The term chateau is given to properties in France which can either be medieval fortresses, palaces or large stately homes.
Many believe a chateau is a French castle, however this is not the case unless the building is referred to as a “Chateau Fort”.
The first chateaux that were built in France were predominantly owned by those in French royalty or nobility.
However this later progressed to others also being granted a chateau, such as those with high ranks in local authorities.
The chateaux size and quality would usually be correlated with local demographics of the time;
i.e. Those in French Royalty who lived near to the wealthy areas of the country would often have large, grand chateaux, whereas the chateaux located in poorer areas would resemble the local power and wealth of the owner – smaller and not as grand.
The owners of chateaux were largely self-sufficient from their surrounding lands and would have a number of people working for them, such as gatekeepers, gardeners, stable workers and maids, who would live in outbuildings located in the enclosed lands.
In modern times, these enclosed lands are predominantly used for vineyards, especially in the Bordeaux region of France.
Search above for a broad range of chateaux for sale in France, or continue reading to find out more about the types of chateaux for sale in France.
The types of chateaux for sale in France will vary greatly. As stated at the beginning of this article; The size and quality of the chateau will depend largely upon the location.
Areas such as the southeast of France and the Riviera will have chateaux for sale at a substantially higher price than those located in northern/central France.
With an estimated 40,000 chateaux in France, there will definitely be one for sale to suit your specification.
Chateaux are not always extravagantly large stately homes with vast amounts of land.
There are various chateaux for sale in France which are fairly small. These small chateaux in France are usually found in or near to small, rural villages.
On average you should expect to be paying around £450,000 and upwards for small chateaux which are not requiring renovation and are habitable.
Purchasing one of the many chateaux for sale in France need not break your bank. For under £300,000 you can find various types of Chateau for sale.
Usually, the cheapest chateaux for sale will require extensive renovation. However, those that do not require renovation will be fairly small compared to the averaged size chateau.
Although, saying this, there are chateaux for sale in Central parts of France for sale for under £300,000 with 5 bedrooms and a small piece of land.
Due to the age of the majority of the chateaux for sale in France, one thing is for certain; that there are a wealth of chateaux available requiring renovation.
Again, depending on the size and location of the chateau, you could be spending anywhere between £300,000 and £5,000,000 just to purchase the property.
When purchasing a chateau that requires renovation, it is of upmost importance to thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior before completion, as to obtain a rough estimate of the required renovation costs.
When they were first constructed, chateaux would frequently have substantial land to allow the owner, and the staff, to live sustainably from the land.
The majority of chateaux for sale in modern times have had a large portion of their land already sold off to farmers, however a large number of chateaux will still have a few acres of land included in the sale.
Depending on the location, for land, you should expect to be spending around;
Near to the more wealthy areas of France, there are a significant number of expensive, large chateaux for sale.
Usually, the large chateaux will have over 8 bedrooms in the main house, accompanied with one or two small outbuildings.
However, you can find some chateaux which are much larger- there are a number of chateaux containing over 20 bedrooms, in the main house alone!
For these larger chateaux for sale in France, you should be ready with a budget of at least £1,500,000 for the initially purchase cost, plus at least another £100,000 for any renovation or maintenance works.
Discover chateaux for sale in France with vineyards included. Fancy owning your own vineyard? Check out the available chateaux with vineyards here.
You will frequently find chateaux for sale with various crops being grown on the land, most commonly vineyards, especially in the southern areas of France such as the Dordogne, Provence and Occitanie regions.
Upon purchase of a chateau with vineyards, you will usually take ownership of the land and thus be required to maintain the wine-making business of the chateau.
French chateaux can be vast properties – some contain over 20 bedrooms. Since the properties can date back to the 14th century and are constructed from stone, you will face large heating bills.
Keeping sufficient heating is just the beginning of the large costs of owning a chateau in France.
It is estimated that a medium sized chateau will cost around €85,000 per year to maintain.
Renovation – On top of the large heating bills which you will encounter, a large proportion of chateaux will require vast amounts of renovation; From leaking roofs to reinstalling all of the plumbing.
Interior upkeep – Since the chateau you purchase could be an extremely large property, you’ll most likely require a maid service to upkeep the interior.
Along with cleaning, you may also need to consider hiring an onsite maintenance worker to deal with any problems that occur.
Outdoor maintenance – The majority of chateaux for sale in France come with a considerable amount of land.
Unless you can dedicate a large proportion of your time to gardening, then you’ll need to consider hiring an outdoor maintenance worker(s).
Management of any business – Various chateaux for sale in France will have a working business attached, such as a vineyard or bakery.
Purchasing the chateau will mean you will take responsibility of managing the business.
Wealth tax – Depending on the total amount of your assets, if above €800,000, you will pay between 0.55% and 1.8% in wealth tax.
Although the French property market has shown year on year growth, compared to the UK, rural parts of France have exceptionally cheap property for sale, when compared with the UK.
It should be noted that small – medium sized chateaux are not much less expensive than in the UK due to a high demand, however the large chateaux for sale in France are around 30-40% the price of the equivalent sized property in the UK.
Many have the dream of retiring and living off of their land in a fairytale-like chateau in France, and a considerable number of people make this dream a reality.
Owning a chateau in France allows you to take ownership of, and conserve a long line of French history.
However, unless you are able to sustain a substantial annual outlay for upkeep and maintenance of the chateau, it may not be the route for you.
As previously mentioned, you should ensure that have substantial funds available if you are to undertake renovations on a chateau in France.
Not only will renovation work cost a significant amount of money, but the running costs – heating, interior maintenance, outdoor maintenance and management of vineyard (if applicable), will also need to be factored into your budget.
Prior to purchasing a chateau in France, ensure you have a clear budget set out, speak to as many people as possible about their experiences of living in a chateau and if possible, speak to previous owners of the chateau.
Owning and preserving a historic chateau in France can be a dream for many, however with knowledge of the work and costs involved, you may be slightly put off. Further to this, do not purchase a chateau in France if you are on a tight or limited budget.