Interview with an agent in Dordogne/Lot-et-Garonne

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- Credit: Archant

Samm Khoury of Richard Immobilier shares her view of the property market on the Dordogne/Lot-et-Garonne border

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- Credit: Archant

What part of France do you cover?

We cover north of Lot-et-Garonne and south of Dordogne, focusing on the Lauzun/Eymet area.

What kind of budget does your typical British client have?

We seem to have two distinct groups of buyers, both seeming to want the same thing but for different budgets. The first group has a budget of up to €200,000 and the second anything between €400,000 and €500,000.

What kind of properties are proving popular with your British buyers?

We see traditional stone-built farmhouses or maisons de maître attracting the most interest; there are some really beautiful examples in this area.

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What are the cheapest and most expensive properties on your books at the moment?

At just €39,000, our cheapest is a four-bedroom house with attached barn and small garden, situated in a pretty, sleepy village with some basic amenities including a restaurant. Though the property is in need of restoration, once completed it would make a substantial desirable village house in a popular area just 30 minutes’ drive from Bergerac airport. By contrast, we have a magnificent small countryside estate with 2.3 hectares, priced at €735,000. It comprises a beautiful stone-built manor house with twin towers, a swimming pool, three separate houses, a barn and a pretty detached pigeonnier. The property is excellently positioned with fabulous countryside views, is close to a village and five minutes from a popular bastide town with all amenities.

How is the French property market looking to you at the moment?

After a period of significant price reductions, prices have steadied this year and property seems to be moving in the right direction.

What are your predictions for the market over the next six months?

We do not expect enormous changes but demand is growing from British, Dutch, Belgian and other European buyers.

Can you tell us a bit about Richard Immo’s family beginnings and longer term plans?

Right from the start, Richard intended for the agency to be an independent family business providing a personal service. The client can rely on meeting the same team whether at property shows or in our offices. We try to restrict our portfolio of properties to within a radius of 30km which allows us to be familiar with each and every property on our books. As Richard reduces his workload from next year, I will be taking on a more prominent role and my intention is to carry on in the same vein and stick to the principles upon which the agency was founded.

What is your own dream property pick?

My dream property offers a great deal for its price of just under €450,000. It oozes character with its enormous old beams and lends itself either to remain as one large property or to be split into two houses with business potential. With outbuildings, you often need to carry out some restoration but not so with this property: the separate stone barn is in superb condition throughout and could be converted into a habitable dwelling, or used as it is now to store cars and garden equipment. The property offers a good-sized plot of land with established gardens and views of the local vineyards, and is situated in a private position just minutes from the market towns of Eymet, Lauzun, Miramont-de-Guyenne and Duras.

What would be your top piece of advice for a French property buyer?

Decide on your criteria, and make a decision when you get to within 80% of your wish list. Always use a properly licensed agent with a permanent office and a carte professionnelle.

www.properties-lauzun.com