Advice and Opinion

How about buying a property in a syndicate in France?

If the chance of owning a 17th Century chateau in France seems like an impossible dream, consider the option of creating a syndicate and buying it with nine other friends or families, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA.

Recently returning from a Knight Frank marketing conference in London, where she was shown options of properties in various countries, one has stood out as something worth working towards buying, she said.

A 17th Century chateau in Gascony on the market through Purslow Gascony, in association with Knight Frank, at a price of €1,15 million, which if split among ten syndicate members would cost each person around R1,7 million. This is a price not completely unattainable for many who could be shopping for a holiday home, she said.

“If looking at South Africa coastal properties at present, R1,7 million would possibly get you a one or two bedroom home in a little seaside village or a cottage in a small picturesque town but if the possibility exists of owning a seven bedroom chateau with four bathrooms, three reception rooms, a swimming pool and 17ha of land, wouldn’t you take it?”, said Steward.

“What better option is there than to be able to holiday for a month or more in France, every year, and to be able to have multiple family members or friends with you, in a home set in an idyllic area?”

This particular property is a period chateau with manageable proportions and is set on 17ha of landscaped and wooded grounds. The views from various parts of the home and gardens take in the rolling countryside and the Pyrenees in the distance, she said.

The home dates from 1625 and it was enlarged approximately 100 years later. It is built with terracotta brick with a lime and sand render.

All the main rooms have high ceilings and generous proportions, with light pouring in from many windows, she said. The ground floor rooms all open out directly to the garden and there is a shady terrace for entertaining with a swimming pool in the shade.

The chateau was renovated 20 years ago by the present owners who sensitively worked to preserve the historic atmosphere and feel of the home and the original features.

Asked if there are any restrictions to buying a property in a syndicate in this area, Steward said, “According to Ian Purslow, the Knight Frank agent in Gascony, for multi-ownership, a group of owners would form an SCI (Société Civile Immobilière) a simple form of French property holding company.”

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