village was eventually in their possession.

The village of Paul and Yip consists of six cottages, two barns, a horse stable, a workshop, a cider press and a communal bread oven. There is also no electricity. According to the GoFundMe page, the houses have been empty for about 25 to 30 years.

Glamping

The couple plans to convert the village into a luxurious holiday destination, rent out the cottages and open a glamping site. But it will be a while before the first guests can arrive. The two literally had to make their way through the vegetation and only after some time could estimate how many homes they had actually bought. “It was like a squat when we moved here, but we feel very comfortable now,” Paul told British media. “And we get on well with our neighbors in the next village. They did whisper about us when we arrived, but not because we are the only gays in the village – there are more of them living in their village.”

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