New French property blog

February 9, 2012

Here’s a new blog opened by one of the oldest players in the French property game: Cheap French Property.

For years they have been unearthing cheap houses for sale in deepest France – many of them village houses in the little village of SW France. As a rule they only list properties under €100,000 and most of these are for sale directly through the owner.

It’s not an estate agent – just a listing site – and all their properties come from small ads, freebie newspapers, handwritten signs on the side of the road … the sort of sources that overseas buyers just don’t have access to.

Every month the listing is introduced by a little piece on the state of the housing market in France that month – interesting insights from people on the ground.

They have now launched a cheap French property blog which examines housing-related questions more thoroughly.

After more than a year of paperwork and incessant hassling of the bureaucracy, I now have my estate agent’s licence.

The company is called GITES à la française and the niche we are aiming at is selling all those beautiful B&Bs and holiday homes that the Brits bought and renovated over the past twenty years. Now that the pound has plunged and that the financial crisis is biting they are desperately trying to sell.

Prices are high, however, as these poor people can’t bring themselves to actually sell at a loss. High by French standards … but still refreshingly low for the cold and rainswept northern Europeans who dream of a place in the sun.

The idea is that, as all these properties are income-producing, prospective buyers should consider their purchase as an investment rather than just throwing a lot of money at a two-week-a-year holiday place. Most of the properties at GITES à la française comprise at least one self-catering unit as well as the main habitation … producing a useful income to cover most taxes, utilities and other running costs.

For the moment the properties we have on the books range from village houses sans garden to 50-acre estates with 3 or 4 self-catering units and 12-metre heated pool. What they all have in common is their location: south of a line going from Nantes to Montpellier.

The English-language gateway is

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