Thursday, April 28, 2011

Town houses in the Charente - such good value

I have posted before that I think the best value for money around here are the town houses in Jarnac, Chateauneuf and Cognac.

It's simple really - international buyers pay premium prices (unless they use me of course) and drive prices upwards.

They also tend to have a similar brief - a house on the edge of a small village (with bar & boulangerie), plenty of land, views over the vines and a short drive to a big town with commerce.

Very few want a "lock up & leave" townhouse with courtyard or garden and right in the heart of the shops and restaurants.  I can't really get my head around this as, for a holiday home, or French living in general, it seems the ideal thing.  Still, it's not my money, nor my dream - I just get paid to turn it into reality.

So it was particularly satisfying that my recent Australian clients fell in love with this magnificent town house which is in the very heart of Chateauneuf.  The split level gardens are pretty spectacular too.

It needs a lot of TLC and we have had an RICS qualified surveyor crawling over every inch of it.  But it came through with flying colours and I think the price we got it for is exceptional value for money.

It's another one where I'm hoping to be invited to share the odd beer or two in one of the many garden areas when they are completed.

Long live the town house!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charente houses: projects that won't ruin you....

Just read this little snippet in the Telegraph about "wrecks that won't ruin you".

It got me thinking about some of the cracking houses that I have seen recently on behalf of clients, some examples pictured below.  I particularly like the top one - it's not a wreck by any means (far from it) but it has some terrific barns to renovate and an old tumbledown house in the 1 ha grounds that's just crying out to be rebuilt.

There still are some excellent bargains to be had around here for those who have an appetite for renovation. 

Be warned though that many bite off more than they can chew.  Make sure that you have funding in place for both the purchase and the restoration and that you have a trustworthy project manager with a little black book full to the brim with good local artisans.

Bon chance.