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PROPERTY

French Property of the Week – 900-year-old Knights Templar house in Dordogne (with a massive garden)

Would you be interested in a genuine 12th century home in Dordogne that once belonged to the Knights Templar? Then check out our Property of the Week.

French Property of the Week - 900-year-old Knights Templar house in Dordogne (with a massive garden)
Photo: Leggett Immobilier

Where is it?

The house is located in St Paul La Roche in the northeast of the Dordogne department in Southwestern France, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions of France with its picturesque villages and woodlands.

The property actually stands in the Périgord Limousin regional natural park.

It’s not far from the towns Jumilhac le Grand (6km), and St Yrieix la Perche (19km). The nearest international airports are Limoges, Bergerac and Bordeaux with regular flights back to the UK.

How much does it cost?

The property costs €392, 200 or €334, 566 depending on exchange rates.

Describe the house:

Built nearly 900 years ago, the house is full of history and charm.

The property has three bedrooms as well as a large living room of 49 square meters that has a flagstone floor made of riverbed stones.

Aside from its beautiful exposed beams and stonewalls, the most exciting feature of the property is its 7,786 square meter garden with a terrace to enjoy the breathtaking views and summer evenings.

Why buy it?

Leggett Immobilier say: “This picturesque building, once part of one of the most important Knights Templar commanderies in the Perigord, was built nearly 900 years ago.

“This historic building has a story to tell.”

And the photos: 

CLICK HERE for more information on this property and to contact the agent Leggett Immobilier.

 

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PROPERTY

Courtier: Should you hire a broker when buying property in France?

If you're researching the French property market, you might have come across mentions of 'courtiers' - here's what they do and whether they are necessary.

Courtier: Should you hire a broker when buying property in France?

The French ‘courtier‘ is usually translated as a broker, and the Notaires Association describes their role like this: “the broker is a true intermediary in banking operations. His/her role is to negotiate the best rates for you, but not only that: they will also find the most advantageous financing conditions for the realisation of your project.”

Essentially they act as an intermediary between you and the banks, so they’re only required if you need a mortgage or a loan in order to buy your French property. 

Their job is to research the best deals for you and then to help you put together your application and ensure that all your paperwork is correct – unlike the notaire, instructing a courtier is not a required part of the process, so the decision on whether to instruct one is up to you. 

So is it worth it?

Among French buyers, around 30 percent of mortgages are obtained using the services of a courtier, and this rises to 60 percent among young, first-time buyers, who generally find it harder to access credit.

Some of things to consider are your level of French and confidence in negotiating French bureaucracy, your financial situation (since French mortgage lenders tend to be stricter than those in the UK or US) and whether you currently live in France or not (since there are extra hoops to jump through for overseas buyers).

READ ALSO Is now a good time to buy a home in France?

“Things have changed,” Trevor Leggett, group president of Leggett International estate agents, told The Local. “It’s now more important than ever to work closely with a reputable broker.

“In France it is all paper-based, very old-school and extremely bureaucratic, a different world entirely to the UK. Preparing the client “dossier” so that it will be accepted is an art form.”

READ ALSO MAP: Where in France can you buy property for less than €100k?

He advised non-resident international clients, particularly, who may not be au fait with the French system to seek the help of a broker who knows the ropes.

“The question is no longer really about savings,” he said. “It is about finding a bank that can actually lend to the client profile, interests rate are secondary. 

“It occasionally happens that one bank can be played off against another, or to shop around, but it’s a rare event nowadays.”

READ ALSO Revealed: The ‘hidden’ extra costs when buying property in France

And he had no hesitation in recommending that prospective buyers find a broker to sort out the financing.

“The lending market has tightened for international buyers and a good one is worth their weight in gold,” he said.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: Time-frame for buying and selling property in France

In France, you make an offer on a property and then you begin the mortgage process (while in the UK it’s the other way round) so problems in getting your mortgage approved could lead to you losing your dream property.

“[Using a courtier] can be the difference between buying and not,” added Trevor.

“It’s not just any possible language barrier – but understanding the process and the different players in the market.”

How much?

The cost of hiring a courtier is borne by the buyer – but how much do they charge?

The courtier usually charges a percentage of the total mortgage amount – fees must be fixed in advance and are only payable once your mortgage application has been approved. 

Fees vary between different areas and different businesses, but the average fee is €2,000, which amounts to around one percent of the purchase price.

Many brokers set a minimum amount – around €1,500 – for smaller loans, and take a percentage of larger loans, so how much you pay depends on your property budget. 

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