Living a charmed life in a French château is the ultimate dream − and it’s not out of buyers’ reach. France has châteaux of all sizes on the market, many dating back to the early 19th century. Here are the FrenchEntrée Property Services team’s insider tips to finally making your dream come true.

 

Decide whether you’re looking for a renovation opportunity or a château that’s ready to move into. Sometimes a château in need of renovation – decoratively, structurally or both – will come on the market. However, remodelling a château isn’t always worthwhile because, in many cases, buying involves less effort and overall expense. However, if you’re after a challenge and have the necessary funds, then there are a number of beautiful châteaux in need of some
tender, loving care.

CHARENTE, POITOU-CHARENTES Set in four hectares of land with stables, this five-bedroom 19th-century château would make an ideal boutique hotel or spacious family home. There’s easy access to Angoulême. Ref: BVI0007182 – €1,007,000

 

 

Châteaux can make profitable businesses, so do consider your options. Examples with adequate grounds are often sought after for sporting businesses, such as fishing and equestrian schools, or to be used as hunting, walking and wildlife grounds, and for many other outdoor activities. Sometimes a château may even come on the market with a working orchard, an olive grove or the potential for a vineyard. In addition, châteaux are superb venues for weddings and other significant social functions, and make not only a spectacular setting for restaurants, but desirable and luxurious hotels that attract affluent guests who are keen to sample their myriad charms.

PERIGORD VERT – In a very nice town with basic shops, Castle with 15th Century tower and 18th Century for the rest of the building, comprising of a total of 650m² living area, situated on a plot of 157 731 m² of land. A lovely driveway leads to the beautiful entrance of the castle. Outbuildings for horses covering a ground area of 195m² plus lean-to of 150m²; a building of 87m² could be converted into an apartment for a guardian or other. €976,500

 

Set your budget, including how much you’ll need to spend once you’ve purchased the property. When looking at a château in need of renovation, you should find out how much it will cost to restore and decorate once you’ve purchased it. From a structural point of view, it’s important to bear in mind that the costs of renovating a substantial property such as a château can be considerable. Our agents advise that, on average, you should consider spending anything between €700 and €1,500 per square metre (the latter if it’s a total rebuild) to renovate a ruin. If the property is merely in need of internal modernisation and refurbishment (for example kitchens, bathrooms and heating) then you can generally reduce this figure by almost 50%.

Tarn et Garonne, S. W. France ~ Set on the edge of a pretty hilltop village – the Château looks out over miles of beautiful countryside and yet it is within walking distance of bakeries, patisserie, pharmacy, excellent medical centre/doctor, general store, post office, library, hairdresser, restaurant/bar and garage. €1,480,000

 

Decide on the location in which you want to purchase a château as there are many available on the French property market – from smaller manor houses to enormous stately homes, not to mention numerous grand, royal and secular palaces. Such properties can be found in all areas across France, from Burgundy to the Pays-de-la-Loire. The Limousin offers potential château purchasers more affordable alternatives, with a number of manor houses on the market while, for example, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, you’ll get far less for your money.

AUDE, LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON Near Carcassonne and set along the Canal du Midi, this domain dates back to 1850 and is currently an established B&B with gîte business. It sits in three hectares with pool, private chapel and apartments. Ref: CP167 – €1,142,300

 

After you’ve decided upon an area, approach a few agents who deal with prestige properties and let them know exactly what you’re looking for and your budget. It pays to stay with an agent you can trust as they’ll ensure that you don’t travel many miles, only to suffer a fruitless trip. Build a good relationship with your agent so that they’ll let you know when properties meeting your criteria come onto the market and give you the ‘first refusal’.

At just 5km from the historic city centre of Pau, in an elevated and highly-sought after location with stunning views of the Pyrenees and the town below, this splendid renovated chateau offers a unique opportunity. Surrounded by approx. 10 hectares of land and enjoying a heated pool and fully equipped pool-house. Sold entirely furnished. €2,400,000

 

Don’t go for the first château you visit without careful consideration, especially if it’s in need of repair. Be realistic in your expectations – it’s extremely advantageous to find a château where the roof has actually been well maintained and there’s relatively little that needs repairing or updating. There are many other factors to consider depending upon your personal situation.

View all châteaux for sale on FrenchEntrée >>

 

Whether you’re looking to purchase a French château as a permanent residence or business opportunity, the FrenchEntrée Property Services team has many to choose from. So if elegance, style and exquisite architecture are what you desire from a property, why not make a French château your home? Start your search here, email us at propertysales@frenchentree.com, or call us on +44 (0)1225 463752.

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