It continually blows my mind that you can buy literal chateaux in France for under a million dollars, extremely stunning four hundred year-old apartments for under $200,000, and sun-drenched townhouses that haven’t been renovated in generations for under $50,000. [The baroque apartment above, in Nimes, is 350,000 Euros for God’s sake.] Sometimes I scroll through French property sites and take a little flight of fancy, pretending I might put in an offer on some gem of a place, or more likely some diamond-in-the-rough, in the South of France. It’s very enjoyable, except when I find a place that looks absolutely perfect for me — as in, “this is my home” — and realize it won’t actually be mine, and then it’s kind of painful.
Even restricting my search to properties under 350,000 Euros (which makes it feel more realistic, even though it is not at all realistic), I found the most wondrous places tonight. I’ll start with one of my favorites but leave the best for last:
The gorgeous stone house above is in an equally gorgeous village a few miles from Perpignan. I don’t even know what that circular thing in the living room is — a fountain?? And look at the kitchen! It almost crosses the line into twee, but I think it stays on the respectable side of cute.
Then there are the crazy (as in crazy amazing) rooms below.
But the garden is what really did me in.
The Carcassonne apartment below is not cheap, at 320,000 Euros, but it’s still eight times cheaper than it would be in NYC. And look at the soaring ceilings. The herringbone floors. The built in woodwork and fireplace. The moldings. The light!
Then there’s this one, in a village in the mountains north of Montpellier. It costs as much to buy as your average NYC parking space (in 2007, no less!), and its biggest draw is this amazing terrace:
But that is not its only charm. There are enormous French doors and stained glass panels all over the place in this house.
Then there’s this apartment right outside Arles, with exposed stone walls and arched ceilings from the 17th century. (It is a steal at 139,000 Euros, by the way.)
This one in the Pyrenees is such an amazing mish-mash of elegance and clashing. The wallpaper choices are bizarre and brilliant, in perhaps unequal measure. And it is 60,000 Euros!!! I have never been so tempted to raid my retirement account.
Until I saw the one below, in the village of Fourques on the outskirts of Arles… Are you kidding me??? It’s like a Truffaut film come to life.
But with art deco touches. Be still my heart.
If that one were 60,000 Euros, I would raid my retirement account for it. But it’s 234,000 Euros. Ah well.
I was scrolling and clicking through these listings so voraciously that at one point Le Bon Coin locked me out.
Note the fine print: “You are browsing and clicking at a speed much faster than expected of a human being.” Hahahaha, French real estate just does that to me.
I realize that I am 100% this video, and I don’t care.