My Dream Home: interview with an agent in Gascony
Ian Purslow of Purslow’s Gascony explains why this imposing period home 20km south of Auch wins his vote
Why does this property stand out for you?
It has big, bold architecture which gives it a stately presence, with wonderfully light and lofty rooms and the most impressive double run of outbuildings I know of.
Why is it a great buy?
It represents real value for money at its current sale price and also has manageable running costs due to an ecological, high-tech heating system by wood pellets.
What’s the wow factor?
A stunning, loft-style apartment in the outbuildings with a 70m2 open-plan kitchen-living area. The banded timber floor was cut from trees on the estate.
What is the immediate location like?
It sits perfectly in grounds with a wonderful collection of trees and the owner has established an organic vegetable garden. The village chapel is next door and the property is the proverbial ‘private but not isolated’. Nearby Seissan has smartened up immensely in recent years and has a splendid local produce market on Fridays.
What is the appeal of the area?
For me the Pyrénées are the best imaginable playground for hill-walking with my local club in summer and skiing or snowshoeing in winter. For the beach we always head to the Atlantic where my wife and I cycle while our daughters enjoy surfing. The proximity of Spain for shopping and a tapas lunch in, say, San Sebastian is another real bonus.
How easy is it to get to?
Very easy. Toulouse is now an excellent international airport with British Airways and easyJet operating multiple flights to UK and European airports, and the road links have improved enormously in the 25 years I have been working here.
What is your favourite room or feature?
The entrance hall at the heart of the house, with its marble floor and grand staircase rising to a galleried landing flooded in light. Staircases are a Gascon speciality.
Who would it suit?
A tall person! The ceiling heights are wonderful throughout. But various demographics could happily set up here – either a young family with school-age children (as in the case of the current owners) or an early retiree who could move into the apartment in summer and run the château as a high-end rental property sleeping up to 20 in comfort.
Alternatively, the property would work well as a corporate headquarters with potential for further commercial or residential development in the vast and numerous outbuildings.
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