Home Looking in France: A Medieval Property Close to Provence for $3 Million

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This 13-bedroom dwelling, with a tower erected within the eleventh century as a protection station for the Knights Templar army order, is nestled amongst olive groves and oak truffle bushes simply exterior the medieval city of Uzès, in southern France.

The 5,920-square-foot stone home is anchored by an internal courtyard and surrounded by almost 47 acres of landscaped gardens, meadows and bushes, together with a caretaker’s cottage, a heated swimming pool, a pool home, 4 enclosed garages and different outbuildings.

By the years, the home has been used as a convent, an American college and a non-public dwelling, mentioned Patrick Poncet, CEO and co-founder of Poncet & Poncet Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property, which has the itemizing. Its most up-to-date renovations got here within the Eighties, together with underfloor heating on the bottom stage; elements of the home are in want of additional restoration.

Cavernous rooms with vaulted stone ceilings kind a U-shape on the bottom flooring. Past the barrel-shaped entrance corridor, reception rooms have panoramic views of the encircling countryside and the river that runs alongside the property’s southern edge. To the left, the up to date eating room accommodates a desk for 15. A stone hearth instructions one finish of the lounge, and glass doorways beneath an archway open to the grounds. A coated terrace overlooks the river. The kitchen must be renovated, mentioned Isabelle Clavie, a senior worldwide actual property marketing consultant at Poncet & Poncet.

To the fitting of the doorway corridor, a den, a billiards room and, two steps up, a compact library overlook the internal courtyard. Terra-cotta tiles and stone slabs typical of French homes cowl the flooring.

A second tower has a spiral staircase main upstairs. On the second stage, which has parquet flooring, the primary bed room has an en suite bathtub with a bath. Every of seven different giant bedrooms has an en suite bathe room and sink, however shares the hallway loos. An workplace and a linen room are additionally on the second flooring. From the courtyard, a straight staircase additionally results in the primary flooring.

5 extra compact bedrooms on the third flooring, as soon as utilized by nuns, have en suite showers and sinks. Bathrooms, that are shared, are off the hallway. The house’s dozen loos want updating, Ms. Clavie mentioned.

A contemporary sauna and bathe occupy the knight’s tower. A stone stairway leads right down to the 59-foot-by-20-foot heated swimming pool, the place a coated pool pavilion, dug right into a rock wall, features a kitchen and an out of doors lounge. Away from the primary home, the caretaker’s cottage has two bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen, a rest room and a non-public backyard.

The property is simply over a mile from Uzès, a medieval commune with slim, round streets, retailers, eating places, arcades, the First Duchy of France and an annual truffle pageant. Marseille and France’s Mediterranean coast are about 90 miles southeast, and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur area is simply to the east. Uzès, although broadly included in actual property listings for the area of Provence, is definitely within the administrative area of Occitanie, established in 2016 from the previous areas of Languedoc-Roussillon (the place this home is) and Midi-Pyrénées.

Worldwide flights can be found at Marseille Provence Airport, about 90 minutes away.

France’s housing market was resilient by way of the tumult of 2020, even because the economic system fell into recession. In the course of the fourth quarter, home costs had been up 6.1 p.c 12 months over 12 months, with costs for current properties rising sooner (+6.4 p.c) than for brand spanking new properties (+2.8 p.c), based on the Nationwide Institute for Statistical and Financial Research.

On April 3, as a brand new wave of Covid-19 infections battered France, the nation shut down for a 3rd time. Journey was prohibited amongst areas, with an exception for patrons of major residences. “This enables us to work virtually usually,” Mr. Poncet mentioned.

Second properties, nonetheless, make up a major a part of the true property portfolio in southern France, significantly in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitanie, the place Montpellier and Uzès are probably the most sought-after places.

“The local weather is delicate, the cities and villages supply a really wealthy architectural heritage, tradition in all its varieties is omnipresent,” Mr. Poncet mentioned, together with a theater pageant in Avignon, dance in Montpellier, seashores and nightlife in St. Tropez, and the Cannes Movie Pageant.

Tim Swannie, director of Residence Hunts, which focuses on luxurious properties in France, Monaco and Switzerland, mentioned his firm’s gross sales fell by about 20 p.c in 2020 after a strong 2019, although curiosity remained robust. “The south of France typically is just not a boom-and-bust property market,” he mentioned. “Most house owners see a gradual enhance of their property worth over time.”

When the primary lockdown was lifted final Could, “it was like a dam opening its gates — the market was inundated with patrons, all trying to safe properties,” Mr. Swannie mentioned. As patrons from Paris, Monaco and different European cities sought bigger properties with extra outside facilities, “properties had been being bought on the asking value, generally with a number of patrons bidding, or being bought earlier than formally being put available on the market,” he added. Even properties that had languished “had been snapped up with a compromise being made by patrons prepared to contemplate renovating and upgrading properties.”

With foreigners restrained by journey restrictions, home patrons stuffed a number of the void. However “overseas demand is rising once more in view of the subsequent summer time season, in step with the advance of vaccination worldwide,” mentioned Marie-Claire Sangouard, managing director of the Engel & Völkers French Riviera.

Laetitia Hodson, an affiliate associate at Knight Frank within the worldwide residential division, mentioned the “urge for food for a second dwelling in France may be very, very excessive for a house within the nation,” with “double the variety of new purchasers and new inquiries.”

Because the begin of 2021, “transactions are a lot nearer to the asking value,” Ms. Hodson mentioned, and stock is low. “A few of the sellers have determined to not promote however to maintain their second dwelling,” she added.

In Occitanie, costs begin at 450,000 euros ($540,000) for a small pied-à-terre to a number of million euros for an property, Mr. Poncet mentioned.

In Provence, a three- or four-bedroom village home with a small backyard ranges from 650,000 euros to 1 million euros ($780,000 to $1.2 million). For a house with a backyard and a pool in a quiet space, costs start at 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million) and high 30 million euros ($36 million) for personal estates, Mr. Swannie mentioned.

Most patrons search for “character properties” comparable to “mas,” conventional Provençal stone-built farmhouses “with thick partitions and small home windows on the south-facing facet of the home,” Mr. Swannie mentioned.

Others desire bigger, usually higher positioned “Bastides,” properties initially constructed for nobles. “These homes are extra symmetrical by way of rooms and dimension,” he mentioned, with larger home windows and higher views.

Earlier than the pandemic, about 60 p.c of patrons in southern France had been worldwide, with the bulk hailing from Britain, Sweden and the US, Ms. Hodson mentioned. Now patrons are 60 p.c French, with overseas patrons driving from neighboring Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Switzerland and Germany.

Throughout France, nonresident patrons embody solely about 2 p.c of actual property transactions, mentioned Amaury de Monclin, managing director and co-founder of Bluesky Finance, a French mortgage dealer geared toward worldwide patrons. “The presence of worldwide patrons will increase considerably within the prime property phase,” he mentioned. “American patrons comprise a major share of the prime property market. Above 4 million euros, overseas patrons symbolize as a lot as 40 p.c of transactions.”

Non-EU residents are restricted to spending 90 days out of each 180 in France, Ms. Hodson mentioned.

By legislation, French properties should have asbestos, vitality, lead and termite inspections, paid for by the vendor and included within the gross sales settlement. If the property has a swimming pool, a report on its security options can be required, Mr. Swannie mentioned.

American patrons can borrow as much as 80 p.c of the acquisition value for properties as much as 700,000 euros ($840,000). Most mortgages require a minimal down cost of 30 p.c, Mr. Monclin mentioned, and a few U.S. patrons prepare French mortgage loans to get decrease rates of interest, taxes and overseas alternate advantages. Arranging a mortgage takes two to a few months.

French; euro (1 euro = $1.20)

Annual property taxes on this home are 5,000 euros ($6,000). Closing prices run 7 to eight p.c of the sale value, brokers mentioned, together with stamp responsibility, land registration and the notary.

Patrick Poncet, Poncet & Poncet Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property, 011-33-466-20-27-62; poncet-poncet.com

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