Hot tips in the Ardèche
The property market in the Ardèche is just brimming with possibilities for home-buyers : new or traditional houses, permanent residences or rental investments, a secluded and well-preserved environment or a more urban setting, all within everyone's financial reach. As summed up by Sylvain Berrée, manager of two agencies in the region : "There aren't any hot tips in the Ardèche ; the entire region is a gift !"...
At the heart of the Châtaigneraie de Saint Pierreville, this fortified house benefits from a wooded park of some 75 acres running along a river. 650.000 €. Eyrieux Immobilier (06 28 34 05 30).
The département of the Ardèche usually conjures up images of wild scenery, very modestly populated, sheltered from outside perturbances by a poor level of accessibility in terms of public transport. While this image is not entirely wrong, it is certainly not complete : the valley of the Rhône, fuelled by the town of Valence, is a lively economic hub providing lots of jobs. Montélimar, Annonay and Aubenas are also centres of activity enabling the working population to live comfortably in the region. And access to urban centres is provided, even from small towns, through an efficient network of bus services.
The main assets of the Ardèche are, of course, its traditional buildings, "mas" built of schist, sandstone or granite, hiding in vales sheltered from all human activity. These properties are the speciality of the Capital Pierre agency, based in Vernoux-en-Vivarais in the centre of the département. According to managing director Vivian Flohic : "These typical houses comprising the largest part of our portfolio account for very buoyant activity". Whether young retirees wanting to settle in the region or the actively employed looking for holiday homes, the agency's clients come "from all over France, drawn by the proximity of the TGV station in Valence, our very appealing property prices, and the Mediterranean climate. It's not the south, but it's very much like it !". Vivian Flohic thus proposes a stone family residence at the crossroads of the villages of Vernoux, Lamastre and Le Cheylard. In perfect condition, it offers living space of 160 m2, a vaulted cellar, garage and swimming pool. A sunny outlook and a lovely panoramic view, all for 235,000 €. In a more isolated site, nestling in the forest, she also has on offer a magnificent traditional property built of local stone and renovated throughout in well-preserved style. Offering living space of 168 m2 in grounds of 3,467 m2, it features a very pleasant living-room, a barn, bread oven, and vaulted cellars. The sale price is 315,000 €.
Sylvain Berrée, manager of the two Eyrieux Immobilier agencies in La Voulte-sur-Rhône and Saint-Sauveur, knows the region very well : his agencies are this year celebrating their 25th anniversaries. They offer traditional homes, but also new houses, as "the Ardèche is not just the over-simplified image that most people have. There are also lots of active people who live and work here, wanting to benefit from a full range of modern amenities". His agencies in fact propose properties for all kinds of tastes : main residences, either prestigious or affordable by all, holiday homes in magnificent, well-preserved settings, new houses in the valley of the Rhône. Currently on offer, for instance, a superb fortified house at the heart of La Châtaigneraie de Saint Pierreville. This outstanding property is comprised of the master residence, a sharecropper's house in perfect condition, and outbuildings suitable for conversion. Its wooded park of almost 75 acres running along a river endows it with lovely quiet surroundings. This property is up for sale at 650,000 €. The agency is also handling the sale of a more affordable but equally charming property, in a small village about 20 minutes from Privas, the préfecture of the Ardèche. Priced at 175,000 €, this house with five main rooms, built of stone and almost entirely renovated, benefits from a large living-room and three bedrooms, giving onto a garden of 350 m2 with a clear view of the valley.
At the Immo-Loc Ardèche agency in Vallon Pont d'Arc, there is no lack of hot tips either. Run by Fabienne Grivelet-Gin, the agency proposes "traditional "mas" in Ardèche style - highly sought-after properties -, and detached villas with pools, more common in the region". This agency also specializes in properties likely to be of interest to investors, and especially in the re-sale of homes in tourist residences. These properties are attractively priced, furnished, and provide access to all the amenities offered by holiday residences. For potential buyers, they can serve as both holiday homes and sources of income if rented out when not in use – a service offered by Immo-Loc Ardèche. Currently on offer, semi-detached houses in tourist residences near the Gorges de l'Ardèche and Le Pont d'Arc. These furnished 2-storey properties with two or three bedrooms and private terraces cost from 75,000 to 124,000 € depending on their surface areas. Finally, Immo-Loc Ardèche is also selling a traditional stone house in a village of character on the border between the Ardèche and Le Gard. Comprised of seven main rooms including five bedrooms, it is set in wooded and terraced grounds of 1,347 m2 overlooking the valley. It benefits from a self-contained "gîte" of 50 m2 for paying guests, and an above-ground pool. All for 368,000 €.