As cities and countries continue to re-open, this is the perfect time to begin working on your plans to live, work and invest in France.
Living in France for several years, Adrian Leeds has accumulated valuable experience and information as well as developed valuable contacts. She is able to assist you as much as possible and when necessary, put you in contact with one or more of our professional associates to provide the help you need.
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Provence from the Train - by Patty Sadauskas
Train Station - Gare Aix en Provence
Lavender Field from the Train - by Patty Sadauskas
I'm on the train as I write this, headed south toward Nice for the summer, but passing via Provence, not far from one of my favorite towns, Lourmarin. I first discovered it about 20 years ago on a week-long excursion to Provence, fell in love and returned year after year.
If I were going there now, I'd get off the train at Aix-en-Provence (3 hours from Paris), and find it just a 45-minute drive away. Picking up a rental car from the TGV station is easy. I've done it at least a dozen times, then driving around the region — the Massif du Luberon in the department of the Vaucluse — is pure heaven. As I gaze out of the train window, I am reminded of its beauty and tranquility among the vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields, rolling hills and stone villages.
Lourmarin is one of the region’s most desirable enclaves and not surprisingly was ranked among the most beautiful in France. Lourmarin serves as an ideal base for visiting all the cities of Provence, including Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles and the villages of the Luberon and beyond. The famous port city of Marseille is less than an hour’s drive away (with an international airport).
Located between two valleys, the Durance and the Calavon not far from the town of Apt, the village is located at the entrance of a passage dug by the river Aiguebrun in the limestone mountains of the Luberon. Famous international figures have been drawn to Lourmarin, such as French authors Albert Camus and Henri Bosco (who are buried in the village cemetery), as well as English author Peter Mayle (“A Year in Provence”), who helped bring world-wide attention to the area. The village can also boast of gastronomic delight with Reine Sammut’s Michelin Star restaurant, Auberge La Fenière. There are no less than four other Michelin-starred restaurants within 15 minutes drive! Punctuating the village’s landscape is the 15th-century Château de Lourmarin, reminding us all of its aristocratic heritage.
Then, there's Les Olivettes.
Les Olivettes is like no other luxuriously renovated farmhouse in France. It is a proven revenue-generating property...if that’s what you have in mind. Or maybe you want it all to yourself, your family and friends. Either way, you’ll never forget your life and times there.
When you first drive up to the house and park (which allows for several cars), you are surrounded by the approximately 65 mature, fruit-bearing olive trees (which produce about 100L of olive oil a year) and landscaped Provençal gardens. You will immediately fall in love and that love affair will never end. The peace and quiet of the grounds is adorned by a large swimming pool, covered with Bisazza mosaic tiles, with its own cabana.
The house itself is comprised of six self-catering double suites, with a terrace, a large bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen — each like its own studio apartment. Every apartment is decorated and furnished in traditional Provençal style, each with its own colors and personality.
To bring everyone together, the heart of the house is a large and spacious living and dining room under a tall cathedral ceiling with flooring of handmade Vernin terra cotta tiles. This is where everyone will gather, relax, dine and dream. From here through the large windows there is a perfect view of the Château and the landscape surrounding Lourmarin. Adjacent there is a large sunny central kitchen, a laundry room and powder room for everyone to enjoy.
On an upper level is a large furnished terrace with an outdoor kitchen for your family barbecues and lazy summer evenings well into the night.
Because the house was built in the 20th-century, it has modern features such as a crawl space throughout, and a basement for the furnace and storage. The total surface area of the land is approximately 3800m2, of which the house occupies 300m2 and the swimming pool of 90m2.
Les Olivettes could easily generate 150,000€ income per year. Designed and successfully operated as a Bed & Breakfast over a 20-year period ending in 2019, it benefits on average from 4.5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. It is unique among local B&B establishments in that each apartment includes a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a private terrace.
The establishment is a turn-key revenue-generator as a Bed & Breakfast. Other business opportunities available for an investor may be a kind of co-living property, in which guests rent the rooms for periods of several weeks to several months. This business model, while possibly generating less revenue, would also involve less work.
The local personnel having operated the business (greeting, cleaning, and maintenance) remain available to any future owner. As a new owner, you may wish to refresh the décor, but that’s entirely up to you.
Asking Price: 1,350,000€ (agency fee included) The price also includes an estimated 45,000€ in furnishings. (This reduces the listed price on the deed and reduces your notarial taxes and fees.)
Annual ownership and operating costs Property taxes: €3,000/year Electricity: €2,300/year (approximation) Water: €600/year (approximation) Canal de Provence (pool and garden): €450/year Heating oil (when full): €3-4,500/year
Click here to see more photos and a full description including a floor plan and videos walking you through the property.
For more information, contact the Adrian Leeds Group: email Carsten Sprotte or by phone at +33 6 26 08 12 94.
If Les Olivettes doesn't suit you, then the Village House in the heart of Lourmarin just might!
We call it "Lourmarin Village House with a View" because it's much more than a just a classic Village House. It has a view worth a million words.
The ancient stone house, one of the oldest in the village, sits at the top of Lourmarin on rue de Panier. It has an expansive rooftop terrace filled with earthen pots and plants and a covered dining area on which you could perch for hours on end taking in the breathtaking views of the Château de Lourmarin and the valley and hills of the Luberon. Built into the rock, remnants of which are inside the house, you can actually access the summit of the town from the terrace!
Unlike most village houses in Provence, you can drive a car into its gated space at the front of the house on the ground level courtyard. This alone is a big advantage because you’ll want a vehicle with which to explore the beautiful region when you’re not languishing in the house or on the terrace.
Up one short flight of stairs is a balcony overlooking the courtyard and the main entry to the house. On this level is a roomy master suite with a bathroom (shower) en suite and an adjacent office with mezzanine — the kind of “nest” in which a writer can easily dream and pen eloquent passages.
On the other side of the hall, you’ll find a second bedroom with an independent full bathroom (with a tub) and a third windowless small bedroom or office…or whatever you wish to make of it.
Head to the third level up a staircase walled with stone — this is where life is seriously worth living. First you come to a large one-time kitchen, now more used as a laundry room, with the potential of being much more. Just a few steps further and you will land in the large, main eat-in kitchen that has immediate access to the terrace and outdoor dining.
Head steps to the adjacent wing on this same level and you will find a dining room and further on is a spacious living room with large windows and magnificent views of the landscape at your toes. Centuries-old beams are exposed throughout the house, as is the original stone.
Under the main living areas, on the ground level which has two separate entrances, you’ll find four vaulted-ceiling rooms that would make a perfect artisan’s “atelier” (workshop) with a toilet and two sinks. Two of the rooms are very large and two are smaller, each of which could be used in different ways.
Accessible from these rooms, as well as from the street, is a two-level apartment. This is the perfect spot for a caretaker, or the artist whose atelier is at his elbow.
Keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter is easy. There is a mini-split air-conditioner/heat pump in the living room. In other rooms, ceiling fans and portable air-conditioning units throughout keep it cool in the dead of the summer heat. The stone structure and thick wooden shutters also help to keep the house comfortably cool most of the year.
The total surface area of the house is 200m2 with 160m2 considered habitable (rooms without egress are not considered habitable).
As an organic form shaped by the cliff itself, there are a number of quirky aspects of this house that a creative thinker would turn into amazingly wonderful attributes. No, there’s nothing quite like this particular village house...anywhere.
Asking Price: 495,000€ (agency fee included) The price also includes an estimated 20,000€ in furnishings. (This reduces the listed price on the deed and reduces your notarial taxes and fees.)
P.S. Can't get to France any time soon? No worries. We have many clients buying "sight unseen" for now...because the sale process takes several months and that gives you plenty of time to come verify the purchase! And, you will surely want to be ready for next year's season! So, don't hesitate to contact us about either of these fine properties before it's too late: email Carsten Sprotte or phone Carsten at +33 6 26 08 12 94.
Property Relocation Services: Long Term Rental Apartments
Long-term rental apartments” are any furnished or unfurnished apartments available for rent from 1 month to 3 years. Apartments in Paris of this kind are difficult to find and even more difficult to secure – even for the locals.
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