French Property of the Week: Charming rural retreat in picturesque Charente

A stunning rustic home in Charente in western France, complete with lovingly restored original features would be the perfect property for anyone looking for the idyllic French rural retreat. Tempted?

French Property of the Week: Charming rural retreat in picturesque Charente
Photo: Leggett Immobilier
Where is it?
The house is situated in the hamlet of Saulgond, a ten minute drive away from the towns of Confolens and Chabanais (see map below) in western France. Both towns have a good range of shops and facilities.
On top of that, Limoges, world famous for its porcelain factories, is only a 40 minute drive away. It’s a great place for sightseeing and its great museums are definitely worth a visit.
Limoges international airport is also easily accessible from the town with direct flights to London, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds but also to Paris, Nice and Corsica.
The hamlet is a 20 minute drive away from the natural regional park of the Périgord Limousin, the perfect place for long walks with its beautiful forests and lakes.
The property is also a short drive away from a golf course.
Map: Google maps 
How much does it cost?
The property costs €249,500, $305,788 or £217,809 depending on the current exchange rate.
Describe the property
This picturesque property has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and is a total of 178m2.
On the the ground floor there is a spacious living room complete with a woodburner, double-height ceiling and mezzanine storage area. From the living room there are doors to the rear terrace, the dining room and the utility room.
The property also has a large kitchen.
Two of the four bedrooms on the first floor are complete with en suite bathrooms. Outside the main building there is a large attractive stone barn which is approximately 150m2. Inside the owners have created a workshop, another room that was used as a gym and a mezzanine area with lockable storage area.
The house has a private drive and a beautiful garden.
The generous sized south facing terrace at the rear of the house features a BBQ area and pretty fish pond. In the garden is a wonderful large koi carp pond with a jetty that the owners would be prepared to leave the new owners. There is also a private rose garden with a pretty pagoda and a vegetable garden.
What the estate agent says
Estate agent Leggett Immobilier says: “This beautiful house is full of character and has been lovingly renovated by the current owners with lots of attention to detail, retaining the original features such as stunning oak beams and pointed stone walls. The flexible layout would suit someone wanting to offer B&B/a guest wing, or for those wanting the reassurance of a ground floor bedroom and bathroom.”
And the photos
For members


What second-home owners need to know about 2023 French property taxes

Autumn in France is property tax season - and for second-home owners there are some important changes to know about this year.

What second-home owners need to know about 2023 French property taxes

Every year in September and October, households in France receive their property tax bills – which have historically included three things; taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation and the redevance audiovisuelle (TV licence).

For main properties, two of these taxes have all-but disappeared, but for second home-owners the situation is a little different.

Taxe d’habitation

This is the tax paid by the householder and it is being gradually phased out in France and most households no longer need to pay it – the exception to this, however, is maisons sécondaire (second homes).

Local councils set the rate for this tax, and in some areas this can include an additional surcharge on taxe d’habitation on second homes.

This usually applies in areas that have a housing shortage, and although the surcharge has existed for several years it has recently been expanded to include new areas.

Taxe foncière

This is the tax paid by the property owner and this remains in place, and in some areas has increased. Some local authorities, faced with the shortfall in overall taxe d’hab funds, have increased surcharges on the tax for second homes, while most local authorities are also increasing taxe foncière charges to offset the drop in revenues.

This tax is calculated based partly on the size and value of the property you own (which is why if you do any major renovations or add a swimming pool you need to tell the tax office) and partly on the tax level decided by your local authority. 

This means that the actual rate varies quite widely between different parts of France, but in some areas it has gone up by 20 percent.

Redevance audiovisuelle

This is the TV licence and this has been scrapped this year – including for second homes – so your bill will no longer have the €138 per household TV charge. 

Waste collection taxes

Some communes, especially in rural areas, also charge a taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères (TEOM) or la redevance d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères (REOM) to cover rubbish collection. These are also payable in the autumn, although dates and amounts vary from commune to commune.

Renovation projects

If your property is what real estate agents refer to as an ‘opportunity for renovation’ you may be exempt from taxe d’habitation if your property is uninhabitable.

This is this is strictly defined in France as meaning a property is unfurnished, is not connected to utility services, and/or needs work costing at least 25 percent of the value of the property to make it habitable.

Other information

The amount of both taxe foncière and taxe d’habitation varies across France, but you should be informed in the sale details of the amount of the taxe foncière, and you can also request to know the amount of the taxe d’habitation when you buy a property. 

READ ALSO Why French homeowners face higher property taxes in 2023

Second homeowners are not eligible for most reductions or exemptions available on taxe foncière, with the exception of over 75s who are on low incomes. Be aware this is not automatic for second homeowners and must be specifically requested by those who are eligible.

Be aware, too, that authorities can charge an additional 10 percent for late payment without good reason – though you may get this removed if you write a polite formal letter asking for a remise gracieuse de la majoration. You can search for model letters on the internet.