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.
Delightful and very nicely presented 'maison de maitre' with outbuildings, maison de guardien and swimming pool,set in over an acre of land in a village with amenities. The character property ...
- Floor Size: 232 square metres
- Plot Size: 5,830 square metres (0.58 hectares / 1.44 acres)
- Bedrooms: 3
Character Sixteenth Century former hunting lodge, frequented by the French King Henry IV now providing hotel and restaurant facilities. This historic manor house is full of character and offer...
- Floor Size: 1,000 square metres
- Plot Size: 16,000 square metres (1.60 hectares / 3.95 acres)
- Bedrooms: 11
A magnificent 17th century manor house with 3 separate gites and a pool,set in over an acre of land with far reaching panoramic views, located in a peaceful area above the Charente River. This ...
- Floor Size: 411 square metres
- Plot Size: 5,611 square metres (0.56 hectares / 1.39 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Rare opportunity with this beautifully preserved and historic 'Maison Forte', with origins in the Sixteenth Century and situated in a picturesque hamlet overlooking a pretty lake surrounded by for...
- Floor Size: 343 square metres
- Plot Size: 8,411 square metres (0.84 hectares / 2.08 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
Exciting opportunity to acquire an Eighteenth Century prestige residence in the heart of a pretty village within walking distance of basic amenities, currently divided into 2 separate houses and of...
- Floor Size: 407 square metres
- Plot Size: 3,317 square metres (0.33 hectares / 0.82 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Completely restored historic 13th Century stone built castle with a fabulous old paved road which runs through the entrance hall, which also has a magnificent grand staircase. With a total bui...
- Floor Size: 600 square metres
- Plot Size: 1,300 square metres (0.13 hectares / 0.32 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Price reduced - Exciting opportunity to purchase an income-producing property consisting of two adjoining houses, one with a medieval tower, and attached to a converted barn. There is a tot...
- Floor Size: 401 square metres
- Plot Size: 4,359 square metres (0.44 hectares / 1.08 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Price Reduced- Ideally located right in the heart of a bustling village, this beautifully presented property is truly a rare find. Set in a tranquil setting within a 3/4 acre plot with ...
- Plot Size: 3,000 square metres (0.30 hectares / 0.74 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
A distinguished and characterful stone-built castle property, complete with rampart-lined garden. This property is full of original features and includes 2 reception rooms, 6 bedrooms, 2 b...
- Floor Size: 210 square metres
- Plot Size: 6,429 square metres (0.64 hectares / 1.59 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Delightful Seventeenth Century manor house in a lovely setting, set in 2.5 acres of mature gardens with imposing gates. This character property comes with 7 bedrooms and is very well laid out with...
- Floor Size: 498 square metres
- Plot Size: 10,000 square metres (1.00 hectares / 2.47 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7