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French Property of the Week: A restored chateau in rural western France

If you fancy living an aristocratic lifestyle or simply use it as a thriving business then you need to take a closer look at this magnificent chateau in western France and all that comes with it.

French Property of the Week: A restored chateau in rural western France

Where is it?

The property is in the heart of the village of Bouresse in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of central-western France. 

The charming, traditional village offers bakeries, restaurants, a library, a post office and hairdresser within walking distance from the château. Every June there is an annual village party with live music and a market. 

The lively university city of Poitiers (30km away) is home to Biard Airport, which offers flights to London and Edinburgh. Limoges International Airport operates a wider range of flights throughout Europe and is 86 km away.

The property is surrounded by rolling countryside and close to the valley of the river Vienne where you can enjoy fishing, kayaking and riverside walks. The motor racing circuit Val de Vienne is 16km away and the famous haunted château du Fougeret is 7km away.

How much does it cost?

The property has been reduced from €1,181,250 to €995,000 (£884,792 or $1,162,159) depending on exchange rates.

Describe the property

The château comprises 740m2 of livable space spread over four floors, and set in extensive grounds. The current owners host weddings and group holidays in the property. 

Launched as a holiday home for groups in 2017 it has a full summer calendar & its first booking as a wedding venue. 

The ground floor features a set of interconnected rooms, which can be opened up for large parties. These include and entrance hall and stone stairwell, family room, ballroom, tiled rear hall and dining room. The ground floor also features an oak-panelled study, two kitchens, laundry room, sauna and jacuzzi.

The first floor has four double en-suite guest bedrooms as well as a private one-bedroom apartment, accessible via a servants’ stairway.

The second floor has 2 single bedrooms, 2 double bedrooms, a shared bathroom and a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom. There is also access to an unconverted attic room.

Many rooms in the château feature charming original details including carved marble fireplaces, tapestries, hand-painted walls and original carpet and parquet flooring.

Views from the château overlook the stunning landscaped gardens, orchards, orangerie, paved courtyard and heated swimming pool on the grounds of the property.  

The grounds also contain undeveloped outbuildings such as stables and a wine cellar, which could be used for tastings. 

Why buy it?

Didi Hawkins, from Leggett Immobilier says: “A rare home to be proud of. The Chateau has been sympathetically and expertly restored leaving nothing to be done other than move in and begin your aristocratic lifestyle, or maintain and extend the thriving business enterprise that comes with repeat bookings.

“This impressive home presents a rare opportunity to buy into French history and at the same time benefit from a healthy annual income. It is large enough to be productive but not too large to be unmanageable.”

And the photos: 

And here's a video…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PROPERTY

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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