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French property of the week: Stunning stone house at heart of perched village in Provence

Do you fancy living in a beautiful village with magnificent views over the Provence countryside? If so, then this property could be for you.

French property of the week: Stunning stone house at heart of perched village in Provence
Auribeau-sur-Siagne Photo: Leggett Immobillier
Where is it?
 
The property is located in the ancient perched village of Auribeau-sur-Siagne in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of south-eastern France. 
 
The village, which has just 450 inhabitants, offers quiet, rural charm however the property is not far from local amenities such as shops and restaurants and everything that the Siagne Valley has to offer. 
 
Auribeau-sur-Siagne is a historically important location which dates back to at least the ninth century when the hilltop offered a view of the Bay of Cannes. 
 
The house is located a mere 10 km from the Plage du Midi in Cannes, with other parts of the Mediterranean coast also within striking distance, and there is a golf course and port in the nearby town of Mandelieu. 
 
Nice Airport is just 37 km away and offers regular flights to the UK and most other European countries. 
 
Map: Mappy
 
How much does it cost?
 
The property has been reduced from €445,200 to €415,000 (£366,487 or $485,806) depending on exchange rates.
 
Describe the property
 
The house comprises 126m2 of livable space spread over three floors, with two separate entrances. 
 
This includes two very spacious bedrooms (converted from three originally), two bathrooms (one with a bath, both with showers), a large lounge/diner and even a sauna.
 
One of the bedrooms is currently used as an office space and has its own entrance.
 
Meanwhile, the kitchen is traditional in style and fully equipped.
 
The house, which dates from the 1700s, has been lovingly renovated, with its original character and period features, including exposed roof beams, an ancient well and an original fireplace, all preserved.
 
The roof terrace has been enclosed with windows that slide open when desired and has stunning views of the surrounding mountains and even the sea.
 
Why buy it?
 
Estate agent Leggett Immobilier says:  “Nestled in the centre of the beautiful, quaint perched village of Auribeau-sur-Siagne, this village house radiates tradition and charm of quiet village life.
 
“Be careful – as soon as you visit this ultra-charming village house in the heart of this perched, historic village – you will fall in love with it.”

 
And the pictures:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

While French cities such as Paris are notoriously expensive, there are many areas outside the cities where it is still possible to buy spacious homes for less than €100,000 - particularly if you don't mind a bit of renovation.

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

We decided to look at where in France you could afford a property on a budget of €100,000, and it turns out there are some bargains to be had.

There are a lot of caveats while searching for property, and many local variables in place, but our search does show some of the areas to concentrate on if you have a limited budget.

We used the Notaires de France immobilier website in August 2022, and we specified that the property should have at least five rooms (including kitchen and bathroom) and a floor space of at least 100 square metres.

We also discounted any property that was for sale under the viager system – a complicated purchase method which allows the resident to release equity on their property gradually, as the buyer puts down a lump sum in advance and then pays what is effectively a rent for the rest of the seller’s lifetime, while allowing them to remain in the property.

READ ALSO Viager: The French property system that can lead to a bargain

For a five-room, 100 square metre property at under €100,000, you won’t find anywhere in the Île-de-France region, where the proximity of Paris pushes up property prices. The city itself is famously expensive, but much of the greater Paris region is within commuting distance, which means pricier property. 

Equally the island of Corsica – where prices are pushed up by its popularity as a tourist destination – showed no properties for sale while the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – which includes the French Riviera – showed only 1 property under €100,000.

The very presence of Bordeaux, meanwhile, takes the entire département of Gironde out of this equation – but that doesn’t mean that the southwest is completely out of the running. A total of 25 properties came up in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. One property was on the market for a mere €20,000 – but it was, as the Notaires’ brochure noted, in need of “complete renovation”.

Neighbouring Occitanie, meanwhile, showed 12 further properties in the bracket.

By far the most properties on the day of our search – 67 – were to be found in the Grand Est region of eastern France. The eastern part of France overall comes out best for property bargains, with the north-east region of Hauts-de-France showing 38 properties and and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté displaying 25.

Further south, however, the presence of the Alps – another popular tourist destination – pushed up prices in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region which showed just three results.

The below map shows our search results, with darker colours indicating more cheap properties.

Property buying tips 

In order to make a comparison, we focused our search on properties advertised online, but if you have a specific area in mind it's well worth making friends with a few local real estate agents and perhaps also the mayor, since it's common for properties not to be advertised online.

Most of the truly 'bargain' properties are described as being "in need of renovation" - which is real estate speak for a complete wreck.

If you don't mind doing a bit of work you can often pick up property for low prices, but you need to do a clear-eyed assessment of exactly how much work you are willing and able to do, and what the cost is likely to be - there's no point getting a "cheap" house and then spending three times the purchase price on renovations.

READ ALSO 'Double your budget and make friends with the mayor' - tips for French property renovation

That said, there were plenty of properties at or near the €100,000 mark that were perfectly liveable or needed only relatively minor renovations.

You also need to pay attention to the location, as the sub-€100,000 properties are often in remote areas or very small villages with limited access to amenities. While this lifestyle suits many people, bear in mind that owning a car is a requirement and you may end up paying extra for certain services.

Finally remember that government help, in the form of loans and grants, is available for environmentally friendly improvements, such as insulation or glazing.

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