Estate agent interview: Côtes-d’Armor

Estate agent interview: Côtes-d’Armor

Thinking about buying a house in Côtes-d’Armor in Brittany? We spoke to local estate agent Robert Welton, of Bel Air Homes, 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 plot of building land 839m² situated in the village of Perret, for just €10,500, which benefits from having mains water supply, electricity, telephone, and mains drainage nearby. We have many more good value building plots available, with a catalogue of new-build properties to choose from too, and prices starting at just €105,055.

How much would you expect to pay for:

1. a detached property with land in good condition?

Central Brittany has a large choice of properties to suit the budget of all potential buyers. For example, we have a two-bedroom detached character property of 71m², in good condition, with a garden of 857m², in Maël-Carhaix priced at just €75,500, and a six-bedroom equestrian property of 297m² in Trémeur with 16,610m² of land at €292,125.

2. a three-bedroom townhouse?

It is possible to buy plenty of three- and four-bedroom townhouses for under €100,000.

3. a renovation opportunity?

Renovation projects can range from virtual new builds, to properties that just need modernising. Prices start at under €20,000, for small properties suitable for long-term or gîte rental.

Is there a typical architecture or style in Côtes-d’Armor?

Central Brittany has many architectural styles, though the two most easily recognisable or typical house designs of this area will be the longère, or long house, and the néo-bretonne house. Longères were built from granite for hundreds of years, generally in rural locations, and néo-bretonne houses have been built from concrete blocks with granite features around the door and window openings from the 1960’s onwards, though most were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Why do British people buy houses Côtes-d’Armor?

There are many good reasons why our British clients buy property here. Brittany benefits from excellent transport links, with three main international airports, several smaller airports, ferry ports, and a high speed train network (TGV). Brittany is a top tourist destination in France. The Breton peninsula has over 27,000km of unspoilt coastline, with a superb mix of sandy beaches, rocky shores, fishing ports, and historic towns.

In this distinctive region there are eight cathedral cities, fortifications, walled towns, towers, castles, and Neolithic standing stones to explore and enjoy. Brittany is warmed by the Gulf Stream, so the winters are usually relatively mild, and the summers are nice and warm, without becoming unbearably hot.

Central Brittany’s rolling landscape rises to just over 300 metres in places, offering glorious views of its three natural parks, nature reserves, woodland, lakes, and rivers.

Around 40 % of Brittany’s population live near to the coast, where most of the large towns and cities are located. Therefore, central Brittany retains its rustic charm, with peaceful villages and hamlets scattered throughout the agricultural landscape.

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of buying in your area?

Quite simply, just go for it. Most UK buyers tend to live mortgage-free given the big price difference between similar properties in the UK and central Brittany. Retired people will find that their pensions should cover living costs, and people of working age should plan how they will cover these costs, as they would wherever they live.

What tips would you give to help people settle into life in the area?

Life in Brittany is pretty relaxed, and people are generally polite. It is therefore possible for people to integrate quite easily if they get involved in village life, local events, and activities. Greeting your neighbour with a “bonjour” goes a long way!

What is your favourite corner of Côtes-d’Armor?

My favourite corner of Côtes-d’Armor would probably be the Lac de Guerlédan and its surrounding area, though my children also like the long coastline, where we can enjoy camping from spring through to autumn on campsites usually charging less than €20 to pitch a tent on a Saturday evening.

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