PROPERTY TYPE GUIDE
There are outstanding 'Country Houses' to be found the length and breadth of France. These beautiful homes come in a whole variety of styles: The fortified Bastide in Southern France often possess a formal French garden approached through elegant gates. They are generally substantial houses and on many occasions surrounded by vines, they invariably command prices that reflect their imposing stature and rarity. The Chartreuse (sometimes referred to as a mini Château) originates from the 18th Century, usually built on one level, it can form a courtyard on one side with various outbuildings. There are many such beautiful Chartreuse properties found in the Poitou Charentes, Aquitaine as well as the Midi Pyrenées. A Mas is the term used for a farmhouse in Provence, these attractive properties, frequently with shutters painted in blue or green are traditionally quite dark inside, having small windows to shut out the glare and heat of the midday sun. The Mas and its many farm buildings, often make excellent Gîtes or Chambre d’Hôtes. The Manoir requires very little introduction! Elegant in style, they’re usually built in stone, except in Normandy where they’re constructed in Colombage. Manoirs are often set in the center of their grounds or estate and remain a very sought after country home.
The beauty and fame of the Côte d’Azur, with its year round sunshine and wonderful climate, has historically drawn investors in to soak up the warmth and atmosphere of the region. Superbly designed contemporary villas, surrounded by extensive gardens with their characteristic Provence pine trees, under the 24 hour surveillance of security cameras are tucked securely behind high walls. The ‘Basse Corniche’, is the oldest of three coastal roads connecting a string of beautiful towns and villages, between the steep mountains and the sparkling blue sea. On the rarest of occasions a ‘pied dans l’eau’ property comes to the market, where the waters of the Mediterranean lapping at your feet – has a timeless appeal. Behind the Corniche, the rugged hillside provides exception views for secluded properties enjoying peace and tranquility – a rare commodity during summer months on the Côte d’Azur.
Leggett Prestige currently offers one of the finest selections of French Châteaux on the market today. Our reputation, recognised by both buyers and sellers alike, is second to none in this area. Although architecture, scenery and prices vary greatly throughout France, you will find that the knowledge and integrity of our local agents remains consistent. Whether you are searching for an imposing Burgundy Château protected by ancient towers near the famous vineyards, a classic Château dating from the 15th Century within easy distance of Paris, or a fortress styled Château in the Dordogne, we are confident that we will be able to offer you a shortlist of beautiful properties to suit your requirements.
Maybe you’re seeking a specialist equestrian property, well you can be confident that we will help you look in areas that have excellent grazing, good riding and ready access to supplies and veterinarian services. From the hot, dry summers of Provence, stretching up to Normandy, where the climate is warm and a fair amount of annual rainfall, results in lush green countryside – the choice you will find is enormous. A number of our Agents in these key areas are keen and experienced horse riders themselves and therefore perfectly placed to advise on local facilities and suitability.
France has almost 3,500kms of coastline, with access to some of the best and most exclusive beaches in the world. With representation in almost 60 departments throughout France, no other company is better positioned to help you find the most sensational views and the most stunning houses. In Northern France you can choose from the sandy beaches and excellent golf courses of Picardy and Normandy or the more rugged and picturesque coves of Brittany. The West coast is famed for it’s long, sandy beaches around Royan and La Rochelle, as well as the exclusive islands in the Atlantic, that are home to the rich and famous. In the South West of France, the Aquitaine beaches stretch down from Bordeaux to the Spanish border and take in the famous locations of Biarritz, Arcachon and Saint Jean de Luz. No matter which region you are looking to buy a coastal property, we’re confident that we will have something special to offer you.
Traditionally the Town House was the city residence of a noble or wealthy family. In the middle of the 19th Haussmann (a Parisian Town Planner) designed some of the most beautiful properties found in Paris today. The Haussmann style buildings as they became known, were designed to accommodate several families of varying class. They usually had from 5-7 floors: the ground floor was designed with commerce in mind and the first floor to house those who ran the commerce. The second floor was for the more wealthy families (up high enough from the road to avoid noise and dirt but not too many stairs to climb! – there were no elevators in those days). High ceilings and balconies were found at this level. As you climbed higher up the building, the ceilings got lower and the presence of balconies and other luxuries depended on the particular architect who designed the building. The top floor was reserved for servant staff and is a warren of small independent rooms (Chambres des Bonnes) had only shared water facilities. The staff often had their own stairwell. Today these Haussmann buildings have been dramatically altered. Many have had elevators installed, and as such the higher apartments have become the most sought after. In many of the towns and cities across France you can step back in time and its here you’ll find the medieval buildings that offer some of the most charming apartments. Beautiful properties with exposed wooden beams, low ceilings and traditional fireplaces. Although the small streets, low ceilings and structure of the buildings often make them quite somber and of course they rarely have elevators!! However they often have great character and uniqueness. The Maison Bourgoise, Hotel Particulier and Maison de Maître, are by tradition, large impressive town houses or mansions, usually enjoying high ceilings, large windows, built in stone or brick and often symmetrical in design.
In the last few years, the Investment Buyer has become the new phenomenon – France continues to be regarded as a ‘safe’ investment country, due mainly to its robust legal system protecting the rights of purchasers. Although there has been a general slow down in the French market overall, in certain areas prices have remained stable and even increased. Spectacular Châteaux being divided into exclusive apartments surrounded by Spa and Leisure facilities have become popular as people seek new ways to relax and enjoy the pleasures that France has to offer. The forward thinking local investment in tram systems has been opening up new areas of opportunity for investors in a number of vibrant towns and cities including Nice and Bordeaux. We believe that many of these properties provide excellent value for money and with a little refurbishing, could provide immediate returns, with the potential for long-term capital growth – meanwhile security and stability in the French property market is hard to beat. Whether you’re intending to buy as a company or as an individual, it’s strongly advisable to take expert legal and or accountancy advice in advance, to ensure you’re aware of the law and tax implications.
As with any property purchase, but never more crucial than when you’re buying a ski property is location, location, location! Whether you are interested in the high profile slopes of the Alps or their lesser known, but excellent value cousins in the Pyrenees, you will find that Leggett Prestige has an outstanding portfolio to choose from. Whether you are searching for an alpine chalet set high in the mountains or a contemporary ski apartment perfectly positioned in town, we have an excellent selection of properties to show you. Not only will you find that our local Agents in the field are excellently qualified to talk about the style and price of the property, but that they will also advise you on the best ski runs, restaurants and rental options too. Of course, these areas are extremely popular in the summer months too and this is where our expert advise can prove even more helpful, as all our Agents both live and work in that region all year round.
Properties registered with the MSA (Mutuelle Sociale Agricole) as an agricultural enterprise, are handled exclusively by our Leggett Agricultural team and include farms, hunting estates and the larger vineyards etc. Maybe you’re seeking a specialist equestrian property? you can be confident that we will help you look in areas that not only provide excellent grazing, but good riding and ready access to supplies and veterinarian services. Whether you prefer the hot dry summers of Provence, or the lush green fields of Normandy where the climate is warm and there is a fair amount of annual rainfall, the choice is enormous. Our Agricultural team work closely with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the business and are there to assist you in finding the perfect agricultural property and have the right people on hand to guide you through the buying process.