It’s cheaper to buy a chateau

Australians are buying chateaux and manor houses in France, for the same price as a boring four-bedroom house in our burbs. The strength of the Australian dollar and gloomy property prices in France are main factors. Gaelle Perreaux, property services manager at French property specialists FrenchEntrée has been widely quoted in Australian media saying interest in buying in the romantic European nation is at an all-time high. It’s almost cheaper to buy a chateau.

Tarn-et-Garonne, a bargain at 450,000 euros, but needs major renovations

The central heating bills aren’t romantic. Imagine how much it would cost to warm a rambling mansion with eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and draughts whistling under every 17th Century door? And the cost of renovations? You could slap another few hundred thousand euros on top.

Real estate prices in Australia are often a joke. You’ll get a shack in Sydney for $A300,000. Most people aim above $500,000 to find something livable in a good area. Queensland and other states are more reasonably priced, although Perth in Western Australia has sky high prices thanks to the mining boom. Country areas are cheaper, of course, with some small towns far from essential services. You could drive all day to get to a dental appointment.

Here’s some properties I found on the Frenchentree real estate site for about the same price as a modest suburban house in Australia.

  • Saint-Martin-de-Cenilly, Bass-Normandie 477,000 euros ($A600,971). A beautifully restored and tastefully decorated 18th century chateau with 8139 sqm of land together with a substantial barn with potential for conversion, a tennis court and a fabulous avenue of trees and private driveway to the property.
  • Nièvre, Bourgogne, 450,000 euros ($566,954). Elegant maison built in 1830, with surrounding outbuildings. A spacious and superbly presented six-bedroom detached family residence, situated on the edge of a village with all amenities. Only two hours from Paris.
  • Regence Château in Berry, 320,000 euros ($403,167). At this price, you know it will be a “renovator’s dream”. This chateau has been enlarged over the centuries, has two wings forming the courtyard. It has three apartments, a barn, atelier, cellars, a moat and a lake. And it’s miles from anywhere.
  • Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrènèes, 450,000 euros ($566,954). Nine bedrooms, extensive vaulted rooms in stone, and 1.904m2 of land. Needs restoration. About half an hour’s drive to Montauban and one hour to Toulouse and the International airport at Blagnac.
Haussmann Château in Gâtinais needs extensive renovations: 598,000 euros ($753,419)

The website details the highs and lows of living in France: French food, drink, culture and the climate are great; while red tape, cost of living and unemployment are not.  A lot of people moving to France are aged between 50-65. and


6 thoughts on “It’s cheaper to buy a chateau

  1. My parents are looking at a house in Normandy (too cold!) but I wish they would look at places further south where it will be warmer. I think it depends on where you want to buy because the south is REALLY expensive


  2. Dunno where you get your housing prices in Australia from but a 3-bedroom fibro in Tregear, on a 562 square metre block, sold for $230,000 in a mortgagee auction on Saturday. It’s a piecve of shit, but for that price, what do you want ? Australian Property Monitors reports that it was the cheapest house to be sold at the weekend


    1. Not a piece of shit at all…. it’s livable and on a big block of land… in Mount Druitt so understandably that’s why it went for $230,000


  3. stumbled upon this story this evening while browsing my dreams of travel to a far away place where i could roam from room to room and sing at the top of my voice and there would be no neighbours to bother about


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