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PROPERTY

The story of France’s thriving ‘world’s first’ swingers only campsite

A campsite in deepest rural France, described as the 'world's first 100 percent swingers camping ground' is booming and is now on the market for a cool €2 million. No surprise given France's and northern Europe's booming libertine community.

The story of France's thriving 'world's first' swingers only campsite

Where is it?

The campsite is located near the village of Brugheas in the Allier department of central France's Auvergne region. It is just 5km from the spa resort of Vichy.

How much is it?

Only €2,070,000 or £1,852 919 or $2.5 million, depending on exchange rates.

Describe the property

The estate agent's advert reads: “First 100 percent libertine campsite in the world for sale. Incredible opportunity with over 20 million libertines identified in northern Europe and 6.5 million in France.” Does that sound like a huge number of free lovers to you?

The campsite used to be an ordinary camping group until it was bought by libertine Francoise Vetter and her husband four years ago and converted into a swingers only getaway.

According to the ad on estate agent Leggett Immobilier the campsite is “situated on almost 5 hectares there are 80 bays of which 21 are mobile homes, 2 bengali tents and a caravan. A big sanitary block, 4 habitable chalets, a licence IV bar, professional restaurant with over 60 seats under a big tent.”

The campsite includes an outdoor swimming pool with “cuddle corners” around it and even a “naughty wood” where libertines can go for a stroll under the trees or partake in any other physical activity they fancy.

Why buy it?

Whether you are a libertine or not, if you have a spare two million it sounds like the purchase of the “Camping Libertin la Roseraie” would be a very wise business opportunity.

Current owner Francoise Vetter told The Local that in the first year as a themed campsite she saw a 118 percent increase in turnover.

“We have guests from all over Europe, Holland, Belgium, Britain, Germany and we also get Australians and Americans here. There is enormous potential for the campsite,” Vetter said .

She said that the world's second libertines campsite which opened in Dordogne last year was sold out last summer demonstrating the demand.

“We are selling it because we have hit retirement age and we are tired,” she said.

She believes the campsite, tucked away in the countryside, has an advantage over the famous naturist turned libertine resort Cap d'Agde in the south coast.

“It's not friendly enough at Cap d'Agde but here you can get to know everyone in a couple of days.”

And of course when she says “get to know everyone” she uses the term in the loosest possible sense.

“We do what we want, when we want and with whom we want,” said one online reviewer, while others describe “the delirious ambiance” at post-dinner sex parties (soirées coquins).

Reviews of the campsite are mixed with some describing it as a paradise where you can “forget your daily problems” while others complain of the fearsome pitbull dog who roams the campsite to keep “security”.

Others complain of the strict rules, not so much the one that demands women are respected but the rule that there can only be a certain number of single men allowed at any one time. While others have complained that the ban on sex in the swimming pool is routinely ignored.

Whoever buys the world's fist libertine campsite can of course do what they like with it, but estate agent Lynn Chaulieu from Leggett Immobilier says any buyer would be foolish not to run it as a libertine site given the business potential.

“It has just totally boomed since it became a swingers campsite,” she told The Local. “There's two hectares that can be developed that would double the capacity of the site.”

READ ALSO: So where are all these swinging sex clubs in Paris?

And the photos:

For more information on the property visit Leggett Immobilier.

 

For members

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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