Ask the agent

No one knows the area like a lo­cal es­tate agent. We asked Charles Small­wood, of Agence l’Union, for the in­side track on Tarn

Living France - - DESTINATION -

What’s the cheap­est prop­erty you have on your books?

We have a hand­some stone-built three­bed­room vil­lage house avail­able at the truly bar­gain price of €99,000.

What’s the most un­usual prop­erty you have sold in the past?

We sold part of the mighty 14th-cen­tury bar­bican that was orig­i­nally a look-out de­fence tower in his­toric Cordes-sur-Ciel. It was fully re­stored and of­fered su­perb el­e­vated views.

What’s the most un­usual re­quest you’ve had from a client?

We once had a client seek­ing an aban­doned church to cre­ate a cham­bres d’hôtes.

How much would you ex­pect to pay for:

a de­tached prop­erty with land in good con­di­tion? From €250,000-275,000 up­wards.

a three-bed­room town­house? Ap­prox­i­mately €175,000-200,000.

a ren­o­va­tion op­por­tu­nity? From €75,000 up­wards. All of th­ese de­pend on the lo­ca­tion and con­di­tion of the prop­erty.

Is there a typ­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture or style in Tarn?

Most houses in Tarn are built of lo­cally quar­ried lime­stone with ro­man tiled roofs. Farm­houses of­ten have an ex­ter­nal stone stair­case lead­ing up to a first-floor cov­ered bo­let (bal­cony) and there are many pi­geon­niers and stone barns. Maisons de maître (manor houses) have a very stylish ap­pear­ance with an im­pres­sive stone dou­ble frontage.

Why do Bri­tish peo­ple buy houses in Tarn?

For a wide range of rea­sons! Tarn is the gate­way to a new and idyl­lic life­style with vir­tu­ally no crime, hardly any traf­fic, won­der­ful space, an ex­cel­lent cli­mate, tra­di­tional val­ues and friendly lo­cal peo­ple.

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

Make sure you seek to buy through an agency with the carte pro­fes­sion­nelle which is oblig­a­tory un­der French law. We ask clients to present their wish list in ad­vance so that we can rec­om­mend the best choice hav­ing seen all the prop­er­ties per­son­ally. Al­low at least two days for your visit to ex­pe­ri­ence all the re­gional de­lights and have suf­fi­cient time to view the prop­er­ties.

What are your pre­dic­tions for the prop­erty mar­ket in Tarn?

The mar­ket has in­deed picked up and we have made many more sales to UK buy­ers re­cently who have ben­e­fit­ted hugely from re­duced prop­erty prices and the sub­stan­tial in­crease of the pound against the euro. How­ever there is still a wide choice of prop­er­ties, prices have sta­bilised and it’s a great time to come and buy. Toulouse in­ter­na­tional air­port of­fers reg­u­lar flights from sev­eral UK air­ports and the A20 and A68 au­toroutes make Tarn easy to reach.

What’s your favourite cor­ner of Tarn?

There are so many at­trac­tive cor­ners to ex­plore but Albi of­fers so much cul­tur­ally, has some qual­ity restau­rants and a su­perb golf course!


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