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VILLAGE geniuses

Couple who struggled to get on UK property ladder buy French VILLAGE for £22,000

A BRAVE couple who struggled to get on the property ladder in the UK have told how they snapped up a French village for just £22,000.

Paul Mappley and Yip Ward, both 48, were living in a mobile home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, when they bought hamlet La Busliere, in Normandy.

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Paul Mappley and Yip Ward were living in a mobile home when they bought hamlet La Busliere, in NormandyCredit: channel 4
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The pair, who are both landscape gardeners, told how they now plan to turn the historic hamlet into luxury holiday accommodationCredit: Channel 4

Their new property includes six cottages, two barns, a two story workshop, open barn and paddock, as well as a stone well, cider press and communal bread oven.

And they told how they made the bold move after ruling out the possibility of owning their own home in this country.

The pair, who are both landscape gardeners, told how they now plan to turn the historic hamlet into luxury holiday accommodation.

And they told how they would advise anyone considering a similar move to: “Just go for it.”

Yip said: “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 said: “It has been stressful at times, and we are short of money, but coming from only ever renting, we are so grateful to be here.

“It was like a squat when we moved in, but we’re quite comfortable now.

"And we get on well with our neighbours in the next village.

“They did whisper about us when we arrived, but not because we’re the only gays in the village – there are others living in theirs!”

  • The pair’s journey features in new Channel 4 show Help, We Bought A Village! which airs on Monday at 4pm.
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Their new property includes six cottages, two barns, a two story workshop, open barn and paddock, as well as a stone well, cider press and communal bread oven
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