Empowering the Freelance Economy

French Chateaus for sale: turning a dream home into a business

An impressive small château situated in glorious Charente. Listed with Hamptons International countryside. With 7 bedrooms, 2 separate apartments, pool and park-like gardens
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Some French chateaus and manor houses are coming in less expensive than the average sale price of a London home, so it is worth a look.


The benefits of remote working have granted many people across the UK the flexibility and freedom to balance their personal and business lives. But for the average freelancer or small business owner, family and business collided long before the days of lockdown.

But what if your home life actually paid you back? What if your home was your business? What if your home and business was a chateau?

Manor House, Saint-nazaire-daude, Aude, France
£584,000

Imagination + Innovation

You are only limited by your imagination and innovation as to what a dream home could become in terms of a business destination – international PR or investment management firm, online software business, tea shop, B&B, Airbnb, garden café and shop, rental or special events property, cooking courses and restaurant, craft or artisan classes, etc.

In the current lockdown, some of these seem impossible ventures if you are considering purchasing a home/business overseas. That is why now makes a perfect time to do your research and speak to wealth, financial and tax advisors on a plan that could work for you and how it could be as tax efficient as possible.

Manor House, Cassignas, Lot-et-Garonne, France
£458,000

Taxing matters

In the UK, for example, there are capital gains tax liabilities when you sell a home that is listed even in part (that garden office) as a business. Do not be put off by that though until you know the facts and the cost implications. The overall long-term benefits of the home-based business could be worth some capital gains down the road if you do look to sell or add a business partner.

Ask your accountant how you could purchase a property in the UK or abroad with a mixed residential and commercial purpose and put it through your SIPP or as a stand-alone investment. You may even be able to rent the business premises out while you live somewhere on the property or even abroad half of the year during retirement. It all depends on your situation and preferences and of course tax domicile.

Manor House, Plounevez-moedec, Côtes-d’Armor, France
£585,000

You can always ask local experts on how to return a home-based business back to a residential dwelling in the future and the tax implications. It will also be worth asking property experts, especially if you are looking to buy and set up a business overseas, what the tax and business property regulations are there. Do they, for example, have tax or grant incentives for new businesses or green energy installations, such as solar arrays?

Living and working the dream

If you think you have the DIY or project management skills to take on a chateau or manor house and turn it into a business destination and home, then you may want to look at these properties for sale. All have business potential. All properties available through Hamptons International.

Useful resources:

Top tips from Hamptons International

  • Top of the list is appointing a good independent lawyer. It’s the best protection you can give yourself against things going wrong.
  • While a notary is a lawyer, they act for both sides. Whereas if you appoint your own lawyer, they will act solely in your interest.
  • Lawyers might add an extra layer of cost and can be annoyingly meticulous, but they’re paid to spot the things you won’t.
  • There’s a good chance you’re not fluent in French or experienced in local law, so it’s worth paying for someone that’s both, and speaks good English too.
  • You might also want to get a survey done. A building survey is standard practice in the 07 Buying A Property in France Key Currency UK but not that common in France.
  • In France the seller does, however, have to provide a number of statutory survey reports. It’s a pretty long list and covers things like asbestos, lead, electrics, energy efficiency, septic tanks, termites, swimming pool safety and smoke alarms.
  • If you want peace of mind, there are Chartered Surveyors working in France that can perform a UK-style building survey, looking at things like the roof, walls and drainage. If you’re looking to buy an old farmhouse, for example, things like damp and subsidence can be costly to fix. It’s worth having an expert take a look.
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