Small-holding in the Western Loire, France

French Property For Sale

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Beautiful smallholding with well-maintained accommodation sleeping 4-6 and 3.2 acres (1.3 hectares), department 49, Maine-et-Loire, in the Western Loire near Bauge. The property has a wonderful south-facing outlook and is well-drained, with a chalky subsoil. It is situated in a small hamlet, about a mile as the crow flies from the Route Nationale linking Angers and Tours. This peaceful little corner nevertheless has good connections to many larger centres: Angers (prefecture) 30 mins; Le Mans 1 hour; La Fleche 15 mins; Bauge (all services) 7 mins; several villages even closer. It is only 10 km from Angers airport and the Angers-Paris motorway.

Everything about the property is in good or reasonably good repair. The current owner sells walnuts, makes hay, barters eggs, grows fruit and vegetables (including strawberries, raspberries, apples. peaches, pears, potatoes, tomatoes, brocolli, peas, French beans), and keeps goats, hens, cats and a dog, but there is scope for considerable further development.

Asking price 100,000 euros. Entry date to be negotiated.

Please contact the owner, Sheila McGregor, on 00 33 (0) 241 890 285 or email her at moc.snejtnih|aliehs#moc.snejtnih|aliehs if you have any questions not covered in the detailed description below, or would like to arrange a viewing.

Detailed property description

The house, sleeping 4-5, is a low ochre-yellow bungalow of rather home-grown appearance, with lots of small windows and a tin roof. It was built c.1985 by a well-known local citizen and, with the rest of the property, has been comprehensively renovated in the last two-three years. It consists of a spacious living/dining-room, wood-lined and equipped with a Villager woodburner, a new bathroom (shower over bath), a kitchen/utility room with chauffe-eau, sink, washing-machine, gas cooker and storage, built on to a static caravan. The accommodation in the caravan consists of a double bedroom, a single bedroom or boxroom, a well-equipped breakfasting kitchen with sink, cooker, fridge-freezer, dish-washer, and various worktops and cupboards, an office/computer area (broadband), and a sitting room with a bed settee.

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As noted above, the house has been rewired and replumbed. The roof and the septic tank were comprehensively overhauled in 2006. The accommodation is convenient, comfortable, and easy to heat. The seller would be prepared to leave some items of furniture.

The Land

There are altogether 1.3 hectares or 3.2 acres in three plots, made up as follows (from west to east):

  1. La Fillotiere: 2745 sq.m. House plot, terrace, garden, paddock, car park, garage, wood shed, goat shed, vegetable plot and forty mature walnuts, fruit trees and conifers.
  2. The Orchard: 4930 sq.m. Guest studio, store, terrace, car park, small shed for hens or goats, walnuts, fruit trees, two ponds, grass.
  3. La Piece des Berreries: 5342 sq.m. Grass, 30 fruit trees, two ponds (the larger one has a persistent leak), a stance of mature poplars, a stance of coppiced poplars.

(1) La Fillotiere, around the house, is separated from (2) and (3) by a lane used only by a neighbouring farmer who occasionally pastures a few cows in the meadow at the bottom. The area around the house is dog-proof, being completely fenced and sheltered by a substantial hedge. The lower plot is used for the goats and the hens. It has pine trees, fruit trees and two large walnuts. The entrance (secured by galvanised gates) is to the east. To the south is a long tree-shaded terrace with flowering shrubs in pots, a goat or pony paddock with pines and fruit trees, and a view through the trees of more fields, trees and forests. There is no possibility of further development in this quarter. Most of the visible trees belong to the property, so the views are secure.

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At the other side of the car park is a large garage building, currently used as a book-store. It is also rendered in ochre with maple-red doors. A capacious wood-shed and a new goat or pony shed have been built on. The garden area is in part a wild flower garden and in part an organic vegetable garden, which this year produced peas, potatoes, French beans, tomatoes and broccoli.

(2) The Orchard has a converted garage building with hot water, electricity and sanitation. It provides additional guest accommodation but could also be used as a summer kitchen or as a dairy. This plot and the adjoining plot (3) are currently grazed by a couple of goats and have a variety of fruit trees and several very good walnut trees.

(3) La Piece is mainly fenced and a hedge has recently been planted along the road. It can be reached from The Orchard and also has access from the road. It is under grass and is cut for hay once a year. I am applying to build a 10 by 4 metre shed. There are 30-40 young fruit trees down the eastern boundary. La Piece has a small stand of poplars (15 or 16) and a poplar coppice, useful for firewood.

There is an excellent well, equipped with an electric pump, which has never been without water (flow more than 2000 litres per hour). There are also four ponds at the bottom of plots (2) and (3) which are fed by springs. However, after a series of very dry summers, only one is in good condition. The lower part of La Piece is left for as a wild-life sanctuary (deer, foxes, hares, butterflies) but regular campaigns against nettles, brambles, creepers, ivy and elderberries have been undertaken.

An elderly but clean caravan (rewired), an elderly but generally reliable Volvo 740 estate, a sit-on mower, some furniture and tools, and livestock (hens, goats) will be or could be included in the sale.

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