French Property Blog

Property Buyers Guide to Luberon

The Luberon is an enchanting, magical massif in Provence, full of medieval hamlets and ancient, picturesque villages (some dating back more than 1,000 years) set on dramatic hilltops. Tranquil and private, the Luberon blends the old with the new to offer an out-of-the-ordinary and welcomingly slow pace of life. Provence is known for its stunning light and in the Luberon’s countryside setting you can watch the sun rise over the valley.

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The Ultimate Guide to Retiring in Luxury to France

France is a popular place for Brits to relocate, especially once they’ve passed the age of retirement. With the promise of gourmet food, charming historic villages, affordable living costs, access to great healthcare and close proximity to the UK, it’s a tough opportunity to pass up. Countryside settings with year-round sunshine are among the most popular regions for retirees, as are the Alps with its reliable snowfall, Bordeaux’s wine country and the coastal towns along the Cote d’Azur. Keep these considerations in mind if you’re planning to retire in France.

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7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Coastal Property in France

Waking up to the Mediterranean as your backyard doesn’t have to be just a fantasy. France’s selection of seaside property spans all styles: dignified apartments in the French Riviera, secluded villas with close proximity to Cannes, pied-à-terres ideal for renting, sprawling estates with private beach access… On top of unbeatable views, luxury property upgrades range from tennis courts and in-house gyms to heated pools and cinema rooms. When buying a coastal property in France, you’re not limited by anything but your vision of a dream life.

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5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

Luxury villas in Cannes are often move-in ready, with no need for repairs or renovations. You’ll be buying into more than just a magnificent looking property, though; you’ll be buying into a lifestyle. Year-round sunshine, views of the Mediterranean, private beaches, glamorous events, luxury shopping and gourmet cuisine all come with the distinctive, jet set way of life that Cannes is known for. Consider these five villas if you’re looking for an elegant, classy new home.

1. Prestigious villa estate in Cannes

5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

Set on a 1 hectare plot on the French Riviera, this rare Cannes property is sprawling, impressive and beautifully landscaped. You’ll feel as though you have an entire resort to call your own. The main villa has eight bedrooms with bathrooms and there are an additional 10 bedrooms throughout the outbuildings. The swimming pool area has more than enough room to entertain a bevy of guests. The property also includes a tennis court and an eight-car garage.

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2. Stunning villa near Cannes

5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

Located 10 minutes from Croisette and nestled in the heart of a romantic garden, this home has equal parts old world charm and modern luxury. The plush landscaping gives an air of privacy and seclusion, as though you’re in your own oasis. The villa includes a spacious reception area; a master suite that opens onto a private solarium terrace and Jacuzzi; four additional bedrooms; a home cinema; and a lift. The property also has video surveillance, a two-room apartment, a heated pool and a four-car garage, plus additional parking spaces.

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3. Must See Villa in the most beautiful part of Cannes

5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

This villa is situated in Californie, arguably the nicest part of Cannes, just a few minutes from Boulevard de la Croisette. The landscaped grounds make up 2,750 square metres and the home itself is 2,215 square metres, 692 of which are lovely terraces with sea views. Mixing traditional and contemporary décor, the ultra modern kitchen and family room perfectly complement the pretty, glamorous entryway and bedrooms. The property also includes two swimming pools and a garage that can accommodate up to 10 cars.

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4. Enormous stone house is set in the heart of Old Town Cannes

5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

This enormous stone house is set in the heart of Old Town Cannes, boasting luxurious amenities and stunning views of the bay. The property includes a swimming pool and a four-floor villa with lift access. The second floor includes an entrance, three en-suite bedrooms and the master bedroom. The first floor includes a living room, bar, billiards area, cigar cellar and two en-suite bedrooms. The pool level includes a second living room; a kitchen with a pantry and a cold room; a dining room; a separate guest room with a shower room; and access to the pool and garden areas. The above-ground floor has a second entrance hall, wine cellar, cinema room, staff apartment, office, spa area with gym, sauna, steam room and six-car garage.

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5. Imposing mansion near Californie, Cannes

5 Super Luxury Villas for Sale in Cannes

Calling residential Californie home, this mansion has a penthouse-style reception room that opens to sea views, a terrace and a rooftop swimming pool. The property also has six en-suite bedrooms, several of them with their own balcony; a garden and second swimming pool; a guest house; a 10-car garage with a chauffeur’s station; a staff apartment; and a wine cellar with tasting room.

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HOMEHUNTS estate agents are able to select beautiful, luxury Cannes property based on your specific search criteria. Whether you want to live in the heart of a city or somewhere more tranquil, there is luxury Cannes property that meets your requirements. Use the search tool located above to browse our selection of luxury homes. You can also speak directly to one of our consultants by calling +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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Five of the best villages to buy property in Provence

If you are looking to buy property in Provence, here are five villages to add to your search list

There are over 800 towns and villages in Provence, all offering a laid-back Provençal lifestyle, so choosing which ones to focus your property search on is not easy. But help is at hand because Home Hunts’ sales and enquiry information from 2016 shows that these five villages are among the most sought-after locations to own property in Provence.

The Luberon: Gordes and Roussillon

Home over the years to many celebrities and movie stars, Gordes is an ancient village set up high on the Plateau de Vaucluse. Located just five minutes south of the legendary lavender fields at Sénanque’s famous abbey, property in Gordes is a wise investment choice. Here house prices either remain consistently stable or increase, and it is an excellent base from which to explore Provence and “la France profonde”.

Five of the best villages to buy property in Provence

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While many villages in Vaucluse offer their own unique version of Provence, one not to be missed is Roussillon. Once part of the seabed, large, striking ochre cliffs make the approach to the town instantly recognisable – as is Roussillon itself, with its red, orange and yellow stone buildings. Unique and exceptional, time spent in Roussillon is an unforgettable experience and property here is highly coveted by overseas buyers looking for holiday homes in Provence.

The Alpilles: Saint-Remy de Provence

For international buyers, the strong and friendly community in Saint-Rémy de Provence is part of the reason why settling here is so common with English speakers. A charming village in the heart of Provence, it is made easily accessible by the TGV in Avignon and Marseille’s international airport.

With summer festivals, lively restaurants and beautiful scenery for walking and cycling, this village has grown in popularity over the years.

“Saint-Remy has a wonderful atmosphere and offers superb shopping, food and markets,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “If you want to feel as though you’re in ‘real Provence’ and live an authentic Provençal lifestyle, this is a wonderful place to buy.”

The Var: La Croix-Valmer

From the stunning Regional Nature Park of the Verdon down to 200km of Mediterranean coastline spanning Saint-Tropez to Marseille, the Var is home to medieval villages, lush vineyards and a thriving tourism industry.

Lorgues, around an hour from Cannes and Saint-Tropez is one of the most sought-after towns in the Var, but if you’re looking for a medieval village close to the glamorous seaside resorts of the Côte d’Azur La Croix-Valmer is a good choice.

“Despite being popular with tourists, this pretty village is renowned for having six beautiful sandy beaches, some buzzing restaurants and all the shops and leisure facilities you could need,” says Tim. “Many of our buyers are attracted to this area because it is relatively lively all year round and the tourism industry can provide some lucrative rental income opportunities, especially during the high season.”

Provence Coast: La Ciotat

The Provence coast is a little more rugged and less built up than the neighbouring Riviera. There are many popular villages in this area and a wide range of beautiful properties, from waterfront villas to village houses and sprawling estates.

“Many of our clients looking to buy property here like the fact that it’s a little less showy than on the Côte d’Azur,” says Tim. “Le Lavandou, Cassis and Bandol are popular, but one of the most coveted coastal villages is La Ciotat.”

A lively unspoilt village with two beaches, crystal-clear waters, an old town and botanical gardens with exotic plants and trees, demand for property in La Ciotat increased throughout 2016 and continues to do so in 2017. House prices are also on the up all along the coast and rose by as much as 8% in Toulon in 2016.

Around 45 minutes from Marseille, La Ciotat is close to chic city life, and an international airport, while offering a peaceful lifestyle on the Provence coast.

Five of the best villages to buy property in Provence

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If you are looking to buy prime property in Provence you can view Home Hunts’ online portfolio here at www.home-hunts.com, but to speak directly to a consultant about other location hotspots in Provence, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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An Insider’s guide to the Minervois

Are you dreaming of a country home in France that’s surrounded by vineyards and where the local wine is something to write home about? Then perhaps you should consider buying a property in the Minervois.

Deep in the South West of France in Languedoc, stretching across the Aude and Hérault departments, is the Minervois. A well-respected wine region, but unspoilt and undiscovered in comparison with areas like Bordeaux or Provence, the Minervois’ 5,000 hectares are home to glorious wine, fascinating locations and captivating countryside.

From hidden châteaux to village houses adorned with local red marble, the properties available in this region are as compelling as its historic roots and gentle way of life.

An “up-and-coming Vaucluse”

An Insider’s guide to the Minervois

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“Personally, I like to think of the Minervois as an up-and-coming Vaucluse,” says Julie Reaney, a Home Hunts consultant who has lived in the region for the last ten years. “It is rugged and rustic, from the foothills of the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) down to the valley and the Canal du Midi, where the vegetation shifts from heavy forests to vineyards and the climate changes from cool to hot.”

With golden Mediterranean beaches around an hour away and the closest ski resort a two-and-half-hour drive in the Pyrénées, weekends or day trips spent skiing, swimming, hiking and cycling are part of everyday life in the Minervois.

An Insider’s guide to the Minervois

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Exploring the Grotte de Cabrespine, which is filled with crystals and rock formations, is a visit that Julie highly recommends, as is a trip to Lac de la Cavayère, otherwise known as “Carcassonne Plage”, for water sports, sandy beaches and family-friendly activities.

The Canal du Midi is one of the most spectacular sites in the region. The brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, this 240km weaving waterway, runs from Sète up to Toulouse and was completed in 1681. Passing by the UNESCO-listed fairy-tale city of Carcassonne, it flows through the hilly countryside of the Aude and, at one point, through the charming La Somail.

Where to buy property in the Minervois

An Insider’s guide to the Minervois

“Bigstock.com/Brian Simmons”

A quaint, picturesque village, La Somail is a good place to hire a canal boat as it offers a “lock-free” round-trip journey through the Minervois. For those looking to buy property in Languedoc, La Somail offers good value for money and is the perfect location from which to enjoy regular holidays in the area.

Cruising the Canal du Midi is just one of the many special activities you can do in the Minervois. “You can cycle through the plains and mountains, enjoy wine tours and tastings, eat at great restaurants, and have wonderful picnics by the river, where you can also kayak and swim,” says Julie. “Horse riding enthusiasts can ride through the mountains and along the coast, and hikers can explore beautiful natural landscapes to their hearts’ content.”

Another location which Julie recommends to property hunters is Bize. Located on the River Cesse with a pebbled beach, it’s a place where families and friends swim and relax during the holidays. A vibrant market town, Bize is renowned for its olive festival in July, where wine tasting and local delicacies can be enjoyed, and live music evenings are regular events throughout the summer.

Around half-an-hour from Carcassonne and Narbonne, Olonzac, the capital of the Minervois, is an excellent base from which to discover the region. Being slightly larger than some of the surrounding smaller, quainter villages, it has all the amenities and facilities required for daily life, as well as a bustling weekly market.

Just twenty minutes west of Olonzac, at the foot of the Black Mountains, lies the medieval town of Caunes-Minervois, which is famous all over the world for its red marble. Louis XIV was renowned for extracting huge blocks from the quarries, which was used in many famous buildings, including the Grand Trianon in Versailles and the Opera House in Paris, as well as the interiors of Caunes’ Benedictine abbey and buildings in the neighbourhood.

With quaint, narrow streets and a market three times a week, this is a popular destination for tourists and a wonderful place to live. For a special night out, dinner at La Table d’Emilie is one of the most highly-rated restaurants in the area. With a friendly ambiance and passionate chef cooking up seasonal delights, it is popular with locals and tourists alike.

If you are looking to buy property in the Minervois, visit Home Hunts’ portfolio at  www.home-hunts.com, but to speak to a consultant about your specific property needs and other villages of interest in the region, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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10 Things You Need To Know About Transferring Money Abroad

The foreign exchange market is irregular, fluctuating often and leading to oft-changing exchange rates. In just a few short weeks, the exchange rate can change by as much as 10 percent. There are so many things that influence the market, from unemployment rates to the weather, as well as economic reports, politics and socioeconomic factors.

10 Things You Need To Know About Transferring Money Abroad

When relocating to France, a big consideration is how you’ll move your money. You’ll want to transfer your checking and savings accounts, as well as pension payments and wages, while also being able to pay for your new French property purchase.

Here are 11 things to know about transferring money abroad. Continue reading

10 Interesting Facts About France When Buying Property Or Relocating [Infographic]

There are so many wonderful, interesting and unique features of France, from the types of properties available and distinct aspects of its cities and towns to the French property buying process. Here are 10 facts to know about France when relocating.

10 Facts About France

Picture living in a French castle that looks like it leaped out of a fairytale. There are approximately 40,000 chateaux in France spanning all types of styles. You can also blend life with work by investing in a chateau that can be used as a tourism business, like a B&B.

  1. The French consume 11.2 billion glasses of wine each year – great news for vineyard owners! Vineyard properties can be used seasonally while you’re on holiday or full-time if you plan to relocate permanently and range from small stone residences to sprawling farmhouses.
  2. There are 157,000 UK citizens living in France, the second highest number in Europe. The close proximity to France is a big benefit for UK residents, as is the variety of properties available, from ski chalets in the mountains to high-end, luxury Paris apartments and seaside homes on the French Riviera.
  3. With 82 million visitors a year, France is the world’s most popular tourist destination. A few of France’s most popular areas include Cannes, with its glamorous lifestyle and VIP events; Paris’ worldliness, high fashion and leading gastronomy; and Provence, located close to Italy, boasting unique villages and countryside views.
  4. When purchasing property in France, buyers are allowed a 10-day “cooling off” period during which they can pull out of the transaction without a penalty – they won’t even lose their deposit. Once you’ve signed the compromis, your notaire will explain the conditions of this period, along with your deadline to make changes.
  5. The conveyancing process takes approximately three months and is handled by a notaire. Note that along with property and agency fees, you’ll need to be prepared for conveyancing fees, which are typically 7 to 8 percent.
  6. France has 3,427 km of coastline, which is roughly the same distance from Paris to Luxor, Egypt. There are plenty of choices if you want to live by the sea! For example, the French Riviera’s many villas and apartment have sea views and private beach entry.
  7. France has a welcomingly laidback lifestyle, with meals often lasting for two hours and shops and government buildings (other than those in major cities) regularly closing from noon to 2 p.m.
  8. France is one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world. On average, France produces over 6 million bottles of wine a year. One-third of all French wine is exported and is worth over 10 billion euros per year. More good news for vineyard owners, particularly those in Bordeaux, Cassis, Provence, the Rhone Valley or St-Émilion.
  9. Marseille, the second largest city in France, is also the country’s sunniest locale with 2,801 hours (or 264 days) of sunshine a year. Is there a better place to start your property search?

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Five of the best villages to buy property on the French Riviera

The latest research from Home Hunts reveals the most popular villages to own prime property on the French Riviera

With its golden sandy beaches, yacht-frequented waters, vibrant villages and magical atmosphere the French Riviera never ceases to be one of the most desirable places to own property in the world.

“People buy here because of the climate, the sea, the stunning scenery, magnificent food and accessibility,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “There are superb beaches and the Alps are just behind, so it is a real year-round destination.”

Five of the best villages to buy property on the French Riviera

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