Charles Miller,

Living France - - Destination -

have a se­lec­tion start­ing from €50,000.

Is there a typ­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture or style in Char­ente?

The ar­che­typal style here is the charentaise – a dou­ble-fronted stone house with tall six- or eight-paned win­dows. This style is repli­cated at all lev­els, from mod­est vil­lage houses through to im­pres­sive châteaux.

Why do Bri­tish peo­ple buy houses in Char­ente?

The Bri­tish buy here for quite a num­ber of rea­sons. Property prices are ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive and the pound can go a very long way – it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to achieve the dream of a pretty house with a good­sized gar­den, close to ameni­ties and the coast. An­other draw is the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the area. We have five air­ports within strik­ing dis­tance, ex­cel­lent road links and the TGV. We have some of the finest beaches nearby and a mild, sunny cli­mate. In­land, we have rolling vine­yards, forests and beau­ti­ful rivers. Who wouldn’t want to live here?

What ad­vice would you give to some­body who is think­ing of buy­ing in your area?

Firstly, think about why you are mov­ing. There is so much choice, it can be dif­fi­cult to fo­cus, so once your rea­sons are ab­so­lutely clear, it is much eas­ier to de­cide what sort of property is suit­able. Never book view­ings be­fore you have vis­ited the area and, if it is to be a per­ma­nent home, visit in win­ter. Get to know your agent and be guided by them – they can save you days or weeks of wasted vis­its. Book well ahead – the mar­ket is busy and diaries can fill up weeks in ad­vance.

What are your pre­dic­tions for the property mar­ket in Char­ente?

The strength of the pound has in­creased buy­ers’ bud­gets, but has also made it harder for Bri­tish sell­ers to ac­cept low of­fers. The num­ber of enquiries and sales is much higher than in pre­vi­ous years and there are signs that prices could start in­creas­ing again in the New Year.

What’s your favourite cor­ner of Char­ente?

I really love where I live! Jarnac, close to Cognac, is a very pretty mar­ket town on the banks of the River Char­ente, sur­rounded by vine­yards. There is a wide choice of restau­rants and just enough shops to cater for more or less ev­ery need. www.char­ente-im­mo­bilier.com

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