Market Leaders in the sale of Châteaux & Fine French Properties

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Buying a French Commercial Property with Sifex Ltd

This section of our site features a variety of different properties in the commercial sector. Some already have commercial status and are operating as businesses, whilst others are properties with the potential to become commercial, whether as a chambres d'hôtes (B & B), a gîtes complex or an hotel for instance. Please note that in recent years commercial loans have been much more difficult to obtain and are only likely to be achievable where the property already has a proven source of income or the purchaser has an alternative source of income.

Agricultural Estates/ Farms

These range from farms with pasture and facilities for livestock, whether beef, sheep, goats, dairy, deer or fish farms, to properties with arable land, olive groves, fruit orchards, walnut plantations.

Chambres d'hôtes or Bed and Breakfast

Running a chambres d’hôtes remains a popular concept amongst those seeking to move to France and find a means to supplement their income. Chambres d'hôtes range from simple elegant houses to the most opulent Châteaux. Over the years Sifex has sold several Châteaux which have become chambres d'hôtes with their own websites and thriving businesses. Five is the maximum number of bedrooms allowed in a B & B before it attains hotel status and falls under the stringent EEC regulations for fire, health and safety.

Conference Centres/Wedding Venues

These are increasingly in demand with the advent of hi-tech communications and the excellent travel links between France, Europe and beyond. Whether they are used for corporate purposes or for weddings and other social events there is no doubt that this is a popular business to which Châteaux are particularly well suited.

Gîtes

Properties with existing gîtes or the potential to create them continue to be popular. The nature of 'agritourism', first promoted by the French Government with the introduction of Gîtes de France is such that quality is, without a doubt, the key requisite. A gîte these days should offer a secure swimming pool, Wifi and Sky TV. Comfort is of paramount importance. Having a range of other activities on offer as well, whether riding, harvesting, wine tasting, painting, cookery or language courses, improves the scope considerably.

Château and Boutique Hotels

Our portfolio of hotels varies from the most imposing and impressive star rated châteaux hotels, to smaller charming boutique hotels in rural locations or market towns throughout France. If you do not find what you are looking for on the site, be sure to let us know so we can keep you informed of any new details of hotels we may receive and make enquiries with our partner agents on your behalf.

Sporting Estates

Châteaux are often already in operation as private sporting estates and from time to time they come on our books. France is known for the hunt or la chasse and wild boar (sanglier), deer, pheasant and other game are enthusiastically pursued during the hunting season, when almost anybody can apply for a licence. Out of season, a local ‘lieutenant de louveterie’ created in 812 by Charlemagne to protect the inhabitants and their crops against wolves, is in charge of hunting any wild animals that threaten to disrupt crops or harvests.

Activity Based Commercial Properties


Amongst these are equestrian properties including stud farms (haras) riding schools or livery stables. Others offer a variety of active pursuits ranging from boating, fishing, swimming and tennis to golf courses. Some offer courses in the arts or more academic subjects and we are also asked for properties suitable to create a retreat for meditation and for buildings suited to educational purposes.

Vineyards

If it is your dream to have dinner parties with your own ‘château bottled’ wine on the table, it is wise to employ the services of an expert agency to achieve that end. Sifex is fortunate in being associated with such agencies in the Bordeaux area, the Languedoc and Rhône Valley. French vineyards have in recent years attracted considerable interest from overseas buyers, most recently the Chinese.

‘Technical due diligence’ is a vital part of the purchasing process where a vineyard is concerned, as besides being a property it is also a business. Although the administration and sales may appear in the financial and legal paperwork, there are many fine points which may not. Inspecting the concrete tanks for cracks and ensuring that you have the number of hectares of the grape variety (cépage) declared by the vendor, is something which only an expert can verify - and that is just one of many such details that would need to be carefully checked.

When deciding on the available budget, buyers need to take account of the fact that they will need funds to purchase stock and pay for operating costs for the first 18 months. This is because the seasonal cycle of producing and harvesting the grapes and then manufacturing and bottling the wine lasts for that period of time. It is as well to be aware that for a vineyard, mortgages are only available for a percentage of the overall price, if at all.

View ‘Commercial’ or to discuss your requirements and be put in touch with our associate experts, please contact us on email: info@sifex.co.uk or telephone us on +44 (0)207 384 1200. Our office hours are 09.00 - 18.00 GMT Monday - Friday. If you leave a message we will get back to you as soon as possible