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Details about  House in south-west France

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House in south-west France
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Bright, spacious, recently renovated town house in south-west France, less than an hour from

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14 Jul, 2014 22:32:23 BST
Item location:
Wenhaston, Suffolk, United Kingdom

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Last updated on  17 Jun, 2014 13:03:58 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Seller notes: Bright, spacious, recently renovated town house in south-west France, less than an hour from Carcassonne airport. New, fitted kitchen, 2 new shower rooms, all new plumbing and electrics. Large garage/store room /workshop. Hardly used since renovation was completed a couple of years ago and only as a private holiday home, never let. Infrastructure is largely already in place for further development - self-contained flat or roof terrace on top floor with expansive views.
Country: France Number of Bedrooms: 3
Location: Chalabre nr. Carcassonne Number of Bathrooms: 2
Sort By: For Sale Property Content (m³): 150 m2 over 3 floors
Property Type: Town house

House in South-West France, near Carcassonne

A well-appointed and spacious three-bedroomed flat in the South of France with views across the roof-tops to the Pyrenees for little more than £60,000 sounds too good to be true. But perhaps one of the most ignored secrets among lovers of France is that you can get all the advantages of a 'lock-up and leave' property for very much less than you would generally expect to pay for a flat - and you get a private garage / workshop / store room thrown in!

Our recently renovated town house offers spacious, bright and airy accommodation, within 5 minutes' drive of the fabulous Lac de Monbel, where there is abundant opportunity for sailing, windsurfing, swimming and canoeing, with a beach, a café-restaurant, a thriving sailing club and boats for hire. It is less than an hour's drive to the nearest ski station in the Pyrenees and the airport at Carcassonne (Ryanair from: East Midlands, Bournemouth, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, Stansted) is just as close. The Mediterranean is less than two hours' drive away and the idyllic little gems of Mirepoix and Limoux are around 20-25 kilometres in either direction. Toulouse (EasyJet from: Gatwick & Bristol) is just over an hour's drive to the west. The climate is almost Mediterranean but not quite so hot, with lots of greenery around. There is plenty of opportunity for cycling, walking and enjoying the sumptuous and dramatic scenery.

The house is situated in the delightful small French market town of Chalabre. Plane trees line the streets, there are two cafés/bistros with terraces and a couple of restaurants, one belonging to the family-run hotel serving very good value and delicious food, the other specialising in pizza and Italian food. There is a large covered market square, though the small "functional" Saturday market tends to be held on the street. There are shops, two small supermarkets, post office, chemists and medical facilities, including a small hospital, all within easy walking distance (only the post office and DIY-cum-gardening store are about 7 or 8 mins walk from the house – the other shops are all within 5 mins). There is also super-fast broadband with speeds claimed to be up to 20 mb/s. I think it downloads at about three times the speed of my connection in England. There is a thriving tennis club and a small municipal lake with informal park around it (in addition to the Lac de Montbel which is just a few kilometres away). It is a lively community with a library, drama club, sports club & football pitch, primary school and 'collège' etc.  

The house has been renovated to a high standard with all new plumbing and electrics, whilst keeping as many of the traditional features as possible. It has a sound roof (traditional construction, renewed just before we bought the house) and is on mains drainage (thus avoiding any potential - often high - costs for private installations). The central heating boiler has yet to be reconnected after the renovations and, though we have put radiators in the bathrooms and connected them to the system, we have so far managed happily with just incidental heating, even in November and February. For a full-price offer I should be happy to have a professional reconnect and service the system. With this style of house, only about a quarter of the wall area is to the outside and the stone construction ensures good thermal mass, so that the houses stay relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. Additional drainage and pipework for a water supply and conduit for additional electricity supply in the loft area have all been installed with a view to creating a roof terrace with a summer kitchen and an en suite bathroom on the top floor.

The house is mostly furnished and we should be happy to sell the furniture and fittings. There is a very reliable and comfortable Citroen BX TZ, which has done around 65,000 miles (118,000 kilometres) and which we have frequently left at the airport between visits (annual parking at airport - 580 euros). With the help of a booster battery in the boot, it has not once failed to start in 13 years, even after several months. So, for around £65,000 – potentially even less at current exchange rates - you get a complete "holiday kit".

Total annual outgoings as a holiday home, including annual taxes, TV licence, water, electricity, (no mains gas - calor gas cylinders for kitchen stove), an all-inclusive broadband package with mobile dongle (giving wifi access on the move anywhere in France), and including French car insurance & MOT are somewhere in the region of  £2200 a year at current exchange rates.


Ground Floor

Large garage / workshop / storage area (approx. 11 metres x 4 metres, average)

1st Floor (or ground floor if accessed from front door and entrance lobby at street level on upper road; can also be accessed via stairs up from the garage below). Includes: sitting room (4.5 x 5 metres approx.) and fitted kitchen and dining area (3.5 x 4.5 metres approx.) with calor-gas stove, plumbed dishwasher and washing machine and large American-style fridge. Also on this floor - wet room and WC

2nd Floor

- Bedrooms 1 & 2 – (each 4.5 m x 4.5 m – approx)

- Shower room with WC

3rd Floor

Bedroom 3 - 4.5 x 5 metres  approx. with walk-in wardrobe / potential en suite (water and drainage installed)

  • Full-height walk-in loft area: possible conversion to: 4th bedroom with walk-in bathroom OR: roof terrace with summer kitchen OR: combine with 3rd bedroom to make independent two room flat with terrace, kitchen and bathroom.(Pipework for independent water and electricity supply and drainage all installed on 3rd floor).

Please get in touch by email, if interested, and I will send you a link to further pictures together with a floorplan to your email address.

This is a re-advertisement. The previous advert generated a great deal of interest, lots of correspondence, 160 watches and a short list of viewers. We thank you for your interest. In the end, none of the 5 people whom we went over to meet during the 'viewing period' in fact actually came to see us. Most let us know at the last minute that they were not coming, though some didn't have the courtesy to do so. There was one ebayer who seemed to think it was an opportunity to wangle a free holiday. And as for the would-be "Del-Boy" who offered half the asking price without even wanting to see the house, we wonder whether … well, we just wonder! Offers were – and still are – welcome; but not, perhaps, quite such frankly inane ones! We remain sure that anyone with a serious interest in buying a holiday home in this lovely part of France will, after comparing local value-for-money, be at the very least tempted by the house.

As promised in the original ad, the house is now in the hands of a local estate agent at an asking price of € 79,000. Please contact me for details. We remain open to offers – and the final price remains to be negotiated.

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