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House Hunting in France: A Nineteenth-Century Chateau Outside Bergerac


The agricultural Dordogne department of France, which encompasses Bergerac and the commune of Saint-Front-de-Pradoux, “stays probably the most sought-after of French countryside house-buying destinations, as it truly is as everyone imagines the countryside needs to be,” said Harris Raphael, founder and owner of Pioneer France, which focuses on Dordogne properties. “The preferred house stays an exquisite stone farmhouse property set in around one to 5 acres of land, with a swimming pool and, if possible, a guesthouse, not too removed from commerce and amenities.”

Mr. Raphael’s agency lists such a property at 2.3 million euros, and one other similar in feel with a gabled roof, more modestly priced at 492,500 euros. (The euro, which has fallen to its lowest level in years, is currently exchanging at roughly an equal rate with the U.S. dollar.)

Prices in the realm, he noted, have increased 5 to 10 percent yr over yr. “Properties with none particular negatives which might be accurately priced are selling way more quickly now, and with so much less, if any, negotiating,” he said.

Gonzague Le Nail, owner of the Le Nail real estate agency, which focuses on chateaus and castles throughout France, called the realm “a beautiful region with a fairly regular value,” where tourists and buyers come for “a really specific landscape and architecture.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said, sales have depleted his portfolio by two-thirds, with many buyers choosing the tranquil countryside. “Twenty years ago, there was no motorway, and also you accessed this area through tiny roads with guaranteed protection from noise,” he said. “Covid really modified people’s lives, and so they are more keen to return to the country for this experience.”

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