Manor House – exploited as very large luxury gite – sleeping 28
Pool – jacuzzi – bar: exceptional turnover figures
€980,000 * (ref 228)
Carcassonne – France’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi – another UNESCO site, the vineyards of Minervois and the Châteaux Cathares of Lastours are all within 15 minutes of this magnificent property. That’s one of the many reasons that makes it a very special place … and a very successful business.
The property consists of a splendid 19th century manor house, a second more modest house with a separate entrance, a vast summer kitchen and sheltered outdoor dining area, a heated pool, a hot-tub and numerous shady nooks and crannies. In all, there are 15 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a vast kitchen/dining room which can seat 28 people and a fully-equipped bar-cum-disco cellar!
The attraction of the business is that it can be run in a number of different ways:
1. as it is currently: the owners let out the whole premises as a stand-alone self-catering luxury gite. The tenants (groups of friends or three or four families) can opt to have a chef come in now and again and cook meals for the whole group. The owners are not on the premises.
2. The owners occupy the rear house (3 bedrooms) and let out the rest as a ‘very big gite’.
3. The finest 5 bedrooms (or suites of bedrooms) are designated as B&B rooms and the manor house is run as a upmarket guest house. The owners again live in the rear 3-bedroomed house.
… or it could be used as a rather lovely private home, far from Brexit or post-Trump America.
The manor house has been refurbished and decorated with taste and simplicity. Where possible, original flooring, marble fireplaces and wrought iron staircases have been kept and highlighted. Essential bathroom facilites that were unnecessary in the early nineteenth century have been cleverly and unobtrusively woven into the ancient fabric of the house.
Yes, the property is in a village and it does not have acres of lawns and fields around it demanding constant attention. On the other hand owners and visitors alike have the pleasure of strolling out the front door and shopping in traditional French boucherie, épicerie and boulangerie … before sitting at the terrasse of a café and watching the world go by, pastis en main! The countryside with numerous walks, vineyards and ancient chateaux starts at the manor house gate.
Behind the main house, the pool area is one of the focal points of the premises: heated by a sophisticated heat pump, the water temperature can be kept at an agreable 28°, even in winter.
As a rule of thumb, a decent gite complex should generate roughly 10% of the asking price in annual income. This gives a return on investment of around 8% net … rather more than one gets from leaving your money in the bank these days. This property follows this rule mainly because it is an extremely well-run, well-maintained and, frankly, perfect holiday accommodation. It is also a very nice place to live. At 15 minutes or so from the Citadel in Carcassonne it could do a lot better if marketed to Japanese and Chinese tourists who are now beginning to discover this region: its full potential has not yet been realised.