Why Buy Property in Limousin France
You'll get a bargain when you buy property in Limousin
I've lived in rural Limousin since 2002, lured by the wealth of cheap property here and the wonderful landscape. Eight years later and I still love life in France, and there is still cheap property for sale in Limousin. Before I moved here I read widely about the stories of others who had bought property in France and I hope that you might find these tips and observations useful.
I moved from Britain so that I could paint and run painting holidays although we did sell in 2015 and bought a romantic ruined farm - for a song. This guide is based on my own, personal experience and may be less relevant for readers from other countries. Also, if you are moving to set up business in Paris, or to live in the Alps or Cannes, this will be of limited interest to you. However, if you are thinking of buying a country, village or small town property in the Limousin region, or looking for properties with lakes, read on. (Updated 19th June 2015)
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Limousin property is cheap but 2015 is THE time to buy
Why buy a property in Limousin NOW? The property market has taken off here after a few years in the doldrums. You can still find properties at their old prices - but you better be fast! People will be waking up to the sudden interest in property here and be raising their prices.
Why buy now?
- Rising market in France
- Rising market in Britain
- A strong £ makes economic sense for the Brits to invest in Limousin
Rising house prices in France
Unlike Britain where house prices are falling in 2011, house prices across France are predicted to be on the rise this year. The Riviera Times reports that, According to the INSEE (French national institute of economic and statistical information) the price of apartments over five years old has increased by 6.6 per cent compared to the previous year. Houses over five years old have increased by 5.7 per cent on an annual basis; and the Chambre de Notaires, (equivalent of our solicitors) predict that resale property prices should continue their recovery in 2011 helped by interest rates remaining low. French Entrée are also very positive in their analysis, but of course, it is all guesswork and it remains to be seen how it will all pan out.
The prospects for property prices in Limousin
French Entrée writes this report on property in Limousin:
- 2009, FrenchEntrée’s estate agent partner, Peter Van Den Berg in the Corrèze: “The Limousin is one of the cheapest regions in France. If you buy an old stone property in the region you are unlikely to lose money as prices will only increase in time as the region becomes more up-and-coming.”
- 2010 estate agent Wilma Van Den Berg: “We did much better in 2010 than in 2009, which makes us optimistic about 2011. People were afraid in 2009 with the financial crisis but now they realise life goes on and still like to invest in bricks and mortar. Around 50% of our clients in 2009 were French, there were a few less from the UK but there were more Belgians looking to buy. In the Corrèze, people are mostly looking for old stone farmhouse style properties with a lot of land. Prices dropped in 2009 but are stabilising, a trend that looks likely to continue into 2011.”
Where is Limousin?
If you are reading this article you probably already know where Limousin is, but it is a relatively unknown area, yet to be discovered, so have a look at this map.
Limousin is in South West France about five hours from Paris, six hours from the Channel and two hours from Bordeaux. It's a handy stopping over point for those travelling to Spain.
The Region is divided into three departments, Creuse, Corezze and Haute-Vienne. The capital city of Limousin is Limoges and the second is Saint Junien.
Limoges is famous for its Porcelain, and Limousin is overwhelmingly a farming region, renown worldwide for its Limousin beef cattle.
More information: Limousin, Land of Wolves and Witches
This is an amusing account by a journalist who moved to France. Although she lives in the Auvergne, next-door region to Limousin, the experience is much the same. Tottie Limejuice has been my online friend for some years now and never a day goes by without an interesting note or witty quip on facebook!
Why I moved to Limousin
There are so many reasons! Here are just a few:
- To own a dream house in the country
- For the cheap property
- To live in a beautiful landscape
- To have better weather
- To live the good life and have pets and animals
- To escape crime and enjoy a safer and more secure life
- For a cleaner environment
- To enjoy good food and wine
- To find a better place to bring up children
- Finally, I do cling to an excellent health system and thorough educational system
You can buy a property with income in France
Unlike Britain, France is a big country that is sparsely populated, and nowhere more so than Limousin. Here you can afford land and space. You can afford to live in the country, and do so with the mortgage hanging like a millstone around your neck.
- Property is cheap
- Land is cheap
- You can buy property that can provide an income
- You might be able to get rid of that expensive mortgage
- There are so many charming stone farmhouses that you will be spoilt for choice
- You can buy houses with or without land
- Many houses in the countryside have barns and you'll soon wonder what you ever did without a barn for garaging and storage
- You can buy a house with its own fishing lake
- Insurance is cheap
- More information: A Profile of Les Trois Chenes in Pictures
Buy a house to renovate in Limousin
This house for sale in Videix would make a lovely holiday home or family home
This deceptively large house and barn was for sale in Videix. It has sound walls and a new roof but otherwise it is a blank canvas. It's situated in the centre of this tiny hamlet on a quiet country road. It has a lovely little garden at front and back and it's just waiting to receive a little love and attention. Price? A snip at only 35,000 euros.
Enjoy Limousin's beautiful environment
Our part of the Limousin is so rich in natural resources that it has been designated as a nature reserve, Parc Natural du Perigorde Limousin, but all of Limousin is know for its woods, lakes and green pastures. Limousin is 'Constable country'.*
Another major reason for wanting to move to Limousin is the weather. Fed up with the grey skies and drizzle of Yorkshire, we enjoy the warm, sunny summers and cold but brilliantly clear, bright winters. Of course we have plenty of rain, hence the green fields and trees, but the rain tend to come as a steady downpour followed by days of sunshine. Everything grows so fast here.
The Creuse is wilder and much colder in winter than the west; the closer you are to the Charente, the more pleasant the weather is.
More Information: Limousin: A favourite holiday destination for families
* John Constable (11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter.
Limousin is a green and pleasant land
To live the good life in France
Many people who move to Limousin do so because they love the natural beauty of the area and are seeking the good life. Getting back to nature, having a small-holding, keeping animals
- Many people who want to keep horses move here because land is cheap and easily available
- You can afford space for the children to play
- You can indulge in gardening
- You can grow your own food and firewood
- You can move towards being self-sufficient
- You can buy your own fishing pond or lake
A safe environment
When you come to live in Limousin you step back in time. In many ways this area is like we think of England in the 50's. People don't lock their doors, there's little crime, (which is why insurance is low), no bullying in school, no graffiti, no vandalism, no litter. Flowers are grown on the pavements and there is never any damage, there are no discipline problems in school, no road rage because there is no traffic. This was a big incentive for us as the house was broken into on several occasions, one at 7am when we were all at home. My son, then aged 5 was terrified of burglars getting in. Here in Limousin you will enjoy:
- No crime
- No drugs
- No violence
- No litter
- No graffiti
- No traffic
Good French food and wine
Limousin is a land of gourmets and vignerons. People who love good food and wine move to Limousin. The land is managed more naturally and the animals that are reared on the land benefit from this. There is much less intensive farming, less pesticide and herbicide, more variation in the plants and space for the animals. The animals that are raised in these conditions are healthier, need less medication and so on and so forth. When you buy Limousin milk they are proud of this and say so on the packets. The evidence that this is true, though, is before your very eyes. Large, clean, healthy cows, suckling huge calves in the field with the bulls, all knee high in wild flowers. What a picture. Limousin is not a wine growing area but you can still buy good wine cheaply here.
- The French do love food
- There are many small scale producers who still follow the old traditional methods
- The food is closer to being organic
- Because the land is cheap you can easily afford enough to grow your own food organically
More information: Where to eat in France, the Lakes of the Haute-Charente
Limousin is clean and healthy
I have outlined the reasons why the food produced here is good, but Limousin also offers an all round healthier lifestyle. I've already dealt with the excellent diet, but you also benefit from:
- There is little traffic and few chemicals used here so the air is clean
- There are plenty of opportunities for sport, walking, golf, cycling, swimming, running, riding and water sports
More information: A vacation in France for fitness and health
Limousin has ADSL to make running a business easier
We were one of the first (rural) areas in France to receive ADSL making this a haven for people who can work some or all of the time on line. One of the reasons that Limousin is cheap is the lack of work here, but of course, all that could change if people no longer have to 'go to work'. Already the area is populated with web designers, on line marketers as well as publishers, artists and writers.
It's cheaper to live in Limousin
In Limousin you will find that you can't live on thin air. Forget being able to live on a hand full of pennies and make your own jam. Sugar isn't all that cheap! You still have unavoidable costs, running a car is essential, taxes, heating in winter all have to be paid for. However, you'll have saved thousands on your house, there is no road tax, the habitation tax is much lower than Britain and as there is almost no crime, you'll save a fortune in insurance. You can grow your own food and save a lot of money in this way. You can keep chickens, geese, goats and other livestock. You can be a real River Cottage. It's cheap to buy woodland and fell your own firewood, although, remember you'll need a trailer and chain saw.
You can save money on:
- Property taxes
Limousin is a great place for kids
Limousin is a great place to bring up kids. There is plenty of good, clean space for them. If they suffer from health problems associated with pollution, allergies, colds and flue, asthma, chest infections etc you'll see a rapid improvement. My son had eczema which cleared up within weeks of his arrival here. Of course my son is fluent in French. It is also good for:
- Schooling with traditional academic and standards of behaviour
- Clean environment
- Health service
- They will be bilingual - a great start in life
- Safe from crime and the fear of crime
- Plenty of healthy, outdoor pursuits
A great place to retire to
The good weather, low crime, good health services and healthy environment mean that France is a great place to retire in. In addition, you might be financially better off because people who are likely to be better off being taxed in France are pensioners. Jennie Poate, Normandy based consultant specialists in French financial planning says, 'France isn't the high tax country that everyone thinks it is. Some groups of people can be better off than they would be in the UK'.
Should you consider moving to France?
Good health services
The excellent health service you can enjoy here is good for children, but also for the rest of the family. If you are retiring, you might find that you need to use the health services more. In France you'll find that you can see the doctor immediately, that they will stop at nothing to find out what the problem is and that you can see specialists quickly. Once diagnosed, you will be treated very quickly.
You must verify, however, that you will be able to get health cover here as this is a bit of a grey area now.
You can buy property in France easily and safely
I regularly read horror stories about the experiences of people buying in Spain, only to find that their purchases are void, the deeds don't exist etc etc. Italy is also a minefield, but France is relatively safe. You will, though, have to ensure that you have gone through all the correct channels and had your deeds checked through by somebody who is knowledgeable, bilingual and impartial. Take advice from local people before buying. At Les Trois Chenes we are always happy to help out with contacts.
Are you interested in buying property in Limousin?
This is a wonderful area, the people are welcoming, the weather is agreeable and the landscape superb. However, this article is specifically about why you should buy property here. I love it here but not everyone is the same. Have a look at the articles below to see if you have thought through your choice of area and check out some of the pitfalls.
Do feel free to leave your comments below, I'd love to hear from you.
Other useful links if you're thinking of moving to France
- Taxes in France
French taxes are higher than American taxes and are among the highest worldwide. However, this is compensated by the fact that the French government offers more services in the areas of retirement benefits, child care and health care.
- Help with language and property buying
Richard Ware is a bilingual French specialist who can help to guide you through the maze of buying a property in France
- Buying a House in France - Where to buy
Buying a house in France, living the dream... but where to buy? La belle France, so beautiful, so romantic... so cheap?! With property prices in France being substantially less than their British equivalent where should you look to make your credit c
- Why move to France?
Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with fairy tales. Castles and princesses. So the first time I visited France I must admit that I fell in love at first sight. Listening to French...
- Buying a house in France - The Pitfalls
Thinking of buying a house in France? We all dream of the perfect French holiday getaway but the French house dream can become a nightmare unless you plan ahead and avoid the pitfalls.
- Buying old property in France
France offers some of the best value for money properties in Europe. Probably it is the only country where you can still afford to buy a renaissance castle in the countryside or a large barn with acres of...
Help with your propery search. There are many good estate agents in the area, here I make no excuse for give you just one name, Mary Velthoek, my friend and colleague, and runs La Roseraie B and B in Rochechouart. (I am biased, she is professional)
- Welcome en Limousin, tourism and accommodation in Limousin, Limoges, south West France, business opp
Fishing for ideas for your stay in Limousin region?Creuse, Corrze and Haute-Vienne : bed and breakfast, hotels, restaurants, places to visit, things to do, estates agencies, insurance company.Welcome en Limousin promotes local tourism and economy to
- Welcome to etceteraonline
etcetera Online - etcetera is an english language magazine inf the Limousin region of France.
© 2010 Les Trois Chenes
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