Valence, gateway to the south

Surrounded by charming rural communes, Valence offers a delightful setting in which to live. With its Mediterranean climate, pedestrian town centre and remarkable historic heritage, it is particularly well-known for its “Cité des Arts et des Sciences” with futuristic architecture.

Endowed with impressive landmarks such as the 16th-C. Maison des Têtes, the Saint-Apollinaire Cathedral and the Monumental Fountain designed by architect Eugène Poitoux, Valence, a town of gardens and canals, is in La Drôme, on the edge of the “département” of L’Ardèche. 561 km from Paris, 100 km from Lyon and 220 km from Marseille, it benefits from a strategic central position which has drawn many city-dwellers who, during the Covid crisis, decided to carry out their plans to leave their homes for greener and more peaceful regions.

The entire Drôme/Ardèche area has thus exercised strong appeal since 2020. Operating from Valence for the past six years, the Espaces Atypiques agency proposes a selection of properties of character in the “départements” of the Drôme and Ardèche.

“80 % of our buyers are looking for year-round homes, mainly houses in authentic, natural and well-preserved environments, without any nuisances and ideally less than an hour’s drive from the TGV station in Valence, main roads, and where the Internet connection is satisfactory,” says Pierre Vallon, Associate Director of the agency along with Jean-Paul Vincent.

To the south, in the Drôme Provençale and southern Ardèche, French, Belgian, Swiss and Scandinavian clients are looking more for a pleasant second residence at the gateway to Provence.

“After a very busy post-Covid period, the market is pretty much back to its cruising speed, and prices are stabilizing. Well-motivated clients are still there and increasingly place their trust in the Espaces Atypiques network, whose renown is seeing constant growth all over France. Which enables us to work efficiently inter-agencies as when, for example, a client sells his apartment in Paris or Lyon and searches for a home here.”

Gradually filling up, the agency’s property portfolio, comprised 90 % of houses, contains large 19th-C. buildings renovated in contemporary style, properties with lovely views, residences of character in the midst of wooded parks, noble mansions in Valence, old farm buildings tastefully rehabilitated, and a few Haussmann or ultra-contemporary apartments with vast rooftop terraces. “Some of our clients are also in search of a property capable of accommodating a B&B activity or “gites” for paying guests. The region allows for such projects quite admirably.” As witnessed by a stone property of 490 m2 in grounds of 20,000 m2 with a pool in Vernon, overlooking the valley of La Beaume. Offering 7 bedrooms and 6 bath or shower rooms, this superbly renovated property stands in the midst of a well-preserved panorama in the southern Ardèche. On offer at 1,050,000 €, it accommodates up to 18 people with its two guest-rooms, its chalet and “gîte”. A true corner of paradise !

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