Ask the agent
No one knows the area like a local estate agent. We asked Jeanette Dance of French Coast & Valleys for the inside track on Pays de la Loire
What’s the cheapest property you have on your books?
A traditional old farmhouse. Located in a quiet lane, it has a small garden and, only five minutes from a market town and 25 minutes from Le Mans, it offers good rental potential and would be a great investment. It costs just €25,000.
a three-bedroom townhouse? Around the €120,000 to €180,000 mark.
a detached property with land in good condition? Probably around the €189,000 mark.
a renovation project? A good renovation opportunity would be a three-bedroom farmhouse that I have in Le Lude, situated in a lovely location bordering the River Loire for €89,000.
What’s the most unusual property you have sold in the past?
A charming 17th-century property with a rooftop garden overlooking the river. The property is one of the oldest in the village, and has charm in abundance with its stone walls and oak beams. Outside there is a pretty courtyard with shrubs, flowers, plus a barbecue and cellars that are perfect for storage.
Is there a typical architecture or style in the region?
The area is famous for its beautiful châteaux and is often referred to as the ‘Valley of the Kings’, but for those with a more realistic budget, the typical architecture and style would be the stone farmhouse ( longère), or the more bourgeois manor house ( maison de maître).
Why do British people buy houses in Pays de la Loire?
The area has a cultural landscape of exceptional beauty, with stunning vineyards and idyllic countryside. Property buyers and visitors like the climate – long, warm summers and short mild winters. This part of France has so much to offer people of all ages, coupled with good access to the UK, being only a two-hour drive to the ports. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of buying in your area?
The main tip that I would give to people is to integrate among the French locals. This is very important, and therefore an understanding of the language is necessary. In general, there is a good knowledge of English here and it is a very welcoming place.
What local attractions are there?
People flock here for the the fabulous châteaux and the glorious woodland. The famous Le Mans 24-hour car race is also a major draw.
What are the region’s specialities?
Its wine. This includes Muscadet, Rosé d’Anjou, Sancerre and the most popular sparkling wine after champagne – Saumur.
What’s your favourite part of the region?
The villages of Parcé-sur-Sarthe, and Malicorne-sur-Sarthe. Both are pictureperfect, offering cobbled streets, cascading rivers, lovely cafés and a glorious countryside backdrop.
Describe your department in five words.
Châteaux, architecture, wine, rivers, countryside.