Estate agent interview: Ardèche
PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 October 2014
Thinking about buying a house in Ardèche? We spoke to local estate agent Joachim Brand, of Terra France International Estate Agents, for the inside track on this rural area of France
What’s the cheapest property you have on your books right now?
We have a small semi-detached house in a hamlet for €67,500 with nice views of the valley. It would be ideal as a holiday home.
What’s the most unusual property you have sold in the past?
I once sold the cellar of a ruin. I had already sold the ruin and then later on the cellar, which belonged to the neighbour, came onto the market. These kind of sales are not unusual here, but it surprises foreigners.
How much would you expect to pay for:
1. A detached property with land in good condition?
This kind of property ranges from €250,000 up to €800,000.
2. A three-bedroom townhouse?
From €150,000 for a good restored one, up to over €300,000.
3. A renovation opportunity?
These are hard to find nowadays. In the north of Ardèche you can find them for around €50,000, further south they become more expensive.
Is there a typical architecture or style in Ardèche?
Recently built houses have a Provençal style while the old ones are stone built. There is a current trend to build wooden houses.
Why do British people buy houses in Ardèche?
The area is popular for people looking for a rural environment with good weather, in combination with clean air.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of buying in your area?
Visit the area in the summer and in the winter to get a good impression of the weather conditions and the property prices. Then you can really begin househunting.
What tips would you give to help people settle into life in the area?
Ask yourself what you really want and imagine how you see yourself living here. How is your social life? How is your knowledge of the French language? How is your mobility?
What are your predictions for the property market in Ardèche?
Ardèche is a popular holiday area for northern Europeans and even people from the north of France, so prices will be stable.
What are the regional specialities?
Everything with chestnuts in it! Plus caillette and Picodon goat’s cheese. As well as the Côtes du Rhône and the Ardèche wines, you can find a sparkling champagne-like wine called Saint-Péray.
What local attractions are there in Ardèche?
The south of Ardèche is known for the Pont d’Arc and the Ardèche river is popular with canoeists. The area is great for hiking, cycling and motorcycling.
Describe Ardèche in five words?
Rural, clean air, nice surroundings.
What’s your favourite corner of the department?
The middle part of the Eyrieux Valley. It has a diverse landscape, is tranquil and you have nice views.