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Where to buy a bargain beachside holiday home – and 9 other things we learned from the April issue of French Property News

PUBLISHED: 09:36 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 13 March 2019

The April 2019 issue of French Property News is out now

The April 2019 issue of French Property News is out now

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Find out how much to budget for a barn conversion and how to set up an expat support group, in the April 2019 edition of French Property News, out now!

Almost three million people own a holiday home in France

For the cheapest second homes, look in the ‘sash’ of France, the band of sparsely populated departments stretching diagonally across the country, from Meuse near the Belgian border, to Landes just below Bordeaux.

See pages 8-12 for this story and other news.

You can explore a detailed historic map of France online

In the 18th century, the Cassini family made the first general map of the kingdom of France. Can you find your hamlet? See http://cassini.seies.net/ and similar sites.

See page 26 for our feature on buying a historic French property.

Historic house on the market in Pyrenees-Atlantiques with My French HouseHistoric house on the market in Pyrenees-Atlantiques with My French House

North Aveyron is the home of the chef who gave up his Michelin stars

Sébastien Bras begged the authors of the Michelin Guide to drop his restaurant from the elite roster of three-star establishments because he wanted a more laidback, serene life.

Find out why this beautiful pocket of France is the perfect place for a serene life on page 30.

A complete barn conversion will cost around €1,500 per square metre

Remember if you’re planning to renovate or convert any building over 150m2 you will need the involvement of a registered architect.

Read about barn conversions in France on page 36.

The Aubrac plateau in Aveyron (c) JD AuguyThe Aubrac plateau in Aveyron (c) JD Auguy

Dijon is said to have a magical stone owl

Look out for the small stone owl on the corner of the cathedral; if you touch it with your left hand you will have good luck, so they say! Indeed the owl is the mascot of this small city in Côte d’Or.

Find out more about Dijon and neighbouring market town Dole on page 40.

Aude is a great place to bag a bargain by the beach

If you’d love your own home by the Mediterranean, it’s worth looking at this department in south-west France, where prices are a fraction of what they are on the French Riviera.

Discover some of the best places to buy a home on the south coast on page 46.

Gruissan in Aude (c) TKPhotography64 Getty ImagesGruissan in Aude (c) TKPhotography64 Getty Images

It’s easy to set up an expat group or cultural association in France

You only need a minimum of two members to set up your own association. You can charge a nominal membership fee to cover costs but the body must be non-profit making.

Find out more on integrating in France on page 50.

A new spa is opening in St-Jean d’Angély

The much-loved market town in Charente will have a new thermal spa from this year. It already has a vibrant twice-weekly market and monthly fair as well as a concert hall and pool with waterslides.

Find out why St-Jean is such a hit with British expats on page 56.

Wine-tasting clubs are always popular (c) Sally DixonWine-tasting clubs are always popular (c) Sally Dixon

The Gascon town of Lectoure is nicknamed Bo Bo Land by Parisians

This bastide market town in Gers is known as a cultural centre for art and photography. It has a cinema, chocolate shop, library tea room and a café voted by the New York Times as the best in France.

Discover this part of Gers on page 64.

You might be able to reduce your children’s inheritance tax burden

In France, you can separate ownership of a property into two parts. The nue-propriété is the formal ownership of the property and the usufruit is the right to live in it. By gifting the nue-propriété of your home to your children while retaining the right to live there, you may reduce or eliminate the inheritance tax they would eventually have to pay.

Find out more on pages 70 and 74.

On this month’s cover: A beautiful farmhouse wtih pool for sale in Burgundy, €320,000, my-french-house.com

If you want to read and learn more about buying property in France you can buy the April 2019 issue of French Property News here.

Or, you can take out our great subscription offer and get the magazine delivered to your door every month!

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