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occasional newsletter - WINTER 2016 __________________________________HOME PAGE


* New properties for sale

* Post-Brexit strategies

* Hamlets... and what to do with them

Eight new properties this quarter, ranging from a big spread in the Tarn to a hamlet in the Aveyron

Brexit has upset the market: how to deal with this

Hamlets come in all shapes and states of repair: how to use them

New properties

Gite business in the Tarn

Tarn/Aude border : Upmarket gite business - €875,000

Between Revel and Sorèze, in the heart of Occitanie, this superb fully-renovated 3-gite complex and farmhouse has got it all: location, space (big garden and pool), underfloor geothermal heating and more

Lot Valley gite complex

Lot Valley : Gite complex - €950,000

Just down the river a mile or two from famed village St Cirq-Lapopie, this ancient & modern gite complex combines rustic Quercy charm with simple easy-to-maintain new build gites. Run by aging French owners it could turn over more than €100k pa again with the right people more

St Antonin-Noble-Val gites

St Antonin-Noble-Val : Farmhouse and gites - €295,000

One of France's prettiest - and liveliest - villages located in the Tarn & Garonne attracts more than its fair share of tourists. This property is out of town on the hills over-looking the Aveyron river. Farmhouse, two gites, 2.8 hectares of land .... and a great price! more

Carcassonne village house and gite

S Carcassonne wine village : House + gite - €249,000

Village houses are the future! Lovely 3-bedroomed house with massive 4-bedroomed gite next door, garden and pool, garage and front and back terraces in the heart of a wine village south of Carcassonne. Sold fully-equipped and ready to let. more

Gascony B&B

Carcassonne vineyards: House + 2 gites + winery - €499,000

Secluded setting among the Razès vineyards for this former winery. Now converted into a two-gite business with more work to be done on the vast (500m²) outbuildings. Pool, 2 hectares land, horses etc more

Mountain bike hostel Pyrenees

Cordes-sur-Ciel (Tarn) - B&B + gite - €595,000

Another of France's most beautiful villages: Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Gaillac vineyards just 30 mins from Albi. This is a big affair combining spacious 5-bed luxury B&B with separate gite, gardens, terraces and pool all within a three-minute stroll from the village sights. more

Hamlet Monbazillac Dordogne

Dordogne - Hamlet with 7 gites - €747,000

Just south of Bergerac in the Monbazillac vines, this little hamlet has been totally renovated and turned into a lucrative 7-gite complex. With its two pools, hectare of flat land and 10-minute access to Bergerac airport it is crying out for someone to open it up to the UK & Irish market. more

Hamlet in the Aveyron

Aveyron - Hamlet in the middle of nowhere - €577,000

Well, it's about 40 minutes east of Albi, in the broken country south of the Tarn river. No near neighbours, 2 gites. , main house, fantastic indoor heated pool and bar, veg patch, orchard and gardens, outhouses and a couple of ruins. What has been renovated is first class. Going-concern. more

Post-Brexit strategies

Our UK customers will probably have noticed that Sterling has been see-sawing uncontrollably up and down against the Euro over the past few months. This has had a number of consequences: a lot of buyers have decided to shelve their plans to buy in France, many others have revised their budget downward in line with the Pound's fall and, less noticeable, French and Belgian buyers have been rubbing their hands in anticipation of a true (Brit-less) buyers' market.

Add to this the dark truth that French bankers are not even agreeing to meet with UK mortgage-seekers until they get a clearer picture of what Brexit means ... and the situation looks desperate.

There are three answers:

1. Ignore the crash in Sterling: continue as before to research a suitable property but, after viewing the property, make a lower offer than you might have made before Brexit: tailor your offer to what you can afford. You will be amazed to find vendors jumping at offers up to €50-€75k less than the asking price. It is, after all, still a buyers' market.

2. Get on top of the currency swings and roundabouts. Contact a Foreign-exchange broker and outline your project. The broker will examine your situation and suggest buying forward or holding out for better times. They can move swiftly even when the market spikes for a few hours... and they are always cheaper than your bank for transfering funds. We use a company called Foremost Currency. Our broker's name is Aidan Knight and you should really get in touch if you're considering buying soon. Tel: 01442 892060 Email: Mention my name ...

3. Pull up the drawbridge and put your plans on hold until after Article 50 is triggered. The risk here is that Sterling falls even further when negotiations really get under way and, more dangerous still, the French elect a new govenment (May 2017) which will immediately repeal the wealth tax and let loose a flood of money into the property market. End of the buyers' market and end of your French lifestyle-change dreams.

Hamlets are cool...

GITES à la française has always had a few hamlets on the books. Today we have half a dozen of these desirable properties ... all with vacant possession. The latest two that we have just brought in are different in that they have been totally renovated, furnished and adapted for use as gites or communal living.

But there is another use which is gaining traction among Belgian and Swiss clients: using these hamlets as retirement villages. Three or four couples get together and form a property company (SCI), chip in say, €200k each, and then buy a big hamlet. There's often enough space for four couples in their 60s and 70s to live together ... and a couple of spare gites for either care personnel or visiting family and friends. When one couple drops out their shares are then sold to newcomers who are vetted/chosen by the remaining inhabitants.

All our hamlets are featured on this page.

Simon Says: Don't forget that the buying process takes roughly three months - between signing the compromis de vente and completion. So if you want to be up-and-running for the 2017 season NOW is the time to view a few properties and make a decision. The Christmas holidays in France end on 1st January ... so book your flights for the 2nd!

Simon Oliver


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