Where to buy property in France: Moulins
This mainly rural department, the northernmost in France’s underrated Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is the ancestral home of the Bourbon kings, a royal dynasty that ruled much of Europe for centuries.
Today, this land of rolling hills and valleys, watered by three of France’s great rivers – the Loire, the Cher and the Allier, after which the department is named – is a green and pleasant land famous for its pure air and water.
It does not shout about past glories, unlike Ile-de-France or the Loire Valley. Nor does it brag about its gentle beauty, like the Dordogne. This is a quieter part of the world, home to fewer than 340,000 people - so there’s always space to breathe.
Even so, it does have more than 570 castles, atmospheric towns, character villages, Romanesque churches, Renaissance, Art Nouveau or Art Deco architecture and unmissable sites such as Paleopolis, the Arboretum of Balaine, the castle of Lapalisse, or Souvigny. But, despite its apparent “hidden gem” credentials, the Allier has been discovered by anglophone émigrés already, notably around the village of Pouzy-Mésangy, which today has many English and Swiss residents.
The average price of a typical three-bed house in the department is around €98,200, the online barometer of Notaires de France shows, an increase of nearly 6% on the same time last year. In Moulins, the same property is slightly less – €96,500 – and would set buyers back about €97,000 in Montluçon, the biggest town in the department.
What your money buys: under €120,000
A pretty French farmhouse with more than 9 acres of land, and a second house to finish renovating.
Located off the main lane of the village down a private drive and not overlooked. With room to expand and/or create a fantastic smallholding and a gite for rental income in Limoise.
€119,900 Ref: 89551MKE03
More than €350,000
Located near to Vichy, this is a beautiful 19th century country house nestling in 1.4ha of land.
This lovely restored 4-bed/3-bath house with its 10mx5m heated swimming pool is a striking country estate, a real haven of peace. 57kms from Clermont-Ferrand Int Airport.
€350,000 Ref: 94571NCR03
A magnificent 15th century chateau with independent guest house and several outbuildings.
In a peaceful setting, with no immediate neighbours. In excellent condition, ideal for use as a family home/gite or chambre d’hôte, in the commune of Sanssat.
€441,000 Ref: U96370CTH03
Properties available through Leggett Immobilier
www.frenchestateagents.com Tel: 05 53 56 62 54
Next month: we look at the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence