3 of the best: properties to renovate
- Credit: Archant
Rachel Johnston finds 3 irresistible reasons to dream big and do it yourself
Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon: €349,000
Some people simply can’t be satisfied unless they have a project to get their teeth into. If you’re one of them, you’re spoilt for choice in French property terms, but training your eye to sift the gems from the grot is worthwhile.
The first example is situated in a picturesque, arty village near Uzès, on a quiet road but within walking distance of all amenities. A former wine-producing house with early 19th-century origins, it was the birthplace of the current owner – now 72 – and offers one habitable section with three bedrooms, although the rest requires renovation and could be adapted to suit multiple uses.
Despite its village location, the property is private with an enclosed courtyard and good-sized garden; there is even a stable, for use as it is or for conversion. A total of 500m2 of living space is spread over three floors and there are some wonderful original features, together with attractive stonework, which with a bit of TLC could be restored to their former glory. The airport at Nîmes is 30 minutes away by car.
www.sextantproperties.comCharente, Poitou-Charentes: €114,450
This house may currently look rather tired and wan, but its rural hamlet setting and manor status make for an exciting project, and it’s not difficult to imagine how the end result could look.
About equidistant between Angoulême and Bordeaux, the nearest village to the property is Brossac, close to the border with Charente-Maritime and home to a thriving, multinational population. Living in the house would afford ample privacy without isolation and there is already a new roof in place, together with beautiful original floors and beams throughout that are certainly worth preserving.
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There is a total of 500m2 of living space on offer, but perhaps best of all are the breathtaking country views on both sides of the property that would enhance – and undoubtedly prolong – many a tea break mid-DIY.
www.leggettfrance.comOrne, Lower Normandy: €34,000
Already quaint and photo-worthy for less than £25,000? This Norman cottage seems too good to be true – and yet, if you’re willing to roll your sleeves up, it isn’t. Although effectively a ruin, it’s a superb example of French vernacular architecture dating back to the 17th century and retains all its original interior features, including enormous beams, ceiling joists and carved granite fireplaces.
No internal walls remain but the house has the potential to provide four bedrooms; each of the three floors has the same 42.5m2 surface area and there is also an attached two-storey building that could become a spacious kitchen and utility room.
Two plots of land are included in the sale price – one immediately opposite the property and the other to the side – and further land is available by separate negotiation. There are just four other homes in this quiet hamlet setting but the shops and services of Mantilly are at five minutes’ drive, as are the borders with Manche and Mayenne.