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PROPERTY

Ten of the best properties in France you can buy for less than €100k (with one at just €26k)

One of the many things that has long attracted Anglophones to France is that buying property is substantially cheaper than in the UK or the US. Here are 10 properties currently on the market that will cost you less than €100k.

Ten of the best properties in France you can buy for less than €100k (with one at just €26k)
All photos: Leggett Immobilier

From buildings that need major refurbishments to ones you can move straight in to, there's something in here for everyone, selected by France-based estate agent Ailsa Spindler from Leggett Immobilier.

 

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1. The ready-made holiday home – €88,000

Situated in Lignieres Orgeres in Mayenne, Pays de la Loire, this three bedroom house would be perfect for someone looking for a retirement home or a holiday home with no work to do on it.

Ailsa says: “This well-maintained house in a popular hamlet is just 75 minutes from the Channel ferry at Caen, and close to the spa town of Bagnoles de l'Orne. Situated in the centre of the magnificent Normandy-Maine Natural Park, this is an ideal base for cycling, walking, horse riding and many other outdoor pursuits.

“The house itself is constructed of local granite under a slate roof, and has an impressive sitting room with massive beams from the local oak forests.”

2. The townhouse with space for a workshop – €93,500

This three bedroom townhouse in Carrouges, in Orne, Normandy, has some slightly dated décor but plenty of space. It also has a courtyard and large workshop/garage space which could become the base for a small business.

Ailsa says: “This substantial stone-built house is in the centre of Carrouges, a historic market town that is the gateway to the Normandie-Maine Natural Park. The living space provides a large, sunlit sitting room and three good bedrooms, with further rooms in the attic. Outside a courtyard gives off-road parking and leads to a huge workshop/garage which could be the base for a small business or a fantastic hobby space.”

3. The oldest house in town – €93,500

The town of Fresnay sur Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire had a beautiful Medieval quarter at its heart, and <a href="https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/95990AAM72/house-for-sale-in-fresnay-sur-sarthe-sarthe-pays-de-la-loire-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/96003ASP61/house-for-sale-in-st-ellier-les-bois-orne-normandy-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/99147ASP61/house-for-sale-in-carrouges-orne-normandy-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/94409AAM53/house-for-sale-in-lignieres-orgeres-mayenne-pays-de-la-loire-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/93994AAM53/house-for-sale-in-lignieres-orgeres-mayenne-pays-de-la-loire-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/97984LOK61/house-for-sale-in-torchamp-orne-normandy-france https://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/83518LOK61/house-for-sale-in-putanges-pont-ecrepin-orne-normandy-france There are many more, but I have tried to give a selection from ruins to small renovation properties, plus a few you could move straight into. If you could put in a line referring people to my e-mail address I would be grateful. Let me know if you need anything further, i hope it all makes an interesting piece. Best wishes, Ailsa On Mon, 24 Jun 2019 at 12:01, Evie Burrows-Taylor wrote: Good morning Ailsa, Thank you for getting back to me and no problem on the delay. I really had no idea that you would have so many properties under €100k! In that case, would it be possible to have a selection of ten of your properties – perhaps below €50k if possible, or if it’s easier for you to search, we could simply do a selection of ten of your cheapest properties? Thanks for your time. Best wishes, Evie On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 11:36 AM Ailsa Spindler wrote: Good morning Evie, Thank you for getting in touch, and sorry for the delay in responding – we are all rather busy at the moment! I am happy to put together some details of properties, but can you be a bit more specific than just a price? We have over 3000 properties under €100,000 on the books at Leggett! For example, are you interested in a particular area? If you could let me know what you are looking for, I will gladly do what I can to help. Best wishes, Ailsa On Wed, 19 Jun 2019 at 10:04, Evie Burrows-Taylor wrote: Dear Ailsa, We met very briefly at The France Show in London earlier this year and I believe you have since been in touch with my editor Emma Pearson. I’m contacting you because we’re hoping to put together an overview of properties for sale in France for up to €100k, and I wondered if you would be able to send over any you have on your books in this price range? We would, of course, link to the Leggett site and credit any photos you include. Please don’t hesitate, if you have any questions. Thanks for your time. Best wishes, Evie — Evie Burrows-Taylor, Journalist – The Local France The Local – Europe’s news in English M: 0033 (0)7 68 02 24 67 | E: [email protected] France | Germany | Norway | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland — Ailsa SPINDLER Conseiller Immobilier / Independent Agent Orne (61) et / and Mayenne (53) Siret n° 838 787 877 00011 Phone Number 06 02 39 70 12 My property portfolio : http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/agent/Ailsa-Spindler/13961 Mon portfeuille immobilier : http://www.leggett-immo.com/acheter-vendre-une-maison/agent/Ailsa-Spindler/13961 https://www.facebook.com/OurOrneEtMayenne/ Sign-up to our mailing list and read our Leggett Magazine by clicking here… Abonnez-vous à nos alertes immobilières et lisez notre magazine Leggett en cliquant ici… www.leggettfrance.com www.leggett-immo.com — Evie Burrows-Taylor, Journalist – The Local France The Local – Europe’s news in English M: 0033 (0)7 68 02 24 67 | E: [email protected] France | Germany | Norway | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland — Ailsa SPINDLER Conseiller Immobilier / Independent Agent Orne (61) et / and Mayenne (53) Siret n° 838 787 877 00011 Phone Number 06 02 39 70 12 My property portfolio : http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/agent/Ailsa-Spindler/13961 Mon portfeuille immobilier : http://www.leggett-immo.com/acheter-vendre-une-maison/agent/Ailsa-Spindler/13961 https://www.facebook.com/OurOrneEtMayenne/ Sign-up to our mailing list and read our Leggett Magazine by clicking here… Abonnez-vous à nos alertes immobilières et lisez notre magazine Leggett en cliquant ici… www.leggettfrance.com www.leggett-immo.com “>this three bedroom house is right at its centre.

Ailsa says: “Believed to be the oldest house in Fresnay sur Sarthe, this unique property would make an unusual family home or a distinctive holiday home or B&B business. 

“Situated in the heart of the Medieval centre, just a few steps from the Castle and views over the river valley, this timber-framed house is full of character and historic features. It benefits from new wiring and a modern control box, with electric heating supplemented by a traditional fireplace in the kitchen.”

4. The expansion possibility – €97,900

Also in Fresnay sur Sarthe, this house currently has two bedrooms, but a large garage offers the option of creating more rooms.

Ailsa says: “This house, close to all amenities (school, shops), has great potential to create a family home or holiday property in an area popular with tourists. The Alpes Mancelles are just a few miles away, with many opportunities for walking, cycling, riding and canoeing in unspoilt countryside.

“Having stood empty for some time, this home needs some repair and renovation and this is reflected in the asking price.”

READ ALSO: From property to cars: How prices in France compare to the UK

5. The house with an extra rental – €77,000

This four-bedroom house in St Ellier les Bois, Normandy, also has a separate duplex that could be either a 'granny annexe' or let out as a rental property to generate some extra income.

Ailsa says: “Situated on the edge of a small village, there is a school bus service to the nearby small market town of Carrouges, which has schools, health services, banks and other commercial facilities. The property requires some modernisation and repair, which accounts for the low asking price, but most of the work could be completed by a competent amateur.”

6. The redecoration project – €55,900

This four bedroom house is situated on the market square of the historic Norman town of Carrouges.

Ailsa says: “This property, in the centre of the 'gateway town' of Carrouges, would make a charming holiday home in the beautiful Normandy-Maine Natural Park. In need of re-decoration and updating, the property is in sound condition, and has in the past generated a good rental income.”

7. The cottage with its own fishing pond – €48,000

This small, one-bedroom cottage is in Lignieres Orgere in Mayenne, a hamlet that is a few minutes drive away from Carrouges.

Ailsa says: “Ideal as a holiday cottage or home for a couple, the property has the unusual feature of its own, private fishing pond, complete with large workshop/store. The pond has several large carp and other coarse fish, and is in healthy condition.”

8. The major project – €26,000

In the same hamlet of Lingieres Orgere stands this potential home. It has electricity and running water, but not a lot more so is a major restoration project.

Ailsa says: “Although lived in quite recently, this range of buildings requires major work to make it into a home. 

“Benefiting from electricity and mains water on site, the property consists of a stone-built cottage, with good roof timbers but a corrugated iron covering, a stable with large store above, an open-fronted shed and a stone barn. A dilapidated cart shed near the road would be suitable for conversion to a garage.” 

9. The 'not for the faint-hearted' – €31,000

This four-bedroom house stands in the village of Torchamp in Normandy. A spacious house with large garden and a garage, however the interior could best be described as challenging.

Ailsa says: “Not for the faint-hearted but if you have good building skills and plenty of imagination this could be a great project. In the heart of a popular village, this property has all the potential to make a lovely house.”

10. The budget option for a holiday cottage – €38,000

A very cute little one bedroom cottage in the Normandy hamlet of Putanges Pont Ecrepin, this property has a large garden but definitely needs work inside.

Ailsa says: “This house would make a very nice little lock up and leave holiday home, or a permanent residence for someone who doesn't need masses of space. Habitable but definitely needing work and with the added benefit of a good size garden to the side.”

These properties were all on the market at the time of publication, for more information, or to view other options, email Ailsa Spindler of Leggett Immobiler.

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FRENCH BUREAUCRACY

Everything you need to know about your vital French ‘dossier’

It's a crucial part of life and an incomplete one can bring about a whole world of pain - here's what you need to know about your French dossier.

Everything you need to know about your vital French 'dossier'

The French word un dossier simply means a file – either in the physical sense of a plastic or cardboard item that holds documents together or the sense of a collection of documents. You might also hear civil servants use dossier to refer to the responsibilities they hold, as in English we might say their ‘brief’. 

But by far the most important use of dossier, particularly to foreigners in France, is its use to indicate the collection of documents that you must put together in order to complete vital administrative tasks, from registering in the health system to finding somewhere to live.

When you begin a new administrative process, you will need to put together a collection of documents in order to make your application. Exactly what you need varies depending on the process, but almost all dossiers will include;

  • Proof of ID – passport, birth certificate or residency card. If a birth certificate is required check carefully exactly what type of certificate is being asked for (and don’t freak out if they’re asking for a birth certificate no more than three months old, it doesn’t mean you have to be born again).

Birth certificate: Why you need it in France and how to request one

  • Proof of address – utility bills are usually the best, if you’re on paperless billing you can log into your online account with your power supplier and download an Attetstation de contrat which has your name and address on it and also acts as proof of address
  • Proof of financial means – depending on the process you might have to show proof of your income/financial means. This can include things like your last three months payslips or your most recent tax return. If you’re house-hunting you might be asked for your last three quittances de loyer – these are rent receipts and prove that you have been paying your rent on time. Landlords are legally obliged to provide these if you ask, but if you can’t find them or it’s a problem you can also ask your landlord to provide an attestatation de bon paiment – a certificate stating that you pay what you owe on time.

Paper v online

The traditional dossier is a bulging file full of papers, but increasingly administrative processes are moving online, so you may be able to simply upload the required documents instead of printing them all out. 

If you have to send physical copies of documents by mail, make sure you send them by lettre recommandée (registered mail), not only does it keep your precious documents safe, but some offices will only accept documents that arrive this way. 

If you’re able to send your dossier online, pay careful attention to the format specified for documents – usually documents like rental contracts or work contracts will be in Pdf format while for documents like a passport or residency card a jpeg (such as a photo taken on your phone) will suffice. If you’re sending photos of ID cards, residency cards or similar make sure you upload photos of both sides of the card.

If you need scanned documents there is no need to buy an expensive scanner – there are now numerous free phone apps that will do the job and allow you to photograph the documents with your phone’s camera and convert them to Pdf files.

Some French government sites are a little clunky and won’t accept large files – if you get an error message telling you that the file you are uploading is too big, you can resize it using a free online photo resizing tool. 

Payment

If the process requires payment (eg changing address on certain types of residency card or applying for citizenship) you may be asked for a timbre fiscale – find out how they work here

House-hunting

If you are looking for a property to rent you will need to compile a dossier and if you’re in one of the big cities – especially Paris – landlords or agencies usually won’t even grant you a viewing without seeing your dossier first, so it’s always best to compile this before you start scanning property adverts.

The government has put together a tool called Dossier Facile which allows you to upload all your house-hunting documents to a single site, have them checked and verified and then gives you a link to give to landlords and agencies, which makes the process a little simpler.

Find a full explanation of how it works here.

Attestations

For foreigners, especially new arrivals, it’s often a problem getting together all the documents required. It’s worth knowing that if you don’t have everything you need, you can sometimes substitute documents for an attestation sur l’honneur, which is a sworn statement. 

How to write a French attestation sur l’honneur

This is a legally valid document, with penalties for submitting a false one, and needs to be in French and written in a certain format – the French government website provides a template for the attestation.

Vocab

Déposer un dossier – submit your file

Pièce d’identitie – proof of ID eg passport, residency card

Acte de naissance – birth certificate. 

Copie intégral – a copy of the document such as a photocopy or scan

Extrait – a new version of the document, reissued by the issuing authority

Sans/ avec filiation – for birth certificates it might be specified that you need one avec filiation, which means it includes your parents’ details. Some countries issue as standard short-form birth certificates that don’t include this, so you will need to request a longer version of the certificate

Justificatif de domicile – proof of address eg recent utility bills. If you don’t have any bills in your name you can ask the person who either owns the property or pays the rent to write an attestation de domicile stating that you live there

Justificatif de situation professionnelle – proof of your work status eg a work contract – either a CDI (permenant contract) or CDD (short-term contract)

Justificatif de ressources – proof of financial means, such as your last three months payslips (employers are legally obliged to provide these), other proof of income or proof of pension payments or evidence of savings.

Avis d’imposition – tax return. Some processes ask for this separately, for others it can be used as proof of resources – this is not a copy of the declaration that you make, but the receipt you get back from the tax office laying out your income and any payments that are required. If you declare your taxes online in France, you can download a copy of this document from the tax website. 

Quittance de loyer – rent receipts

Attestation de bon paiment – a document from your landlord stating that you pay your rent on time

Un garant – for some processes, particularly house-hunting, you might need a financial guarantor. This can be tricky for foreigners since it has to be someone you know reasonably well, but that person must also be living (and sometimes working) in France, and they will also need to provide all the above documents. If you’re struggling to find an acceptable guarantor, there are online services that will provide a guarantor (for a fee).

En cours de traitement – this means that your dossier has been received and is in the process of being evaluated. Depending on the process this stage can take anywhere between hours, months or even years (in the case of citizenship applications).

RDV – the shortened version of rendez-vous, this is an appointment. Certain processes require you to first submit your dossier and then attend an in-person appointment.

Votre dossier est incomplet – bad news, you are missing one or more crucial documents and your application will not proceed any further until you have remedied this.

Votre dossier est validé – your dossier has been approved. Time to pop the Champagne!

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