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.
Full of authentic character and charm and beautifully presented, this stylish stone built 5 bedroom manor house has a total spacious living area of 255m2, set within mature wooded gardens of 6,248m2 a...
- Floor Size: 255 square metres
- Plot Size: 6,248 square metres (0.62 hectares / 1.54 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
PRICE REDUCED - Superb property which has been completely and comfortably modernised and improved by the current owners, formerly a residence of a famous French painter, now offering luxury accommodat...
- Plot Size: 3,000 square metres (0.30 hectares / 0.74 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Fabulous 'maison de maitre' style property which has been superbly renovated, set in over an acre and a half of mature landscaped grounds within easy reach of Toulouse airport. This magnificen...
- Floor Size: 325 square metres
- Plot Size: 7,000 square metres (0.70 hectares / 1.73 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
Unique opportunity to acquire a French Chateau and a Chapel requiring total renovation, set in an elevated and private location on 11.5 Hectares near Saint Emilion. Ready for a new lease on lif...
- Plot Size: 115,000 square metres (11.50 hectares / 28.42 acres)
- Bedrooms: 0
PRICE REDUCED - This fascinating chateau in the Aveyron region of the Lot is only 28kms from both Figeac and Villefranche-de-Rouergue and Golf. The lovely village of Cecazeville is only 1.5 km aw...
- Plot Size: 16,000 square metres (1.60 hectares / 3.95 acres)
- Bedrooms: 14
Enchanting French Manoire with income potential in a beautiful rural situation close to La Roche l'Abeille, with its own gite, barns and stables. Amazing business opportunity. - Just outside...
- Floor Size: 690 square metres
- Plot Size: 15,000 square metres (1.50 hectares / 3.71 acres)
- Bedrooms: 10
Charming and historic Chateau with a total of 9 bedrooms, located close to Villeneuve-Sur-Lot, on a plot of 23,000m2 with a swimming pool and 2 gites. This lovely stone built property is ripe f...
- Floor Size: 450 square metres
- Plot Size: 23,000 square metres (2.30 hectares / 5.68 acres)
- Bedrooms: 9
Exciting opportunity to acquire a characterful manor house dating back to the Seventeenth Century, located less than 25 miles from the coast and within easy driving distance of Calais. This v...
- Floor Size: 390 square metres
- Plot Size: 7,776 square metres (0.78 hectares / 1.92 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
A most impressive and attractive renovated manor house, complete with a a barn conversion and set in an acre and a half of land. The substantial stone property comes with living space of 500m2...
- Floor Size: 500 square metres
- Plot Size: 6,709 square metres (0.67 hectares / 1.66 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Grand, spacious and beautifully restored manor house, with an exceptional and beautifully presented living area of 360m2, ideally situated in a quiet setting near the centre of pretty village with man...
- Floor Size: 360 square metres
- Plot Size: 2,443 square metres (0.24 hectares / 0.60 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4