With a budget of a few hundred thousand euros, it is possible to afford a life as a chatelain in many regions of France.
There are around 45,000 chateaux in France (more than the number of communes) which means it is possible to get your hands on one of these grand houses and for a reasonable price.
Many people expect a chateau to cost several million euros, but in fact transactions are regularly completed for as little as €300,000 – a price more or less equivalent to a nice house in the suburbs.
While some chateaux for this price will need renovating - and may have significant ongoing maintenance costs - others are ready to move in straight away.
Here are five ‘bargain’ chateaux currently for sale in France.
Former hunting lodge - Creuse: €472,500
This chateau in Saint-Pierre-Bellevue (Creuse) was built around 1895 as a hunting lodge for members of the French and Belgian nobility. With five beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms and three sumptuous reception rooms, the chateau could make an upmarket family home. See the full listing here.
Definition of Luxe - Poitou-Charentes: €487,600
Dating to 1887, this historical seven-bedroom chateau would lend itself equally well as a family home or to more commercial use such as a boutique B&B. Based in Luxe, Mansle (Poitou-Charentes) the property has stunning countryside views. See the full listing here.
Buckets of potential - Cantal: €325,000
Centuries old, this chateau in Bassignac (Cantal) needs to be fully fitted out inside but with a little TLC you can have a very nice property. With three storeys, extensive cellars and 1.2 hectares of land including an orchard, pond and spring there is significant potential. See the full listing here.
The riverside château - Haute-Marne: €465,000
Ten minutes from Saint Dizier (Haute-Marne), this chateau is an impressive residence in two parts (1780 and 1840) offering multiple large living rooms and nine bedrooms. The property is set within an enclosed and wooded park bordered by a river. See the full listing here.
A hilltop position - Dordogne: €490,000
This authentic 17th-century hilltop chateau stands majestically in the middle of undulating countryside near Périgueux (Dordogne). It will need extensive restoration works to return it to its former glory but could present an exciting project. See the full listing here.