The elegant mediaeval town of Uzes is one of France’s great hidden gems. From the historic centre of stone buildings lining narrow, winding lanes, to the spectacular rural landscapes that surround the town, property for sale in Uzes offers an opportunity to buy in a unique and spectacular location.
Located between Ales, Avignon and Nimes in the Gard department of Languedoc-Roussillon, Uzes boasts excellent road and rail links to nearby International airports such as Marseille, Lyon and Nice, as well as to the Cevennes Mountains and the beaches of the Mediterranean. Property for sale in Uzes provides an excellent base to explore the surrounding landscapes, which can be enjoyed year-round in the warm and sunny climate that is so typical of the south of France.
However, buying property for sale in Uzes is not just about the ideal location to make a new home in the sun, but also the truly fantastic property for sale in Uzes itself. The historic town centre is characterised by the beautiful mediaeval stone buildings that still survive, fronting onto the maze of narrow lanes that wind majestically between cobbled courtyards, shady squares and gardens.
Other older property for sale in Uzes often dates from the height of the textile manufacturing boom in the 16th century, and was built with immense care by skilled craftsmen. These majestic buildings are often characterised by ornate iron balustrades and carved stonework, making them a true wonder to behold. Even modern property for sale in Uzes is built with care, and often in sympathy with historic buildings. Outside the town, a great many properties can be found in the hillside villages, or traditional chateaux nestled amid the vineyards and olive groves that are so typical of the French rural landscapes.
Though today property for sale in Uzes is found in a small market town with a population of around 8,000, Uzes has almost unrivalled historical importance as the ‘premier Duchy of France’ and remains, to the present day, the seat of the Dukes of Uzes. While the role of ‘Champion of France’ brought great riches and status to the town and the ducal family, the obligations to defend the honour of the female royals, and France itself in battle, led to the historic demise of a great many of the dukes.
The great wealth of the dukedom can still be seen in the architecture of the town, and often property for sale in Uzes is found in the shadow of the dramatic towers that dominate the skyline. The King’s, Bishop’s and Ducal Towers still tell of the historic power struggles within the area, while the smaller Fenestrelle Tower is regarded as being the most beautiful, and iconic of the town. The cylindrical steeple launching skyward with its arched windows was once part of the original Romanesque cathedral Saint-Theodorit, which was destroyed in 1563 when conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in the town reached epic proportions during the Reformation.
While the historical significance of the town cannot be overstated, property for sale in Uzes is found within a vibrant and charismatic town in its own right. At the heart of the town is the Saturday Farmer’s market, located within the spectacular arcades of the Place aux Herbes, and famed for the very best local produce, including truffles, local wines of the Duché d'Uzès, olives and abundant market garden produce.
The pedestrianised medieval centre, listed as a conservation area, contains an abundance of boutique and craft shops, restaurants and pavement cafes, all adding to Uzes’ unique character. The bustling town centre, along with the many festivals and exhibitions held throughout the year, ensure that property for sale in Uzes provides access to a lively and exciting town with year-round entertainment and facilities.
Property can be found not only in the town, but also in the surrounding countryside. The rural landscapes are typically French, and characterised by vineyards, fruit orchards, almond and olive groves, with pretty stone-built villages perched on the hillsides overlooking the town. Property for sale in Uzes, or in the countryside, is within easy reach of a great variety of outdoor activities, including golf courses, horse riding, tennis, swimming, and, of course, simply enjoying the landscapes on foot or by bike. The cave system at nearby Cocaliere is one of France’s most dramatic, boasting spectacular natural rock ‘sculptures’ and evidence of the prehistoric habitation of the area.
It also provides access to a wide range of museums and entertainment venues, such as the water park at Bouscarasse, and further afield, but within easy reach, are the Cevennes Mountains, the Gorges of the Ardeche, and the beaches of the Camargue and the Mediterranean.
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.
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