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