The average UK home costs around £230,000 – and for that, you’ll often get a semi-detached, suburban house with a small garden. If you sold that average home, however, and moved to France, you could find yourself the happy owner of a beautiful detached home, with a spacious garden, perhaps some period features and as many six bedrooms! Here’s our round-up of French houses for €250,000.
French homes for €250,000
France of course is a huge country with many simply wonderful and varying regions as well as property types. For us British folk, it is a real joy to property hunt in France where you have a wide range of choices and where your money will go so very much further. This has pretty much always been the case but now is as good a time as it has ever been to buy property here.
For us British folk, it is a real joy to property hunt in France where you have a wide range of choices and where your money will go so very much further.
Of course, it is not just about money; the lifestyle in France has long been something so many of us yearn for: the beauty of the countryside, the quaint towns brimming with history, the rivers and mountains, the markets, the food, the wine, the history, the culture. The list really does go on and I am quite sure you can think of many things to add to it. Even those on the smallest of budgets will be able to find themselves a cute little bolt hole in many parts of the country (friends of ours have just bought a two-bedroom cottage in top condition, completely furnished and a little car included in a lovely village in the Languedoc region for €80,000. Now where would you find something like that in the UK?!).
The average house price in France as a whole is currently around €160,000. In the UK the average is €231,000. That figure alone is enough to compel one to look further and today we are looking at what you can find in different parts of France and still have change out of €250,000. The list is going to be a huge amount shorter in the UK!
The best regions to look for French properties for €250,000
There are 96 departments in France and 18 administrative regions. The most expensive, unsurprisingly, are Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur and the Paris and Ile de France region. Look outside of both of these and you will feel like a kid in a candy shop: there is a massive choice out there for you of affordable properties, many with land and outbuildings.
As for the best regions in which to look, again, here comes a huge choice! Our nearest neighbours are Normandy and Brittany, both lovely areas and easy to get to even for just a weekend. Very generally, average house prices here are around €100,000 and again not surprisingly, there are many second homes owned by British people. However, with much improved transportation links to many parts of France, it may well be worth looking further afield.
We have sourced 5 excellent properties for you here where you will have change out of €250,000 in Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine (always popular with the British!), the Midi-Pyrénées, Normandy and the Limousin. The Limousin still remains the most affordable region in France for property as well as general cost of living. Nonetheless, it has some beautiful ancient villages and timber framed buildings, meandering rivers and beautiful countryside for hiking and biking, well worth a look.
Here in the Poitou-Charentes region (part of the new region of Nouvelle Aquitaine) this is a characterful detached house converted from an ancient pigeonnier, and beautiful renovated with a tasteful interior. Its gardens, with its own small lake, are a haven for wildlife. The property is set a short drive from the charming village of Villebois-Lavalette with amenities. The asking price is €220,000.
If you are looking for something bigger, this is a six-bedroom “maison de maître” style property with pool in a pretty town in the Aquitaine region. Bergerac airport is just 64 kms away and the lovely large town of Perigueux just 23 kms away.
Here we have a beautiful, character three-bedroom stone property in excellent condition set in the village of Castelsagrat in the Tarn et Garonne department. It has fantastic views over the countryside and the village has an excellent restaurant, one of the best bakeries in the area, a general store and hairdresser. It is around 40 minutes drive to Toulouse airport and a half hour from Agen with its TGV train links to many parts of the country.
Back up to Normandy and how about this spacious family home? It has been beautifully refurbished and well cared for by its present owners and now offers tremendous space both interior and exterior and would make a fabulous B&B. It has a one and quarter acre garden and lies just 55 minutes from the port of Caen. The Normandy beaches and the famous town of Bayeux are just an hour to the north.
How about this incredible period property set on the edge of the medieval town of Le Dorat in the Limousin? There are numerous outbuildings in the grounds including a two-bedroom annexe as well as a pool. The price? €233,200.
For €250,000, you could also swap the average UK home for this stunning converted mill with river views and 12 hectares of pasture and woodland. It’s been beautifully looked after by its current owners, who have just installed a wood-burning stove in the spacious dining-kitchen area. The mill building has also just had a new floor put in, ready for underfloor heating should you want.
It might come as a surprise to know that you could own your own ski property in the Rhône-Alpes for under €250,000. In Combloux, this one-bedroom apartment makes the perfect pied-à-terre for anyone popping over for a ski break (say goodbye to expensive hotels and having to planning far in advance!). It has a fantastic, central location with a shuttle nearby to take you up to the slopes.
Is there room to negotiate in France?
Prices generally across France have seen a slight increase over the last couple of years and the market remains a buyer’s one. It is rare to pay the asking price for any property here and the average rule of thumb states that a buyer should offer around 10 per cent less than the asking price. Be guided by your agent but don’t ever offer the asking price in this market! When you compare what you can get for your money in the UK and France, it is no wonder that France remains at the top of the list for British people buying property.
With prices slowly rising, now really is one of the best times to consider a property purchase in France as there are plenty of bargains still to be found and the chances are that it will make an excellent investment over the next 10 years or so. The key is to find something you fall in love with (not difficult in France!), relish the thought of owning your very own property here, enjoy it for as long as you wish and relax knowing that it will likely gain in value. Our guess though is that you will not want to sell it for a very long time indeed.