French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Love France… French winter food to keep you warm

It’s freezing outside, so we thought we would warm you up with three French winter favorites. Originally from the French Alps, raclette, tartiflette and fondue are very popular throughout France, and are not only delicious, but are also great fun to eat – especially in a group after a long day on the ski slopes.

   chalet

Raclette
Although it is said to be originally from Switzerland, raclette is the most popular winter dish in France. It is made of raclette cheese that is put on boiled potatoes and accompanied with a large choice of dried meat (“charcuterie”), and pickled onions and cucumber. The cheese used to be melted in the chimney, but now people use a special machine with several small frying pans. This machine is put in the middle of the table and is used by all guests to melt their cheese, which makes the meal interactive and great fun! Throughout winter, French supermarkets have entire sections of raclette kits and charcuterie plateaus made especially for the dish.

raclette

Tartiflette

Tartiflette is a gratin made of tartiflette cheese, potatoes, onions and bacon. It comes from the region of Savoie, in the French Alps. It is very rich, so make sure you build up an appetite first with a long walk or a good ski session!

tartiflette

Fondue savoyarde
Made of bread dipped into melted cheese, the “fondue savoyarde”, also simply called “fondue”, is not to be mixed up with “fondue bourguignonne”, which is made of meat plunged into boiling oil. As its name indicates, fondue savoyarde also comes from Savoie and is the French version of a Swiss recipe. It is made of a mix of three melted cheeses called Comté, Beaufort, and Reblochon (or another local cheese) with white wine. The mix is put in a communal pot above a set of candles or a stove to keep it hot. People each have a long fork to dip the bread into the cheese. Eating a fondue is certainly a group activity, and people often make it even more fun by giving a forfeit (“gage”) to anyone who drops their bread into the cheese. A modern variation of this traditional meal is the chocolate fondue, which consists in dipping bits of fresh fruits in melted chocolate.

fondue

Language buddy…
Fromage = cheese
Appareil à raclette = raclette machine
Charcuterie = dried meat
Donner un gage = to give a forfeit

Bon appétit !

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What can you buy for under €100k? Prepare to be amazed…

In the spirit of the January sales and the fact that France is still carpeted with bargain homes, we give you a taste of what you can get for under 100k. From Brittany to the Dordogne and the Alps, here are a few of the best.

A slice of Breton chateau – €77k

under 100k 1

http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/66439CBR29/apartment-for-sale-in-plouhinec-finistere-brittany-france

No you don’t get the whole lot, but a very spacious and elegant furnished one-bed apartment in Finistere is a perfect holiday pad, or investment property.

Charming cottage in the Dordogne, €99k

under 100k 2

http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/67522JS24/house-for-sale-in-champagne-et-fontaine-dordogne-aquitaine-france

On the edge of the pretty and delightfully named village of Champagne et Fontaine this is a blue-shuttered three-bed cottage ideal with barn and garden.

Beautiful house in the Poitou-Charentes, €88k

under 100k 3

http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/52825SC86/house-for-sale-in-luchapt-vienne-poitou-charentes-france

You don’t get much more pretty and affordable than this. Close to the Vienne riverside town of L’Isle Jourdain, this is a characterful three-bed country cottage.

Here are our favorite 50 homes for sale for under €100K: http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/pow_01

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Show season starts again!

Don’t dither about whether this year might be the year to buy in France – kick-start your property hunt with a visit to The France Show from 27th–29th January.

jan France show

We’ll be at London’s Olympia for this highly popular show that makes for a great day out. Our friendly agents from all areas of France will be there, ready to answer your questions on any aspect of French life and the property buying process – you’ll soon see why we’ve been voted the best estate agency in France for four years running.

Come and say hello and pick up a copy of the latest Leggett Magazine.

We can even give you free tickets direct from our website.

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Your French property investment: making the most of a holiday home

With interest rates set to remain low, and real estate still one of the best performing types of asset, more people are looking to buy a property with investment in mind.

newsletter jan holiday home

Our sales team reports an increase of people looking for a property that can earn them an income – both in capital appreciation but especially rental returns. But how to ensure that you are successful in attracting holiday rentals in what is a fairly competitive business these days?

The key is choosing a property that is well located (for transport and airports) as well as one that is appealing to a large target market in that area – and is perhaps that little bit better than many of the rest.

Can you offer a something different, like cookery classes or bikes to borrow? Consider locations that offer year-round appeal (golf, mountains, cities).

You need to invest in presenting it and marketing it well – on the leading holiday rentals portals – and make sure you have a good management system in place on the ground to deal with guests and any problems that might arise.

Also, keep it legal: check out insurance, safety guidelines and any local restrictions on short-term rentals.

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What do we forecast for 2017?

After a strong and dramatic 2016, demand for French property has kept up fuelled by factors such as low interest rates and low prices.

French-English flag 2017_3

But what now? “Don’t believe some of the headlines about the Brexit effect,” says Trevor Leggett, Chairman of Leggett Immobilier. “Sales to British buyers dropped slightly in the second half of the year, but nothing too significant and British buyers still see French property prices as being incredibly attractive.”

He adds that is has been a great year for French property. The market is well and truly on the up with total sales numbers increasing by 15% in the last 12 months. This is the highest sales volume seen since the “crise financière” of 2008.

The Notaires de France report that buyers have sensed the end of falling prices and are taking advantage of the historically low interest rates to make the most of this “moment opportun”. Demand varies regionally – with Bordeaux, Nantes and Toulouse showing price rises – and buyer profile has changed slightly with more holiday-home hunters rather than retirees.

There have been increased sales to American, Australian and, in particular, Scandinavian buyers. “But if I had to tip one area in 2017 I’d say the towns and villages around Bordeaux should see a ripple effect,” adds Trevor. “This is currently one of the fashionable cities of the world and train times to Paris are being cut to around two hours.

Have a look at properties for sale in the area: http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/pubtown/bordeaux

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