Fiona and her husband, David, live in the UK and have two grown-up sons. When they first joined August, they were suited to the Signature Collection. Now they’re moving on to another Collection and, here, Fiona shares how it works.
Initially, we were torn between Signature or City Collection. [Each August collection is unique and the City Collection is one not currently available to buy.] We opted for Signature as we were anticipating taking more guests and wanted the flexibility of a little more space to host. Also, two properties had already been bought as part of the Collection – one in the South of France and the team was about to go after Chamonix.
The one that really gelled with us was the Valbonne home, which I'm still going to miss. A glass of cold white wine in the South of France, with the glorious sunshine, pretty much sums up the August experience. We loved the idea of owning something in the South of France, so we started off with Signature slightly by default.
In the South of France house, there are so many windows and doors that the house is always filled with wonderful Provençal light. We loved lounging by the pool, eating at all the various outside tables, that magnificent fire in winter, and spending time snuggled up with a good book on the comfiest sofa ever was a real treat!
The other great thing is the way that August plays matchmaker to people and the right Collections. You’re never really in a position where people are fighting over weeks as the team has considered everything: from when school holidays may fall to when particular events take place. Then they’ve built the Collection around a variety of profiles that just work.
If you’re keen to explore four or five different places, it really is a no-brainer. The homes have been done to such a high standard, you don’t even have to think about maintenance, it’s all taken care of. It’s such a pleasure to walk into these homes.
We had anticipated having more guests join us with the Signature Collection but, actually, it tended to just be myself and my husband. The homes are wonderful but, for two of us, it felt a tad indulgent. It was a difficult decision to part with our beautiful homes but it absolutely worked out for the best.
We hadn’t really considered, when we first joined, this ability to move across Collections. There was always the possibility of exiting when the time came but being able to move between Collections has made the August experience so much better.
Now we have joined the City Collection, which comprises smaller homes (two to three bedrooms versus the three to five in their Signature Collection). It still has the South of France (Cannes), Tuscany, the Alps and Mallorca but, instead of the Cotswolds, we have Barcelona.
We’re looking forward to the next three to five years in this Collection, with the excitement that we may move to Premium or Pied à Terre if we’re next at the point where we wish to sell. It’s great to have the flexibility and resale demand that we can take this decision in the future, with very few concerns.
Thanks to how August works, there’s always immense interest in completed Collections, to the point where I believe there’s an active waiting list for those keen to join a finished set of homes, rather than a Collection that’s being acquired in real-time. The whole process of selling and buying is so smooth, we cannot fault it.
August is brilliant at facilitating the resale process and It all happened so quickly. It was great because there was total flexibility around timelines. We had a final week booked in the South of France, which we really wanted to go to, so it was designed to happen after we'd been to the Valbonne home for a final visit, which was lovely. They really worked to our timelines.
The legal team and everybody at August made it all happen so seamlessly. It has given us huge confidence as well - if we ever decide to move Collections again, we know how simple it is.
If you like the locations and you like the whole idea, why wouldn’t you? That’s what we said to friends of ours, who have also bought into a Collection. We sat down over dinner with them and ran through everything. It’s important to feel that you're not locking yourself in forever. There really are practically no reasons not to join. If you happen to find that you do not use the properties, then you could always choose to leave or find a different Collection.
In the classic August way, the team always wants to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your Collection and most importantly that you’re happy. We were informed about a potential resale into another Collection, and it felt like a better fit for us. The team was excellent at putting us in touch with those in the Collection to understand a little more, they supported our offer and, most importantly, they almost immediately identified a buyer for our Signature share.
It has been really fun being a part of August. Knowing that you've got these escapes across Europe, and you can look forward to going to these lovely places. So, yes, if you are thinking of investing in an August Collection, the one thing I would say is "what have you got to lose?”.
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