French Property of the Week: Medieval manor in Dordogne with guest apartment

Does a manor house overlooking some of the most beautiful countryside in France tickle your fancy? If so check out our Property of the Week.

French Property of the Week: Medieval manor in Dordogne with guest apartment
Photo: Legett Immobilier
Where is it
The property is situated in the department of Dordogne in the south west Nouvelle Aquitaine region.
It used to be part of a medieval hamlet, and so it's secluded, but not far from the town of Montignac, where you can find hotels, restaurants and bars.
Other nearby towns are Les Eyzies (11km away) a Unesco world heritage town set into a rock face, and Sarlat (24km away) a large medieval town and the capital of the Périgord Noir region.
And if you need to travel further afield, the nearest airports are Bergerac and Brive la Gaillarde. 
How much does it cost?
It's on the market for €798,000 or £692,289 depending on exchange rates.
Describe the house
The spacious detached manor house has multiple terraces and a courtyard to enjoy the panoramic views over the Vézère valley, the caves of which are designated Unesco world heritage sites.
You get 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, an office and large kitchen/lounge with an open fire place and a private apartment below ground for guests, which you could convert it into a wine cellar for yourself. 
Within the 2 acres of land included in the property, you also get a wooden chalet, two outbuildings and 3 stone bread ovens, one of which is still working, and the others large enough to be renovated as guest rooms.
Why buy it?
Legett Immobilier say: “Nestled in a small hamlet in a tranquil location, private but not completely isolated, this absolutely stunning manor house has been lovingly restored to the highest standards and is bursting with character.
“This lovely manor is steeped in history.”
And the photos: 

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For members


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.