Estate agent interview: southern Languedoc-Roussillon

No-one knows the ares like a local estate agent. we asked Paul Bridgestock, of Cabinet Jammes Immobilier, for the inside track on southern Languedoc-Roussillon

What’s the cheapest property you have on your books right now?

We have a charming three-bedroom terraced house in the market town of Espéraza (always very popular) at €44,000.

What’s the most unusual property you have sold in the past?

A local château that was so sought after I had clients fighting over it. A Russian gentleman threatened to ‘cover me in cement’ unless I sold it to him.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve had from a client?

To find a house less than 15 minutes from both the Mediterranean and the ski slopes – a geographical impossibility. When I explained she said, “Well, it is not good enough”!

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How much would you expect to pay for:

a detached property with land in good condition?

We have a fabulous house on the edge of Quillan with 80,000m² of land and great views at €305,000.

a three-bedroom townhouse?

We have a wonderful Art Deco style town house with a ‘Gone with the Wind’ staircase at just €135,000.

a renovation opportunity?

From €35,000, but it’s better to pay a little more and get a good base to start from.

Why do British people buy houses in Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales?

Of course the natural beauty and sunshine are factors, but the fact that this is the lowest priced area in the south of France to buy in is the real reason British buyers are attracted to the area. You do get a great deal for your money here and it is a very friendly area as well.

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

Picking property from the web is very difficult. Meet with a professional agent and give them your criteria and budget. Let us do the legwork for you!

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

Embrace the local friendly culture. Everybody speaks to each other down here. Learn a few words of French and use them when you can.

What are your predictions for the property market in Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales?

We have seen a real upturn in business over the last six months and are now very busy. It’s not booming yet but well-priced houses sell very well indeed. It’s going to be a good year!

What are the regional specialities?

We have the freshest salads that you will ever eat but, even better, this is the biggest wine-producing area in the world (I do my best to support the local producers!).

What local attractions are there in southern Languedoc-Roussillon?

Walking, cycling, white water rafting and visiting the local markets are just a few of the activities available. The Languedoc is one of the sunniest regopms in France, and higher up the skiing is good as well.

Describe your area in five words?

Sunny, friendly, picturesque, varied, welcoming.

What’s your favourite corner of the area?

Axat on the River Aude where we live. It’s a very friendly and pretty place with the famous Bar Central and sun terrace which hangs out over the river!

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