You wake in the morning and throw open the shutters to see a pure blue sky. Just as it was yesterday. And the day before. You return to your bed, content to gaze at the fluttering of the plane-tree leaves and terracotta rooftops outside your bedroom window, as you contemplate the delicious possibilities the day holds for you.
Perhaps you’ll go to the market, visit a new winery, or just walk down to the river and find a cozy spot to bask in the sun with a good book. There’s never a shortage of excellent things to do in the South of France.
In many areas, away from Provence and the glitzy Cote d’Azur, you can buy lovely classic properties for well under $200,000. For example, take the town I described above. This is Uzès, a gorgeous medieval town of just over 8,000 in the Languedoc Roussillon, a sunny region that lies just next door to Provence.
Situated amid vineyards and sunflower fields, Uzès is a quintessential South of France town. Officially designated one of France’s “most beautiful villages,” its pristine splendor, maze of tiny cobbled streets and proximity to larger Languedoc and Provençal towns, such as Nîmes and Avignon, makes it the darling of summer tourists.
But it’s once the crush of high season is over that Uzès reveals its true self: a low-key but lively, authentic French town that many expats are delighted to call home.
Despite its many attributes—including being less than 90 minutes away from the golden beaches of the Mediterranean—good-value properties can be found in Uzès.
One that I came across was a beautiful blue-shuttered, two-bedroom natural stone townhouse right in the town’s historic center currently on the market for $156,300. Full of character and tastefully renovated, the 506-square-foot house has lovely exposed stone walls, authentic wood beams, and even a unique Gothic arch built into the wall.
You can even find nice homes here for less than $100,000. I came across a beautiful Languedoc property, a 60-square-meter house near Carcassonne, fully renovated with a beautiful view of the hills. It was on sale for just €75,000 ($85,000). It can even be sold furnished. Not bad for your own South of France home.
But Uzès is not the only town in the Languedoc with attractive real estate prices. You’ll discover beautiful towns and villages throughout the region—it’s studded with real estate gems. The farther west you go, and the farther inland, the more value you get for your money.
In the lovely village of Montagnac, for example, near Montpellier, you’ll find stone houses on the market, often hundreds of years old and beautifully restored.
One I found was a two-bedroom house of 900 square foot. This former home of a medieval merchant, comes with centuries-old elegant vaulted stone ceiling supported by stone columns, an immense 18th-century fireplace, and a large rooftop terrace that offers panoramic view of the verdant hills of the Languedoc countryside. This glorious property was priced at $181,000.
Farther west still, in a small village just outside the historic hilltop town of Béziers and at the foot of the Cevennes mountain range, you’ll find townhouses dating from the 19th century.
I found one with four large bedrooms, and a large garden filled with trees and flowers, surrounded by a lovely stone wall. The price? Just $185,000.
And this is just a small sampling of what you’ll find here…there are countless other marvelous Languedoc properties out there for less than $200,000.
When you add such a reasonable price to the warm climate, the exciting festivals and cultural events, the five international airports in the region, and the fact that you are living in one of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world, it’s no wonder that more and more people—both French and foreign—are flocking to this special region.
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