A COUPLE have told how they gave up their dream life abroad to buy a UK house without ever having seen it.
Jez and Julie, both 62, had been living in a 300-year-old stone farmhouse by a lake after moving to Brittany, France, from York in 2000.
Using money inherited from Jez’s parents ,the pair had been flipping run-down homes after retiring from teaching, reports The Guardian
And although they loved their idyllic life in the French countryside – they decided they needed to move back to the UK during the pandemic.
With the whole world in lockdown, the couple began to feel the distance between them and their friends and family at home.
Julie explained: “As happened to so many people, the pandemic crystallised our thoughts. We umm-ed and ahh-ed, but decided it was essential we came back.”
The pair began to search for a new UK home – and decided on a home in Scunthorpe.
But because of travel restrictions, they were unable to view the home before snapping it up – and had to make the decision based solely on pictures.
The sale went through in January 2021 and in April Jez and Julie flew over to see their new home.
Jez says the move was “traumatic” and that the pair realised they had made a huge mistake as soon as they arrived.
He said: “We pulled up outside and my first words were: ‘What the hell have we done?’ We’d had 20-odd years of being in the middle of nowhere and suddenly we were at the bottom of a small cul-de-sac.”
Although the house was on a nice street, Jez says that the home was nothing like what they were used to.
He explained: “When we saw the pictures online, we thought: ‘Fine, let’s do it,’ but when we arrived, I realised how much we’d changed. And, in the 20 years we’d been in France, Britain has changed massively.
“It’s now a 24-hour society, but it wasn’t like that when we left. It just didn’t feel how I thought it would. It was naive on my part.”
The couple gave up the property and moved to another much more like what they were used to.
Jez said: “Never, ever would I do it again.
“And hopefully there’ll never be another time when we’ll be forced into doing it.”
It comes after a man told how he bought a house at auction without viewing it – but later discovered nightmare conditions inside.
And another homeowner said she bought a cheap house without seeing it and people fear it’s haunted.