Escape to the Chateau
In homage to the irrepressible Dick and Angel who have turned an abandoned chateau into a home on Channel 4's "Escape to the Chateau", we bring you some of our more affordable chateaux and large manor houses in France. They may need some TLC, but if you're looking for an adventure, nothing can compare to seeing a beautiful ancient building come back to life.
Guide to the French Buying Process
1. Signing the Agreement (Compris)
On finding a property you wish to purchase you will need to negotiate the terms, price and conditions of the sale with the owner. The next step, once you are in agreement, is to sign the preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente). This is a legal document and after ten days will be binding on both parties. Rules change frequently in France and it is best to consult with your notary about when this period starts. Generally the compris will be signed in France with the Agent. Variants can be included in the compris, for example an Acte (clause) can be added if the name or names to go on the title deed have not been finalised. If a mortgage will be required to purchase the property, the details for this, including the name of the mortgage company, must be on the compris.
2. Paying the Deposit
Generally the deposit will be 10% of the agreed purchase price. This will normally be paid to the notaire. There are exceptions to this, if the agent holds a carte professionelle, is bonded and fully registered then you may pay them, but do not hand over the deposit to anyone else. If for some reason the purchase does not go through, for example, if you write to the notaire and the agent that you do not wish to go continue with the purchase before the contract is binding (within seven days of signing the compris), then your deposit would be repaid. This would also apply if a condition had not been met, or the mayor or S.A.F.E.R. (a government agency that has the right of first purchase on most rural property that comes onto the market in France) could oblige the purchaser to give way. If you decide after the seven days 'cooling off' period that you do not wish to complete the purchase and pull out of the sale you would lose your deposit. If however the vendor pulls out of the sale then you will receive your deposit back plus the same amount from the vendor.
3. On Completion
Generally it will take around two or three months to complete the purchase. During this time the balance of the purchase money must be paid into the account of the notaire, this must be done well ahead of the completion date. The notaire will prepare the documents, check that the deed of sale (Acte de Vente) is in order and have the legal title ready to be signed over. It is possible to have someone sign on your behalf if you give them power of attorney. An interpreter may be of use at this point if your French is not very good and many Notaires will suggest (or insist) that an interpreter is with you.
IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully qualified Lawyer or Notary before buying a property overseas.
Grand, spacious and romantic French Chateau with a total of 6 bedrooms, set within over 3 acres of land, located near a lake, river and many walks and all shops and amenities are just a short drive a...
- Floor Size: 340 square metres
- Plot Size: 12,575 square metres (1.26 hectares / 3.11 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Impressive French chateau dating back to the Nineteenth Century having been built by a baritone of the Opera de Paris, using cream Angouleme stone and dominating the landscape of the pretty villages n...
- Floor Size: 520 square metres
- Plot Size: 6,000 square metres (0.60 hectares / 1.48 acres)
- Bedrooms: 11
Charming Chateau style property ideally located in a quiet area in Vic-Fezensac, set within 2.24 hectares of land, yet situated close to the city with all amenities and shops. With around 315m...
- Plot Size: 22,400 square metres (2.24 hectares / 5.54 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Limoux XVIIth Century chateau to renovate, with 50+ rooms, 2 towers, habitable apartments, garage, original features, high ceilings, convertible space, strong commercial potential, 1.3 hectare park, ...
- Floor Size: 1,600 square metres
- Plot Size: 12,836 square metres (1.28 hectares / 3.17 acres)
- Bedrooms: 10
Character Nineteenth Century French chateau offering a lifestyle change and income potential with 8 bedrooms, large swimming pool, sauna, guest house and all for a fraction of the cost of a 2 bed apar...
- Floor Size: 500 square metres
- Plot Size: 13,729 square metres (1.37 hectares / 3.39 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Unique chance to become the owner of a piece of history with this Twelfth Century corner tower of a chateau, sympathetically restored over recent years to create a peaceful and special retreat.
A character stone manor house in the sublime Carcassonne region, complete with guest house, caretakers cottage, stables, several barns and swimming pool. This character stone property with h...
- Floor Size: 729 square metres
- Plot Size: 33,326 square metres (3.33 hectares / 8.24 acres)
- Bedrooms: 12
Fully renovated eight bedroom chateau with heated in ground pool in the centre of historic Chalus. Plantagenet Manor is a beautiful eight bedroom chateau with an in-ground all season heated Ro...
- Plot Size: 4,000 square metres (0.40 hectares / 0.99 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Exceptional opportunity to acquire a lovely French chateau with 6 bedrooms being sold fully furnishesd, beautifully presented, with swimming pool. On the lower level there is a summer kitchen ...
- Floor Size: 518 square metres
- Plot Size: 22,951 square metres (2.30 hectares / 5.67 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Fabulous character manor house with origins in the Sixteenth Century in the Charente, with swimming pool and set in a pretty landscaped garden. This beautiful renovated logis has been entirely...
- Floor Size: 490 square metres
- Plot Size: 3,227 square metres (0.32 hectares / 0.80 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4