Buying a house in France
Investing in French property can see you choosing from a huge variety of different properties from slick city apartments to mountain retreats.
Searching for the perfect property is complicated but pleasurable and can be made even more enjoyable if you are familiar with the terms used to describe different properties.
Chateau (Plural Chateaux)
A chateau is an impressive country house or castle. Usually the residence of the nobility or gentry, a chateau usually comes with land and may or may not be fortified with a gatehouse. It usually comes with outbuildings such as stables, bake houses and servants quarters.
A fermette is a small farmhouse in French, usually built of stone. Many have been renovated, keeping their original features where possible, others need renovation or perhaps just re-decoration. The fermette would have a small main house with a large functional kitchen, come with land and a few outbuildings, like a barn.
Originally an upper-class, luxurious country house in its own grounds, larger and more expensive than average.
A Bastide was originally a mediaeval town built in the 13 and 14th centuries, strategically located in the countryside in the south of France. These days a bastide home is typically square or rectangular, built out of stone and tiled throughout with unique design features such as round archways and flat roofs. Many bastide homes in the south of France have been renovated into large, expensive country dwellings.
This is a French term used to describe medium to large houses usually in the South of France. A Mas can be either a bastide or traditional farmhouse property or even an estate located in the Provence region.
Domaine translates into English as 'estate'. This would be a large plot of land for a specific purpose such as grape farming, golfing or hunting.
Translated as 'Longhouse'. A longere is a rectangular rural property found all over France but more common in the north, it would commonly be built with materials available in the region, such as granite.
Maison de Maitre
This term literally means 'Master's house'. Typically this would be a large country home with high ceilings, four main rooms on each floor and be built with ornate decorative features.
Maison a Colombages
This would be a half timbered house with exposed wooden framework, reminiscent of English Tudor architecture.
This is a French holiday home which is inexpensive, usually self-catering and comes furnished and equipped. Gites are generally converted outbuildings which are found close to the owner's residence. It is quite common to see a farmhouse for sale with one or two gites on the property.
So with the right lingo all that’s left to do is search for a home which suits you while you hire a world renowned removals company to deal with the mundane issues of packing and moving your stuff to your dream home.
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