Provence-Cote-d'Azur Property Blog: Insider's guide to property in the Provence Coté d'Azur region

Johnny Wilkinson kicks Toulon into European Final

RCT Toulon Rugby make Amlin Challenge Cup Final

A thrilling drop-goal finish from our Johnny saw Toulon beat Stade Francais 32-29 at Stade Mayol to send them into an all-French Final against Biarritz at Twickenham’s The Stoop on 18 May.  Let’s get as many supporters France or England-based there on the day to cheer Toulon on!

 

Hyeres sunshine

Pretty house & separate studio

Provencal 5-bed property close to shops & services.

 

UNDER OFFER

Things to do in Hyeres for free!

A look at another corner of the Provence Cote d’Azur

Spring has properly broken in the south and the temperature has already risen to a sunny 18-19 degrees albeit with a bit of a westerly wind.  Nevertheless people have decided to benefit with early holidays and Hyeres is an attractive destination.  So what can you do on a shoestring?

Windsurfing Kitesurfing HyeresThe Almanarre quarter is down by the coast and the long open bays are a paradise for windsurfers & kitesurfers.  If that is not for you, there are a number of seaside bars & restaurants where you can watch the participants against the background of Porquerolles island.  For a charge, you can visit the Greek, Roman and monastery remains from the original settlement in this area known as Olbia which are situated just back from the beach.

Castle St Bernard HyeresThe main town of Hyeres dates from the 11th Century and includes an old town containing a Templar Knight tower and other Crusade-era buildings.  At the top of the hill overlooking the Maures mountains to the north and east as well as the town and estuary below is the old ruined castle of St Bernard.

Just below is the Villa Noailles built in the Art Deco style in 1923 by the then mayor.  It hosts exhibitions throughout the year, but the permanent show includes the representations of 9 homes of the future envisaged by different architects.  Surrounding the villa are the St Bernard gardens which are set into the hill and again have free entry.

Jardin Olbius RiquierKeeping the theme of gardens, the Olbius Riquier garden is located down on the plain towards the sea.  Inside the walls there are a botanical garden and exotic greenhouse (not open at weekends), a mini-zoo, children’s play areas, a kid’s train and a dwarf pony stables.  The palm trees, lawns & ponds provide an ideal location for a Saturday afternoon family walk.

So take the opportunity if you’re passing to stop by and have a look – there’s plenty of variety to see and do!  Leggett Immobilier also have a range of properties available in the area to suit all budgets.

 

Marseille – the Comeback kid!

European Capital of Culture 2013 – Marseille Provence

In the light of the upcoming Presidential election and with multi-cultural issues highly visible following the shootings in Toulouse & Montauban, the BBC printed an online article highlighting a French city that welcomes its own diversity – Marseille  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-17432571

Marseille

In France’s oldest city and one of the Mediterranean’s most important ports, a variety of nationalities have come and gone freely over the centuries following the old marine trade routes.  Those that have stayed have brought a unique ambiance to the Fossian city turning it into a “cultural melting pot”.  Despite being right-wing in politics, the town hall sees this as its job noting that the city has a history of respecting and integrating different nationalities.

In 2013 Marseille will become the European Capital of Culture and is seeking to use its ethnic diversity as an inspiration.  It is spending £133 million on refurbishment & renovation whilst seeking to celebrate the cultural mix.

MarseilleFrom the iconic image of Notre Dame de la Garde, towering over the city, to the 17th Century twin forts of St Jean & St Michel straddling the old port to the shopping on the Canebiere and the offshore Ile d’If made famous as the prison for the (fictional) Count of Monte Cristo there is plenty to see here.  Or equally you could just soak up the atmosphere in the restaurants & bars that surround the old port – fresh fish & bouillabaisse the local speciality.

Make no mistake Marseille revels in being different from the rest of France.  It may also be earthier than the rest of the Cote d’Azur, but building on its base as the sunniest city in France, Marseille proudly sees itself on the comeback road.

It’s not rocket science but ….!

Ten top tips to help sell your house

At Leggett Immobilier we understand that vendors wish to present their homes in the best possible light and we are delighted to use our decades of experience to help you achieve this.

Here are our top ten ways to improve the appearance of your property:

1. Paint your front door.  First impressions count and this is the first thing people are going to look at. Take a look at your door knocker and letterbox too, they are easy to upgrade if necessary.  If you have the time then give your front gates a fresh coat too.

2. Tidy your front garden and make sure that the approach to your door is clear.  Sweep up any leaves, get rid of kids toys and make sure that cars and bicycles are garaged. A few colourful plant pots around the entrance can also work wonders.

3. Clean your windows.  There’s no point having wonderful views over the French countryside or the local church if you can’t see out of the windows.

4. Add greenery to even the smallest courtyards.  Many people looking for holiday homes don’t need acres of land but they will still want charm. Creepers and window boxes can bring small areas to life.

5. Don’t allow the neighbours to let you down.  If they have left rubbish outside their house then politely ask them to move it.  If you’re out trimming your hedge then offer to do theirs too.

6. Make sure that your house sparkles internally too.  Remove all clutter and don’t forget that white or neutral colours are the natural choice of most buyers.

7. Old French houses can appear dark – take down the net curtains, lighten up the walls if necessary and make the most of your lighting.

8. Make sure that the house is well aired and smells fresh.  Freshly brewed coffee is a well known tactic but it does offer a welcoming aroma in the kitchen.

9. Give us a set of keys and be agreeable to “short notice” viewings.  We try not to impose but sometimes the most demanding clients are the most serious.

10. Allow us to do our job.  Unless requested leave the viewing to the professionals, most buyers aren’t interested in every last detail of the house no matter how proud you are of it.

 

Contact Helen Shackleton on hshackleton@leggett.fr for more tips!

Recruitment drive!

Searching Luberon, Les Alpilles and the Haut Var

One of the leading international estate agencies in France, Leggett Immobilier, has today announced a major recruitment drive. They are seeking commercial agents throughout France and are particularly interested in boosting their presence in Provence.

Chief Executive, Trevor Leggett, comments:

“Despite difficult trading conditions we saw our business expand by almost a third in 2011 and so far this year turnover is up by 43%.  We plan on continuing this expansion and to do so we need to recruit new, high quality, agents.  Our success is built upon our quality of service so only the best need apply.

We have reviewed the package we offer agents – it requires no monthly fees and our best ever evolutive commission rates.  Even agents who have their own licences are attracted by the ease and cost efficiency of running their businesses within a well supported team.

We offer in-house training, IT and sales support and all contracts are written centrally. Experience in the property market is not necessary but we are looking for agents who have a decent level of French and who are honest, hardworking and willing to adhere to our high levels of client care.

We believe that we now have the highest profile global brand of any English speaking estate agency in France. Last year our website attracted interest from over 1 million visitors from 171 different countries and we are convinced that this, allied with our structured marketing programme, presents a unique opportunity to people wishing to join the team”.

The Provence Cote d’Azur team covers the departments of the Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches du Rhone & the Vaucluse currently with 8 agents.  We have properties across the region and new agents in most cases would be able to take on existing properties to start their portfolio.  We are actively searching for a minimum of 2 agents in 3 regions.  In the Haut Var – Cotignac, Lorgues, Barjols, Aups.  Then also the Luberon area – Gordes, Bonnieux, Roussillon, Apt or the Les Alpilles – St Remy de Provence, Les Baux de Provence, Eygalieres, Maussane-Les-Alpilles.

If you are interested in joining Leggett Immobilier in Provence then contact Helen Shackleton on hshackleton@leggett.fr.

Price Reduction!

Bastide Overlooking the National Park

You’d never know how close you were to the hustle & bustle of Nice & Cannes in this superb traditional style 5-bed villa with pool and 1/2 an acre.  Set in the forest with great views, perfect for a Sunday afternoon walk down to the nearby river.

 

 

 

 

Christmas in PACA – Part III

Better Late than Never!!!

As temperatures across Europe drop to record lows and snow covers the ground from north to south in France, there is an excuse to finish the series of Christmas blogs for the Provence Cote D’Azur region.

Provencal marketRenowned across the region is the Christmas market in Valbonne which every year takes over the main square between 21 & 24 December from 9h in the morning to 18h in the early evening allowing the benefit of the Christmas lights to be seen. Colourful stalls sell all things festive from food to decorations to potential presents.  Definitely worth adiary note for next year!

 

 

 

 

Sun & Ski together in harmony

Leggett Provence Cote d’Azur at The France Show

The France ShowPACA representatives Helen Shackleton, Claire Deedman & Emma Rhys teamed up with the Alps team of Heather Byrne, David Lucas & Annabel Andrewes to run the 2nd Leggett stand at The France Show held at Earls Court in London from 13-15th January.  There were 3 excellent days of meeting new clients and old friends as well as enjoying all things French – food & wine included.

Calling all yachties!

Duplex apartment on Antibes Ramparts

Whether you’re looking for proximity to Port Vauban or the bars & restaurants of the old town, this apartment is for you!