French property of the week: Stunning stone house at heart of historic French village

This stunning stone house lies in the heart of one of southern France's most picturesque and historic villages. And it offers stunning views over one of the most scenic areas of southern France.

French property of the week: Stunning stone house at heart of historic French village
Fancy owning a house in the historic heart of Roquebrun. Photo: Roger Davies
Where is it?
This property is built on a hillside in Roquebrun (see below), the most sought-after village in the Hérault department in the Occitanie region in southern France.
It's just a short walk away from all amenities including restaurants, bars, and a small grocery shop.
(Roquebrun – Photo:Isabelle Blanchemain)
The surrounding area is beautiful and offers a wide range of outdoor sports from canoeing and kayaking to fishing, walking, climbing, golfing, horse riding.
And for wine lovers, there's the opportunity to do a spot of tasting in the area. 
The beaches of the Mediterranean are just 30 minutes away, and the city of Béziers is only 25 minutes away by car or bus.
There’s also the thriving market town of St Chinian just 15 minutes away with a larger supermarket, cafés, banks, and a twice weekly market selling local produce and crafts.
Traveling is also made easy with the Béziers-Cap d'Agde airport just 50 km away.
The airport has an average of two or three flights per week to eight destinations. That includes Düsseldorf, Bristol, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paris Beauvais, and Stockholm.
It is also just two hours from Toulouse-Blagnac airport by car which offers a bigger choice of flights around Europe.
Map: Google maps
How much does it cost?
The property costs €249,000 (reduced from €299,600) or $292,000 or £218,000 depending on exchange rates. 
Describe the property
The two bedroom property has three landings with a bathroom on each floor, and one fully equipped kitchen. That’s a total of 80m2 on a 108m2 plot.
Although the house has been fully renovated – double glazing everywhere, oak doors and chestnut wooden flooring – many original features remain, including the well maintained old tiles.
The property also has a private parking for two cars, and, save the best for last, a decently sized terrace with a stunning view of the River Orb and the countryside.
Why buy it?
Estate agent Leggett Immobilier says: “The property has huge letting potential but is also a great holiday home just for you.
“It is on this gorgeous terrace when you open your bottle of local wine in the evening and look down over the valley, you will feel at home in one of the most scenic areas of southern France. That’s when you know you have finally realised your French dream!”
And the pictures

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Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

Installing a swimming pool, building a garden shed, or adding a conservatory to your French home has become more expensive in 2023.

Property taxes: How much will it cost to extend your French home?

If you are planning a renovation project in 2023 you’re likely looking at rising cost for materials and labour due to inflation – but there is one other cost to consider; taxes. 

In France there is a one-off tax that has to be paid on certain building works, and the government has raised the rate for this.

The taxe d’aménagement, sometimes referred to as the garden shed tax, applies to all property development – construction, reconstruction and extension – of buildings that require planning permission or a building permit.

Garden sheds, swimming pools or extensions with a surface area of more than 5 square metres are subject to the development tax – although a 50 percent reduction is applied to the flat-rate values of certain buildings, particularly the first 100 square metres of main residences.

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about installing a swimming pool at your French property

The tax is collected by local councils, who set their own percentage rates for the tax, working off the base rate set by the government.

A decree published in the Journal Officiel set the base figures for 2023 at the following rates: 

  • €1,004 per square metre in Île-de-France (up from €929 per square metre in 2022);
  • €886 per square metre outside Île-de-France (€820 per square metre in 2022).

The flat-rate values per square metre of building space, which constitute the basis for the development tax, are revised on January 1st of each year according to the latest construction cost index published by national statistics body Insee. 

Additionally, specific rates are set for:

  • €250 per square metre  for a swimming pool (up from €200 in 2022);
  • €12 per square metre of ground-fixed solar panels (up from €10 in 2022);
  • €3,000 per wind turbine more than 12 metres high;
  • €3,000 per pitch for tents, caravans and mobile leisure homes;
  • €10,000 per pitch for a holiday chalet or bungalow.

The amount of the tax is calculated according to the following formula: 

(Taxable area multiplied by the government-set base figure) multiplied by the percentage tax rate set by the local authorities. This gives the total to be paid in cents. Bills are rounded down.

So, the tax for a 30 square metre extension in an area where the combined local and departmental tax rates total 6.25 percent would be calculated like this:

30 (the size of the development) x 886 (the base tax rate outside Ile-de-France) = 26,580

6.25 (local and departmental tax) x 26,580 = 166,125 cents, more usually expressed as €1,661. 

If the total payable is less than €1,500, you will receive a bill in the six months after planning permission was granted, with details of how to pay.

Otherwise, it is paid in two instalments, 12 months and 24 months after authorisation, with a 10 percent surcharge applied in cases of late payments.

READ ALSO The hidden costs of owning property in France