Lowcost locations in France with good public links to coast

Hi - I’m still on my lifelong challenge and search to buy a house in France. Our budget is very small (75k) and hoping to get a 3 bed (with terrace or garden) walking distance to shops/restaurants/bars and with good public transport to beaches (I know this is a big ask given the price range and I’ll probably have to compromise somewhere).

I’m going through all the usual house searches and websites but I’m getting fairly overwhelmed etc so I’m trying to narrow my search so that I can really focus (I get sidetracked by seeing a lovely house …then reality hits me that it’s in the middle of nowhere - we currently live in the middle of nowhere in Ireland and I hate driving so I’d love to be near amenities without having to get a car etc). Are there any areas that you think might fit into these criteria? Any info or advice would be really appreciated. Many thanks

You could try Pyrenees-Orientales - eg this is a search result for property under €75K:-

40 annonces de vente immobilier 3 pièces Pyrenees Orientales (66) | Logic-immo

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I moved to the PO dept in June after 32years of Bretagne. Property currently is in very short supply and my own brand new house which is not quite finished yet has increased in price by €50k since beg of the year. I keep getting immobilier agents putting flyers in the box and my son gets them knock on his door asking if he wants to sell up, it got to every week a few months back. There are lots of properties for sale in the bigger towns but as I found out before booking this new build, many are “bodget and scarper” properties and need a great deal of putting right, people are not honest these days when property is for sale and hide all sorts of nightmareproblems. For me, a brand new build after always having already established houses, is a new blank canvas and a better investment to leave my kids when the time comes plus it worked out cheaper than doing up an established property. Its been a total shock moving this far south not to mention the heat and the mosquitos but the first thing I did was to get adequate flood insurance cover as the whole region is one enormous flood plain and my house has been built 1.5m above the ground level as have all the others on this lotissement.

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Property prices in France have got higher.
Here for 200000 you would still find inperfections and only realise them after purchasing. By the sea well that is a dream most of us have. I have serttled just near the river and it is just lovely.

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I was five mins drive from local beaches and as you say that helped my property to be snapped up within four days of going up for sale but to buy the equivalent size of property here in another dept, also by the sea was not possible, prices were double for same living space and garden size and those cheap “bargains” would have bankrupted me to put right they were in such bad condition or downright dangerous regarding electricity etc.

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When I originally suggested PO I was thinking of places in the foothills, where it’s cooler and cheaper.

Yes but not for me as family are only 10mins away.Actually we went up last week and got caught in a rain shower, first rain for many months too and the big reservoir at Vinça was still quite full but gradually depleting as you could see the shoreline for the first time in ages.

Many thanks - will definitely search around that area more :slight_smile:

Hi Shiba - sounds like your new home will be fab and it is good to start off afresh with everything new. It is crazy how busy the market is and prices are fairly high (not compared to Ireland but definitely compared to Spain). I think I’m starting to accept the reality that I mightn’t ever afford a place in France but fingers crossed if I focus my search and make compromises, maybe I’ll get there in the end :slight_smile: Many thanks and best of luck on your new build :slight_smile:

Hi Barbara - that sounds like a good option - still close to water and the best of both worlds. I might think more about rivers and lakes as well and see how it goes. Many thanks :slight_smile:

I am in st seruin de pratts and it is so beautiful here.
Clients on holiday just do not want to venture far…they love the property and the glorious landscape.

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And great location too - so close to Bordeaux. Sounds heavenly :slight_smile:

yes near Bordeaux
When this hot hot weather cools down we will have a picnic by the river

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You can probably find something for that price, but your chances of finding it near the sea at that price are remote. And be aware that if it’s really cheap, it either needs a huge amount of renovation work done which is very expensive, or it is small, with no sun, no views etc. Unlike in the UK and Ireland, France still has vast amounts of property in the old parts of towns and villages that nobody wants to buy, rent or renovate. Nice properties in desired areas are way over your budget. Other areas where it’s cheap are semi-abandoned areas where there’s no work, those areas include about a third of the country and are almost never near the sea.
You’ll probably get there in the end, but you probably need to make compromises.


Thank a mill. Good to be realistic so I have a better idea on the houses I could consider. Many thanks and much appreciated

And France is so different from one area to another, I would say you need to try to work out which areas are what you would like and which areas are not what you would like.
For a start, north or south, it’s really very different. Town or country, also very different. You want to be able to find work? In many regions of France there isn’t much work. Other expats in the area, some areas are full of expats and in others there aren’t any at all and nobody who speaks a word of English. But if you’re Irish you’ll be well received, even French people who have never met anyone from outside their country are inclined to think considerably more positively towards the Irish than the English.

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Yes - I see the problem. In France houses in towns and houses close to beaches tend to be more popular - and therefore more expensive - than those in remote countryside or very sleepy villages, so your budget constraint is making the search difficult. For a compromise, I’d recommend looking carefully at public transport routes to the coast first. In Brittany, certainly, you don’t have to go too far inland to find villages with decent facilities that are a lot cheaper than the coast - especially if they are not picture-postcard-perfect (but are still nice).

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Having seen it so many times over the past 30odd years here, people coming from outside France get seduced by the amount of land and size of houses they can buy for their euros compared to where they are coming from. Indeed we had several clients who literally ran out of money they were paying us to renovate their purchase that we had to walk away or else we would have been dragged down too. People with the idea of moving to the lesser built up areas should also consider their future needs too especially if they find themselves without transport, contract a serious illness or don’t want to be too lonely and far from neighbours - the list can go on and on. Then there is the problem of maintenance on perhaps a limited budget which, with older properties can be very expensive and necessary to carry out and also the re-sale problem if they need to move as more and more french people prefer a much more modern home these days with less work to worry about. Brittany was fine for transport from east to west, but north to south, there was nothing except for driving yourself.

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I’m sure you can find something interesting if you’re more flexible on your criteria, for instance being on or near a large river, particularly in rural SW France departements like the Aveyron, or the Cantal.

[Bargain homes: Eight properties for less than €50,000 in France (connexionfrance.com)](https://)

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In many ways we are guilty of that - reviewing our finances we decided we could either move in the UK - which might not even mean more land or a bigger house, or buy in France where we could get a larger property than we have in the UK with 8x the amount of land, for half the price. In our defence the intent was, and still is to retire to France so we bought with that in mind rather than simply acquiring a holiday home (where priorities might have differed slightly), we also bought a property which needed no significant renovation and what was needed we have done ourselves.

I don’t regret our purchase, it is a great home which we love - admittedly we bit off a little  more than we could chew but that is fine, I absolutely know that we could not have managed more land, a bigger house or more renovation works without being in France full time.

No idea about care homes, we’re about 30 minutes from downs with decent sized hospitals and we’re in the main village rather than in one of the tiny hamlets.

Obviously I won’t need any of that because I am going to live in perfect health until the age of 110 then quietly kark it in my sleep :slight_smile: