The addition of a country retreat to a portfolio that already includes a primary residence and second city home is becoming more and more popular among high net worth individuals. International interest in grand residences surrounded by woodland and landscaped gardens are increasing in the South of France, but also in other parts of Europe. For example, the UK is also experiencing greater demand around London’s greenbelt.

Home Hunts Director - Tim Swannie

Home Hunts Director – Tim Swannie

“Many of our clients making enquiries into prime rural property already have a home and a city residence,” said Tim Swannie, co-director of Home Hunts. “But the purchase of a prime rural retreat can not only add another dimension to a client’s lifestyle, but if that purchase is in France, it can also make good financial sense.”

There are areas that buyers should bear in mind when considering the purchase of a prime rural property. The first is all about international access. “Buyers will be flying in from destinations such as London, Paris, Hong Kong and The Middle East, so an airport less than an hour away, which can also accommodate private air travel, is a major factor,” said Tim.

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Within one hour of Montpellier airport and a few kilometres from Béziers Cap d’Agde airport (which also welcomes private air traffic) lies this nine-bedroomed tranquil Domain (HH-6688353) which was once the residence of the Bishop of Agde. Located on a 50-hectare estate, and includes its own wine production, the position of this €6 million property means that quick weekends away are just as convenient as longer vacations.

The second element is privacy, which is relatively easy to find in France, as most French estates and châteaux sit in the middle of vast amounts of land. “Our clients lead extremely busy lives and want to have peaceful weekends that whisk them away from everyday life,” said Tim. “This means ensuring that the property is one hundred percent private and secure.”

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Not far from the cultural centre of Bordeaux in Entre-Deux-Mers lies this breath-taking mid-18th century château (HH-5302187) on 28 hectares of land with manicured formal gardens and stunning tree-lined driveway. Extremely private and in a tranquil location, the château itself has been renovated to a very high standard while the main accommodation needs updating, offering an exciting investment opportunity – which is reflected in the €2,862,000 asking price.

The reason for purchasing comes third. It is essential that buyers choose a property that meets their list of requirements, as it is all too easy to get swept away in a coup de coeur and fall for a property that does not quite meet all the criteria. “When you’re in the market for a prime rural retreat, buyers will see many properties that are architecturally stunning, but, for example, if modern comforts are required, it’s important the property offers that even if it’s a medieval castle,” said Tim. “Equally, if a commercial opportunity is sought, our HHInvest arm can help buyers to find properties that meet clients’ exact targets right from the outset.”

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This 14th and 15th château (HH-5997837) has been renovated to an exceptionally high standard and is based 20 minutes from Toulouse. Set on one hectare of grounds, several outbuildings are also included in the price of €998,000, and with living space over three levels it offers an ideal private retreat along with an option for a tourist business.

To find out more about these properties or others that could make the perfect prime rural retreat visit www.home-hunts.com or call the French office directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.