Surprisingly, luxury French chateaux aren’t as exclusive as you may think, and it is possible to buy one and live the lifestyle you have always dreamed about. In France there are so many to choose from, so finding the one that’s right for you will be the real battle.

Owning a luxury french chateau

luxury french chateau

In this article, we’re going to help you narrow down your choices to find the luxury French chateau that’s waiting for you. We’ve also written this guide to buying French property, which can help you navigate the home buying process.

Personal Home vs. Commercial Property

While you may want a chateau all to yourself, some buyers have the goal of turning it into a full- or part-time commercial business. For example, a chateau can be the perfect setting for a wedding or it can often be converted into a hotel. If the chateau is set on several acres, you always have the option to turn the land into a golf course or a horse-riding getaway. Alternatively, if you buy a vineyard property, you can give tours, hold tastings and sell wine. Another option is to simply open the chateau to the public a few times a year, but keep in mind that even this requires routine maintenance.

In addition to deciding what type of commercial property you may want (if you want one at all), think about if your family will also live in the chateau while running the business.

Turnkey vs. Renovations Needed

Do you want a chateau that’s already renovated and move-in ready, or would you rather make the renovations yourself so that you can get precisely what you want? Buying a chateau that’s in need of repairs gives you the opportunity to add your own touches, but think about how much of the home will be livable as those changes are being made.

Project properties are exciting, but be prepared for the amount of time, patience, knowhow and budget they require. Unless you’re a fully skilled tradesman, you’ll need to hire professionals to make the renovations for you. Also, older buildings may require different fixtures and materials than a new home would, and you may need a specialist contractor who can work with those specific materials. For some historic buildings, you can find grants to help with restorations, so this is something you may want to research.

Aesthetics and Style

Once you start researching chateaux in France, you’ll be amazed at how many different types there are. You can find medieval chateaux with exposed stone and battlements or more classic designs from the 17th and 18th centuries. They can be set right in the village or in a more remote area, and the region you choose will greatly determine the style of the chateau. For example, as you head south toward the Mediterranean, the chateaux will be more rustic in both construction and design, while the chateaux closer to Paris will be more traditional.

Indoor and Outdoor Features

Making a list of the features you need or want will help you weed out properties that may be beautiful but that don’t fit your requirements. Ask yourself these questions to start visualising your perfect property:

  • How many bedrooms do you need? Some chateaux, while huge, will only have a limited number of bedrooms.
  • How many bathrooms do you need and should any of those be ensuite?
  • Are there any specialty rooms you want, like a fitness studio, pool and spa area, library, office or wine cellar?
  • What type of landscaping or property features would you like? Chateaux may have bridges, moats, exotic gardens, ponds or parkland as part of their property.

Location and Price

 Location and price are closely related when searching for a French chateaux. The region not only influences the style of the chateau, but also the cost. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • As you head south, toward the Mediterranean and warmer climates, prices will increase.
  • Luxury French chateaux in the Paris area (within 1-2 hours of the city) will cost a premium, especially as interest from other countries continues to increase.
  • Provence does not have a lot of chateaux, which means the ones that are there come with a high price tag since they’re so rare.
  • Other in-demand areas for chateaux include Bordeaux (specifically vineyard property) and Dordogne.

Luxury French chateaux that cost a bit less are located in central France’s remote regions. While these homes are easier on your budget, they don’t always have the state-of-the-art features a lot of buyers want, and access to the TGV rail service is scarce. Central France also sees extreme weather and the remote areas are less populated, two reasons why chateaux here aren’t in very high demand. If you’re looking for less-developed, unspoiled land, though, don’t rule these chateaux out just yet.

Viewing the Property

 Even if you don’t live in France, it’s a good idea to plan at least one trip so that you can view the properties that you’re most serious about. Give yourself a minimum of one hour for the viewing, and you’ll need more time if there’s a lot of additional property to see. When owners prepare their home for a viewing, they take a lot of time to make sure the interior and exterior look their best, and they’ll expect serious buyers to inspect the entire property in detail and to ask plenty of questions.

Working With a Professional Home Finder

With such a broad range of French chateaux for sale, you may not know where to look based on things like your budget and the size of the property you want. Also, you’ll need help determining the best region to suit your lifestyle and where you’ll have access to the amenities that are most important to you. Most importantly, certain chateaux have limitations due to their historic status.

Home Hunts are here to help you to find your luxury French chateau. If you would like to speak to one of the team to discuss your needs or just to have a chat about the market, you can call us on +33 970 44 66 43 or send us a mail to info@home-hunts.com. If you just want to browse through thousands of beautiful French homes, visit our website at www.home-hunts.com or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

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