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Languedoc Property:   Types of House

While most "Anglo-Saxons" want a crumbling ancient picturesque stone-built farmhouse, the average local would only consider a smart, small, modern, pink, brick villa with a small garden, commonly found in modern suburban estates on the outskirts of towns.  Before the flights to Carcassonne you could buy an old farm for less than the ugliest modern concrete suburban horror. But no longer.  All the farms are gone, and when new ones come on the market they sell for many times what they would have fetched a few years ago.  

All this has had knock-on effects.  For one thing the French who laughed so much at foolish foreigners buying ruins have had second thoughts.  Seeing what can be done with decaying old farmhouse has revolutionised popular opinion.  Perhaps those Anglo Saxons weren't quite as stupid as everyone thought.  The charm of a traditional building, hardly recognised ten years ago, is now seen as a most desirable feature.  Also, the rash of suburban modern pink cement villas on the outskirts of nearby towns is being halted by new planning regulation.   

If the farms have been sold, and modern suburban developments are not available, what's left? The answer is stone built village houses that have been falling into ruin for years.  French families and foreign ones are now buying them up.  They're relatively cheap if they don't have a garden - and most don't.  Expect to pay a 100% premium for the few that do, because that's what every one else is looking for too.

Some types of property that you will find in the Languedoc:

Château In France the term Château covers everything from a castle (a Château fort) to a "countrty house" or "stately home". There are not so many medieval castles available now, but you might find anything from a late medieval - early Renaissance chateau fort to a Victorian country house.
Châteaux for sale
Château for sale
  
     
Manoir "Manor": Grand two or three story country house, corresponding to an English manor house, without any vestiges of its feudal connotations other than its architecture (eg a large hall once used as as a court room).
Manoirs for sale

Manoir for sale
 
     
Maison de Maître Large houses, generally in towns. Built by the grand bourgeoisie. Three or four stories high. Typically double fronted and asymmetrical.
Maisons de Maître for sale

Maison de Maître for sale
 
     
Ferme Farm, or small farm "Fermet", often with extra goodies like outbuildings and (redundant) wine making equipment.
Fermes for sale
 
     
Mas Often remote and built next to farm buildings of different heights. Stone walls, canal tile roof, asymmetric arrangement of doors & windows. Often rendered in ochre or beige.
 
     
Granges Barn (conversion). Can be very attractive if well converted. Often looking old and traditional outside but modern and efficient inside.
 
     
Maisons du Village Easy to find as long as you don't want an attached garden. The tradition here is for house owners to have extensive gardens (potagers), orchards (vergers) and woodland scattered around the countryside around a village.
 
     
Chalets Found in mountain areas. Made of Wood, with decorative balconies. Roofs designed to withstand snow. Suitable for nearby winter sports.
Chalets for sale
 
     
Presbyteres Presbyteries (rectories / vicarages). Superior houses. The priest (curé) was generally the most affluent figure in a small community after the seigneur.
 
     
Moulins Water Mills. Lovely in Summer. Lovely but cold in winter.
Moulins for sale
 
     
Hameaux Hamlets. A few years ago it was possible to buy whole hamlets. You're probably too late now, but on ne sait jamais.
 
     
Modern Villas Perfect for people who like pink, and don't mind two year guarantees about structural soundness. On the plus side you can have a garden.
Modern Villas for sale
 
     
Apartments Generally in cities, sometimes in lovely classic old buildings with a traditional central courtyard.
Apartments for sale
 
     
Coastal Apartments Perfect for people who like white, and are prepared to pay twice the price for a similar property inland. If apartment blocks appeal to you, you will find like-minded souls in Argeles-sur-Mer, Gruissan, Saint Cyprien, Port Barcares, Port Leucate and Cap d'Agde.
Coastal Properties for sale
 
     

 

 

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