The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 23

Welcome to the summer! In this issue discover Dijon in Burgundy, sensational Strasbourg (and a secret speakeasy), and lovely Cognac. We'll tell you where the locals go on holiday, the secret places. Visit Versailles and the Paris Opera, Le Touquet - the "Monaco" of northern France and wild Provence. Guides, recipes and more - your trip to France without leaving home...

Historic MONUMENTS Jane

Historic MONUMENTS Jane Berry heads Leggett Immobilier's prestige property department and gives valuable advice about buying and selling a Monument Historique… FRANCE IS RENOWNED THE world over for its outstanding collection of historic buildings. Châteaux in particular are strategically scattered the length and breadth of the country. The Loire valley is just one of 38 listed UNESCO World Heritage sites in France, attracting 3.3 million visitors a year and the Loire river forms a valuable part of the architectural heritage of towns such as Amboise, Chenonceau, Saumur and Chinon. Simple barns, Cistercian abbeys, ancient fortresses and fairy tale châteaux all have one thing in common; they have the potential for preservation and protection under France’s cultural heritage scheme known as Monument Historique (MH). Buildings may be listed as Classé, for properties considered of national importance, or Inscrit (ISMH) for properties of regional or local value. This includes smaller châteaux and country houses. There are currently around 45,000 listed properties in France, of which nearly half are privately owned. Properties may have just an element of Monument Historique classification, for instance a staircase, a fireplace, or garden balustrade etc, whilst the rest of the building is not listed. “TV Shows; Escape to the Chateau, and especially Escape to the Chateau DIY have had an astonishing effect on the château buying market in France. We see a huge surge in visitors to the Leggett website straight after each show ends. The programmes showing ordinary people buying and doing up extraordinary buildings in France seems to have ignited our sense of romance and dreams, of preserving something important as well as living the good life and sometimes creating a successful business”.

This Château is classified as a Monument Historique since 1969 due to its facades roof and parkland... Details Whilst the Prestige property department typically showcases properties that are at the top of the range, there are some amazing châteaux at incredible prices including a gorgeous, completed renovated château in Normandy which at £535k is about what you’d pay for a 2-bedroom flat in London SE13. "Remember though” advises Jane “although the price may be affordable, there’s the upkeep to consider, so you need to go into this aware of the maintenance expenses, which will be ongoing”. The Leggett main property website also has many châteaux for sale including those in need of “doing up” and are typically at lower prices. Many château owners feel their castles are too large for use simply as a family home, and Jane is often asked if they can be used to create a business? Hotel or wedding venue perhaps? Sandy Guyonnet, Leggett's inhouse Notaire explains that all business activities are possible within an historic monument, as long as the requirements/conditions imposed by the Planning Office and the Architecte des Bâtiments de France (ABF) regarding the business (i.e health and safety requirements, are met. Monument Historique means: building /object is of French historical importance, either nationally or locally and therefore needs to be preserved.