Before we moved to France we heard of people buying châteaux and we thought to ourselves, “how were they so lucky as to find a château for sale”. Now that we live here we understand why châteaux are so readily available, and so affordable – well the initial investment that is!
Viewers of Channel 4 Escape to the Château and DIY have all seen first hand the owners who sold 2 bed flats in London and exchanged keys (and lifestyle) for a château in France. This past weekend we had the pleasure of visiting two of the châteaux which have been showcased by Dick and Angel Strawbridge: Château du Bailleul and Château de la Basmaignée both of which are located in the Pays de la Loire.
Both of these châteaux are owned by young people who are living the dream. We spoke with the young owner of the Château de la Basmaignée who (with her baby in her arms) told us that they had bought the château just 2 and a half years ago and they already have it set up for weddings, elopements and guest accommodation (look for the vlog which is coming soon on our website www.chateauxescapesfrance.com and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/chateauxescapesfrance. . . . but I digress.
While en route to visit these châteaux we passed at least 4 châteaux of various sizes. We’ve seen first hand that château come in all shapes and sizes so we wondered what constitutes this designation. According to Wikipedia “A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions.”
To give you an idea of just how frequently you meet château owners, since we have been here we have met and befriended the owners of Château La Cour a beautifully renovated manor house where they welcome B&B guests and self catering accommodation. We’ve met the owners of Château de Montvason which is located close to Cherbourg and offers accommodation in their beautifully restored 8 bedrooms they even have a heated indoor pool) as well as hosting events. More recently came a chance meeting with the jovial owners of Château la Garenne, which encomapasses an abbey with a rich history on the 50 acres of grounds.
To make my point, the concept of châteaux for sale being few and far between is a myth, they are literally everywhere. There’s something for every budget just do your homework first so you are fully apprised of the cost of renovation to standard and ongoing running costs.