With little practical experience, I took on a project to renovate a sad and neglected grande dame on the quayside at the beautiful port of Barfleur in Normandy. Learning traditional skills from scratch, I managed to transform her into a quirky seaside retreat within a reasonable budget, with a mix of good luck, hard work and the help of excellent workmen.
A small triangle near the centre of France is where you’ll have the best choice of affordable homes, according to notary data. In beautiful Châteauroux, Limoges and Poitiers, you’ll find the only places in France where homes sell on average for less than €150,000. We take a closer look, and point you in the right direction for your budget.
You’ve seen the new film starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh, you’ve fought for tickets at the impressionist exhibition at Tate Britain, now buy the French home where so many artists found inspiration. See some of those places our favourite painters found especially inspiring, and a few homes to get your own creative juices flowing!
So you’re heading off on that property viewing trip. At last! But when a long-cherished dream gets real, you might suddenly feel far from your comfort zone, and very foreign. Learning a little bit of French puts you in control. But which is the best way to learn? Christopher Nye investigates your options for learning French for property buyers.
Your French estate agent’s one of the key players in making your dream of a home here a reality – a good one will make your search shorter, more targeted and help out with all the surrounding bureaucracy that the French love. So, once you’ve found your perfect agent immobilier, how can you get the most out of them?
The hardest man on TV right now, Ant Middleton of SAS: Who Dares Wins spent most of his childhood in rural Normandy, where he developed a taste for adventure. France’s vast natural landscapes are perfect for outdoorsy types, even those who fancy testing their own survival skills…