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

Living France - - DESTINATION -

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.

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