If the chance to knock a wall down or flex your interior design muscles is your idea of fun, join Joanna Leggett as she explores bargains in Provence and Rhône-Alpes
“A renovator’s delight…” These three little words can strike fear into the hearts of some, but are music to the ears of others for whom renovating provides the ideal opportunity to create a dream home at a price they can afford.
While some people believe the days of buying a wreck in France to renovate have generally passed, there are still properties available throughout the country which can provide renovators with a real opportunity.
In search of properties for this renovators’ special article, we’ve found some great bargains in areas where you might never have expected to be able to find anything even remotely affordable.
The French are generally supportive of the British who come with a genuine desire to renovate. If you do decide to buy, you should start by talking to the local mairie as they are usually delighted to see someone breathing life back into old buildings and can help you with advice.
Renovation takes vision, dedication and hard work but the reward can be the creation of the home you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford.
Whether you opt for a full-scale or partial project, there are bargains to be had throughout France, and with property prices set at the most realistic levels in years, now could be the ideal time to invest in the dream lifestyle France provides.
This is a spacious studio apartment in a prime resort in the French Alps with great rentability. There is no renovation work needed but it is an absolute bargain at €80,000 so we had to include it.
The eight resorts which make up Les Trois Vallées ski area in the French Alps are known worldwide. Linked directly by a 20-minute cable car ride to Méribel (which runs during both the summer and winter seasons) is Bride-les-Bains – one of the most popular spa and health resorts in France.
It’s a bustling place with all the services and amenities you could possibly need, as well as a casino, nightclub, cinema, weekly market and wide range of restaurants and bars.
In summer, visitors can take advantage of opportunities for golf, mountain biking, walking, touring or just taking in the outdoor concerts. In winter, of course, you’re part of the world’s largest ski area with guaranteed snow and 600km of pistes. It’s also a popular destination for British tourists, owing to its easy accessibility via Eurostar which travels directly from London.
On the garden level of a residence with amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and small fitness gym, this spacious studio flat sleeps four people and is being sold fully furnished, with its own ski locker and private parking space in a covered garage.
The apartment benefits from a good-sized bathroom, built-in desk and storage in the main living room, a small but well-equipped kitchen and a lovely spacious covered balcony overlooking the gardens.
Underfloor heating, hot water and internet are included in the quarterly property charges, plus there are laundry facilities and a restaurant on site with a bus stop just outside the residence.
When it comes to bargains, how about a home in the south of France? Situated in Var above the Côte d’Azur, Seillans is a pretty medieval village with all local amenities including restaurants, bakers and a supermarket. Set inland between St-Tropez and Cannes, it’s approximately 65km to Nice airport and 40km to the nearest beach.
On the outskirts of this village is a pretty stone house with loads of potential and fantastic sea views over the Mediterranean.
It is a great renovation project, but is also habitable with a living room and bedroom already completed, so you can start living there immediately, while creating additional space and adding to its value.
The main entrance opens into an unfinished room with a staircase which takes you to the first-floor living area, where you’ll find a traditional woodburner and a small kitchen.
Steps from this room lead down to a double bedroom with shower room attached, and from here there is a second bedroom with those wonderful views over the Côte d’Azur.
Another set of stairs lead to the second floor with a partially completed large loft space. Most of the major work has already been done, as all of the structural work is in place with a new roof and Velux windows. This is currently on the market for €149,999.
Joanna Leggett is marketing director at Leggett Immobilier
Tel: 08700 11 51 51