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.
Attractive 16th Century Chateau with stunning views, potential fishing lake and gite, set in 20 acres of land in an attractive setting. 7 bedroom chateau comprises entrance hall, luxury kitche...
- Floor Size: 430 square metres
- Plot Size: 80,000 square metres (8.00 hectares / 19.77 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Superb property with a total of 10 bedrooms, ideally situated in a great setting just a short drive from Loches, which is one of the most highly sought after areas in Loire valley. Recently upd...
- Plot Size: 52,900 square metres (5.29 hectares / 13.07 acres)
- Bedrooms: 10
Lovely six bedroom bed manor for sale furnished, complete with a 2 bedroom Maison d'Amis with private garden, overlooking the swimming pool. This is an excellent family home equally could also...
- Floor Size: 370 square metres
- Plot Size: 8,816 square metres (0.88 hectares / 2.18 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
A delightful Eighteenth Century manor house in a lovely rural setting with landscaped grounds of 5 acres and currently successfully operating as a prestigious B&B and gite business. This won...
- Floor Size: 345 square metres
- Plot Size: 20,350 square metres (2.04 hectares / 5.03 acres)
- Bedrooms: 9
Full of character and charm, this magnificent Chateau style home is ideally situated within a glorious area in Bergerac, right in the heart of the Perigord Noir. This former farmhouse, which h...
- Floor Size: 230 square metres
- Plot Size: 76,565 square metres (7.66 hectares / 18.92 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
This stunning property has it all. An imposing, beautifully presented 6 bedroom Master's house, separate 1 bed apartment, 2 two bedroom gites AND an up and running retail outlet (if required) offerin...
- Floor Size: 575 square metres
- Plot Size: 22,075 square metres (2.21 hectares / 5.45 acres)
- Bedrooms: 11
A pretty small chateau, with 2 separate apartments- an excellent income generating opportunity, ideal as a small wedding venue, close to the popular and highly acclaimed village of Aubeterre sur Dronn...
- Floor Size: 350 square metres
- Plot Size: 10,010 square metres (1.00 hectares / 2.47 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Charming, elegant and spacious 8 bedroom manor house, with a total living area of 408m2, set within a mature park of 9,611m2, ideally situated in a quiet setting in Saintes. Dating from 1740/5...
- Floor Size: 408 square metres
- Plot Size: 9,611 square metres (0.96 hectares / 2.37 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Superb Nineteenth Century manor house in a desirable location in between La Rochelle and Bordeaux, , set in 2.5 acres with charm, character and space all around. This beautiful 531m2 manor hou...
- Floor Size: 531 square metres
- Plot Size: 10,370 square metres (1.04 hectares / 2.56 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Spacious, beautifully presented and unique chateau style property,with high painted ceilings, ornate fireplaces, plaster mouldings and ceiling roses, large picture window overlooking a park, ideally s...
- Plot Size: 9,000 square metres (0.90 hectares / 2.22 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7