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Details about   *now UNDER OFFER* House for sale in Southern France £19,985

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*now UNDER OFFER* House for sale in Southern France £19,985
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See description below.

07 Sep, 2014 22:10:55 BST
Item location:
Ipswich Suffolk, United Kingdom

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Last updated on  02 Sep, 2014 08:19:39 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Seller notes: See description below.
Country: France Number of Bedrooms: 2
Location: Languedoc Construction Year: 1800
Sort By: For Sale Number of Bathrooms: 1
Property Type: Village House Plot Area (m²): 100
Building Feature: Period features Private / Estate agent: Private

We have accepted an offer of the asking price for the house, and the sale is now being handled by our agent and notaire. Should the sale fall through we will contact the other people who have expressed an interest and re-advertise it on eBay.

Attached old stone house situated in the centre of a lovely mountain village 25 minutes north of Carcassonne in the southern French region of Languedoc Rousillon. The village is called Caudebronde and can be seen via Google maps. The house has the orange door in the photo, on the corner of the little alleyway. The picture of the church and river is about 50 yards from the house. The house is estimated to be 2/300 year old and is partly renovated. Entrance into a 22 square metre room divided into hall, kitchen and bathroom. A stone and wooden staircase leads up to the 1st floor and another 22 square metre room with lovely open fireplace and feature old stone sink with shelves above. Wooden stairs lead up to the 2nd floor and another 22 square metre room with vaulted ceiling and exposed old chestnut beams. 

The house has a new fully insulated roof, with any rotten beams repaired or replaced and galvanised guttering and down pipes fitted. ( the outside photo of the house was taken before these were installed)  There is a new bathroom and toilet and a new concrete floor on the ground floor, with a damp proof membrane and new terracotta floor tiles. There is a kitchen area but just white tiled walls and plumbing, no kitchen as such.  There is a new shower but the area around it needs finishing,  and there is a new hot water tank with plumbing for a washing machine.

There is a new EDF electricity meter but the house needs wiring. Electrical appliances can be plugged into an extension socket attached to the meter, this includes the hot water tank, so washing and showering with hot water is available.  The kitchen area has plumbing for appliances. The windows are serviceable but in poor condition overall. 

The house has been used for holidays, it has been lived in for 2 weeks at a time but does require  upgrading to make it comfortable to live in full time. The house has no structural problems, it just needs finishing off.

The village is small and friendly, but with no bar or shop, although a bread van visits daily. There is a chateau converted to a small hotel/B&B, run by a Belgian couple. There is a mix of full time residents and holiday homes, with an English couple ( a plumber and translator/teacher) full time resident, plus other English speakers. There is an Australian plumber in the village too, plus a French builder ( who replaced the roof) and an English builder in the next village. The French residents have always been very helpful and friendly, one of them mows the grass regularly in the garden, for no payment. There is a very lively Fete at the beginning of August, with a village barbecue ( 600 attend!), music and dancing late into the night. Normally though it is incredibly quiet and peaceful, and although there is a main road close by the village itself is at the end of a valley with narrow roads and little through traffic. Birdsong and the sound of the river are usually the loudest noises.

There is a bar and two restaurants, plus a general store, butcher and boulangerie at Cuxac Cabardes, the nearest village, approximately 5 minutes by car. There are also weekly visits at Cuxac of a pizza van and a fish and chip van ( yes, really, and they're very good!) There are two swimming lakes nearby, with sandy beaches and a cafe.

A very pretty separate garden of 100 square metres is 2 minutes walk away. It is fenced and contains 3 or 4 fruit trees and a big growth of mistletoe on one of them ( considered lucky!) It is close to the river, and nearby, at the rivers edge, there is a small municipal campsite open in the summer. The walk to the garden is lovely in the summer, with the smell of wild garlic and herbs, and beautiful warm sunshine. The garden is great for a barbecue or just lazing on the grass. 

The village is on the south edge of the Montagne Noir, looking out across the plains of the Minervois and in the distance the snow capped Pyrenees can often be seen. The area is mainly chestnut forest with rocky outcrops and fast flowing rivers, with ancient castles, caves and a rich Cathar history. It can be snowy in winter but with long hot summers. The village is approximately 500 metres above sea level.

Carcassonne is the nearest airport, about 25 minutes drive. The flight from Stansted takes about an hour and three quarters with Ryanair, prices can be very low if booked ahead and flying mid week, depending on the time of year. £25 flights are not uncommon. There are flights to other UK cities too. We pick up a hire car at the airport, although driving from the UK is also an option, Suffolk to Carcassonne is about 13 hours driving time. Carcassonne itself is a spectacular city, the medieveal City being a UNESCO World Heritage site with visitors from around the world. The Mediterranean coast, with wide sandy beaches, is about 45 minutes drive away and Barcelona is approximately 3 hours drive. The area of the Montagne Noir is geared up to what the French call 'Vacances vert', green holidays, so lots of walking on designated trails, horse riding, cycling, kayaking etc. The hills are covered in chestnut forest and in the autumn foraging is very popular, looking for chestnuts and mushrooms. There are historic sites locally, many spectacular castles including the Cathar castle of Lastours in the next valley and waterfalls and caves , two of the largest caves in the area are nearby, both open to the public. If the house was finished off it would have lots of potential as a holiday let as well as a family home.

The house is for sale via a French estate agents ( listed at €24,995, I have done a currency conversion at todays rate to get a sterling price) and interested parties will be put in touch with them. They can arrange viewings and speak English.  We use an English speaking notaire in Carcassonne and any prospective buyer will be given her details too. It is common in France for a seller and a buyer to use the same notaire ( the UK equivalent of a solicitor) , ours is very helpful but you are welcome to make your own arrangements. We have spent 10 years owning and enjoying the house and the surrounding area, and have spent lots of money improving it. We now have a project here in the UK which is taking our attention and we have decided to sell the house at a realistic price which doesn't take into account the money we have spent on it so far.

This is a bargain price, a good sound stone house with an expensive new roof, with a garden, in the South of France for about the cost of a mid range car.

Someone has asked me about the costs to finish the house, here is my reply. These relate to costs we were quoted by local builders and craftsmen, who are very regulated in France and tend to be fairly expensive. If you can DIY it would be a lot cheaper. There are a selection of large builders merchants in Carcassonne. Please note the prices for work I have quoted here are in Euros, whilst the final reference to 10k is in sterling.

We had a price of € 4000 to rewire the house in 2008 from a local electrician who came recommended. This is the main job that needs doing. The village builder quoted us €2282 to replace the windows with hardwood double glazing in 2009, cheaper if we wanted UPVC. There is no heating and it can be very cold there in the winter so it really needs a good wood burner. We were quoted about €2500 / 3000 ish for an 10kw (quite a large one) Franco Belge (top quality) fitted with the chimney lined about 2008 ( the chimney is in good condition and was renovated with the roof) The English plumber in the village now imports Devon made wood burners and fits them, these may be cheaper. Wood pellet boilers are also available . There is wood everywhere from the chestnut forest, most houses have big woodpiles for the winter. Those are the main jobs but lots of smaller stuff, new floor in top room where the boards are solid but very worn. There is no kitchen, just a space for one. The stairs are a bit rough etc etc. The shower area is unresolved and needs finishing. Depends how finished you want to house really. Wiring, windows and a fire would make a big difference. We always say about £10k would make a lot of difference. Obviously if you are good at DIY, then a lot less.

Someone has asked about taxes and costs, again the answer ( prices in Euros)

Taxes last year were Habitation tax, €218, taxes Fonciere €328, these include water rates and sewage etc ( the house is on mains water and drains)
Taxes above are payable whether you are a permanent resident or holidays only.
Also €412.71 for buildings insurance (this is compulsory in France) We did this through a broker in Carcassonne and it may be possible to get it lower.
We also have a standing charge for electricity but this is a negligible amount as we get refunds as we don't really use any ( we supply EDF with photos of the meter via email as we are never there to have the meter read)

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