Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Smoke alarms

The installation of smoke detectors is going to become a legal requirement in all French homes from 2015. The new regulations recently issued by the French government apply to both existing homes as well as new build properties.
There has been some confusion concerning who has the responsibility for the installation of the alarms in rental properties, but it appears to fall upon the occupant of the property, except for seasonal and furnished lettings. Once the installation has been carried out, the owners / tenants need to notify their insurer.
It is perhaps surprising that currently only a minute percentage (around 2%) of the 33 million properties in France are equipped with a smoke detector. This is a measure with a long lead in time, as the legislation was first passed in the French Parliament in 2005.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Early drought in the Poitou Charentes ?

We seem to have by-passed Spring and gone straight into Summer with lovely temperatures throughout the middle of April and virtually cloudless blue skies.

But this is coming at a cost since 8 departments have seen the imposition of summer-style water restrictions. Those worst hit by the drought are Seine-et-Marne, Essonne and Val-de-Marne which are on maximum restrictions with water even being banned for irrigating agricultural crops. Also affected are the Deux-Sèvres and Charente-Maritime where prefects have asked consumers and producers to reduce their usage. The neighbouring Charente and Vienne are also on a low-level alert. We have had virtually no rain now for three months and there is a real risk of drought if there is no rain in the weeks to come. The forecast is less favourable for the Easter weekend, but not a lot of rainfall predicted.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Property with the WOW factor

It is rare for me to get too excited about a property - we see so many during the course of a year. It is unheard of for me to go overboard about a modern property - until now !
A fabulous ensemble made up of a stunning modern property built in 2006 and an ancient fully restored Maison d’Amis, set in one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”.
The principal accommodation is approached from a gravelled drive with ample parking for several cars. The entrance to the house is through a choice of double patio doors into the 72m² lounge and dining area. The 2 large sliding windows (into wall cavity) lead onto the sun terrace with spectacular views. Flooring is quality wood laminate and there is a “Jotul” wood burner. There are also two oil filled electric radiators and satellite TV installed. The stylish 27m² kitchen is open to the lounge and has a feature island, and includes quality white goods including a dishwasher, washing machine, American fridge / freezer with ice-maker, electric oven, and microwave. The floor is the kitchen is a lovely ceramic tile. There is an electric oil filled radiator and a cavity sliding window to the terrace.
The guest bedroom is 10.24m² and has a wood laminate floor, oil filled electric radiator and a double window. There is a mirror fronted double wardrobe and chest of drawers. The guest shower room is 6m² with ceramic tiled walls and wood laminate floor. Comprising of a large glass shower cubicle, a modern wooden vanity unit, mirror fronted storage system, extractor fan and heated towel rail.
A modern spiral staircase from the lounge to a mezzanine office / 3rd bedroom area of 15m². Having a broadband connection, in-built storage area, electric convector heater, velux window with blind and fitted carpet. A 4m² shower room is adjacent to this with ceramic tiled walls and flooring. There is a large glass door shower cubicle, WC, glass and chrome vanity unit, extractor fan, heated towel rail and mirror fronted storage system.
Also on the 1st floor is the 16 m2 Master bedroom with it’s own 6m² walk-in wardrobe. There is a fitted 1.5m x 2 m bed, velux window with blind, fitted carpets, chest of drawers and electric convector heater.
The whole property is double glazed, and furniture is available by negotiation. Outside there is a superb sun terrace 125m² with great views, plus a 3m80 x 3m40 natural stone floored pool and outside shower.
The Maison d’Amis / rental cottage is well away from the main house and has two floors each of 30m². and can produce seasonal rental income of 10,000 Euros. The accommodation consists of on the ground floor a kitchen/lounge/dining area with electric hob, microwave / combi oven, dishwasher, ceramic tiled floor, oil filled electric radiator and encased 50 litre hot water system. A glass fronted door leads to the outside decking and barbecue area. There is an integral wooden staircase leading to the bedroom with built-in wardrobe, satellite TV and en-suite shower room.
There is outside access to the pool area from a glass panelled door. There is a block built and ceramic tiled pool with decking and outside shower, benefiting from more fantastic views. The whole is of this property is also double glazed. It is maintained in 1st class condition and has a large garden amounting to 6,600m², very rare in a village such as this. The situation within one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” does qualify this property as something extra special. With the 2 beautiful swimming pools, and rental income potential, it is something that will have great appeal. No work required at all – just bring your suitcases. Just 30 minutes from the recently opened Brive / Vallée de la Dordogne airport.
Priced just in excess of 500,000 Euros

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Top Choice

A revealing article in the French magazine "Télé-Star" has been followed up in a newspaper article in "La Montagne", highlighting the fact that the parents of Katie Middleton own a house in the Dordogne valley, seen as a great escape, and visited several times by Katie.
Until now, a well-guarded secret, the property is close to Beaulieu sur Dordogne, a beautiful market town with several restaurants and of course the River Dordogne flowing through it.
Next month sees the famous "Fete de la Fraise", since Bealieu is the capital of the strawberry growing area, when there will be a crowd of around 10,000 to see the event.
The Middleton's have used the new Brive / Vallée de la Dordogne airport, great value at 59 Euros each way, including baggage allowance and hospitality on the flight.
The Limousin has fantastic investment potential and has been featured recently in most of the major Sunday papers. In a recent survey carried out by Channel 4's "A Place in the Sun" this region was ranked as one of the top 5 property investment destinations in the world ! The new airport Brive / Vallée de la Dordogne will increase property values in this lovely picturesque area.

Friday, 1 April 2011

New technology - new energy

The terrible situation in Japan has the entire world looking at how it produces energy, both for today, and of course, in the future. France is heavily dependant upon nuclear power, and has invested heavily in wind turbines, "éoliens", but they have many critics due to their lack of power when there is no wind, or indeed too much. Indeed, with an estimated life span of 20 years, it takes them 15 years to break even, so there is a period of just 5 years when they are profitable. The impact that they have on the landscape divides opinion, but they do have a negative impact upon house prices. In the Corrèze there is just one wind farm, at Peyrelevade, producing 9 MW of electricity. In comparison, a large solar powered plant has been built at Saint Priest de Gimel, producing 24 MW of electricity. Given the low impact on the surrounding area, and the excellent sunshine records in south western France, surely this is a better way to proceed. Peter Elias (Agent Commercial) www.allez-francais.com