Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Where to buy in France (1) - Mayenne
OK, I'm biased and think that the Charente (and specifically the river valley between cognac & jarnac) is the best area within France to buy.
However, I'm well aware that everyone is different and that peoples budgets vary from €20,000 to €20 million. So, I'm going to do a series of irregular articles on some of the other areas you should be looking at.
I thought I'd start with Mayenne (53) which is in the pays de la loire in NW France.
It's the kind of place you'd move to if you're looking for authentic France.
It doesn't have the glamour of the cote d'azur or the large expat community found in the dordogne. Instead you'll find a rural landscape with rolling hills, one of the lowest crime rates in France, friendly locals and incredibly cheap property. The average price in the North of the department is around €91,000 which would buy you a 2 or 3 bed holiday home with garden.
Take a look at Laval and the surrounding villages. Laval the capital of the dept & is a pretty market town, bordering the mayenne river, with a population of around 50,000.
The market is near the palais de justice and held every Tuesday & Saturday and whilst there you can enjoy a stroll around the botannical gardens too.
Make sure you also visit the old quarter with it's fine 16th & 18th century houses and two chateaus.
There are plenty of other places to explore in the area including the prehistoric caves at Saulges, the roman remains at Jublains and the renaissance castles of Bourgon and Mesangers. If you want help finding a house in or around Mayenne then I'd suggest you use a professional property finder called Caroline Lakey - she has lived in the area for donkeys years and also happens to offer translation services. You can find a list of her services here.
Next on my series of "where to buy in France" will be Nice.