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Four Cheap But Charming Cosmetic Fixers In France For Less Than €70,000 ($74,000 USD)

May 2022

by Bargain Homes Abroad

Looking for a cheap European get-away that you can put your own stamp on, but don't want to take on a major renovation from afar? France has some of the best property deals we've seen in our years of bargain home hunting, especially if you're looking for old world charm and original character details. 


Here are four charming properties for sale that need a little tlc to make them come alive again. None of these need big ticket renovations…just minor cosmetic improvements that won't bust your budget. 

Which one would you choose?

Asking €50,000 (or about $53,000 USD)

Sainte-Marguerite-de-Carrouges, Orne, Normandy France
3 beds | 1 bath | 60 m2 (646 f2)

Our opinion: Let's call this one a "finisher" rather than a "fixer" as a lot has already been done for you. This one would not take much at all - some cosmetic upgrades and finish work to suite one's own taste, and she'll shine like a diamond! She's already got such great bones and lighting. The exterior could use some "curb appeal" to enhance the lovely old stone (plant some shrubs. vines and flowers, paint the front door and add shutters?). What we love is there is also scope for expansion if someone wants to invest a little more - perhaps converting the outbuilding(s) to income earning gite(s)?


From the listing:

Currently three bedrooms, but with scope for more, detached, mains drains, electricity and water connected, off road parking, garden and attached garage/outbuildings this could be a really super property - very private, not overlooked. Carrouges 5 minutes by car for local shops, La Ferté-Macé 15 minutes for supermarkets etc. Cross Channel ferries 1.5 hours, Caen.


This cottage comprises an entrance hall, dual aspect lounge, partially fitted kitchen, utility room and wc to the ground floor, two double bedrooms and a shower room with wc to the first floor and the attic space has been converted to provide a third bedroom.

There is a large attic over the kitchen/utility rooms which could provide further accommodation as well as an attached outbuilding providing scope for development subject to planning consent.

There is also a workshop/covered parking. The property sits on an L shaped plot with the garden laid to lawn.


Asking €69,990 (or about $74,000 USD)

Le Dorat Haute-Vienne France
3 beds | 1 bath | 146 m2 (1572 f2)

Our opinion: We'll start with location, location, location! Having a market town property with a huge, private back garden (almost 7000 f2) plus an outbuilding/garage/workshop is PRICELESS. You can't beat having everything at your doorstep, including shops, restaurants, weekly markets, and a train line. But what we're really excited about with this pretty 3-story beauty is that ALL of the main updates have already been completed. We're talking electrics, plumbing, flooring, windows, & roof. All the major budget busters are DONE, so all the buyer needs to do is the finish work (which would be pennies compared to the big ticket items). The kitchen will likely be the biggest expense, but it's all plotted out and plumbed. It's a blank slate with loads of its original charm still in tact - the original fireplace surrounds, wood beams, etc.  *Swoon*


From the listing: 

Situated in the very centre of a bustling market town is this pretty 3 bedroom cottage which has the surprising benefit of a very large rear garden plus outbuilding.

Offering some lovely features, this cottage has had all of its main systems renewed at great expense. This includes new electrics, replacement floors, insulation, new plumbing, replacement double glazed windows and shutters, new bathroom, replacement main roof and front roof to the barn in the garden. It is now just waiting for someone to complete the renovation with new kitchen and personal decoration. The house is on main drains.

The ground floor offers an open plan entrance hall leading to a large kitchen dining room. To the rear of the property is the good size living room with fireplace. There is also access to a cave.

Stairs lead to the first floor where you will find two double bedrooms plus a modern shower room. Stairs lead to the top floor with a further double bedroom and attic which could easily be converted to more living space.

The outside is a real surprise, approximately 625m2 of garden with lawn and fruit trees plus a large outbuilding in two parts which as a replacement roof to the front.

Everything you need for daily facilities is within short walking distance including doctors, supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacy and a mainline station. Limoges airport is under an hour away.​

Source: Beaux Villages

Asking €59,500 (or about $63,000 USD)

Lohuec, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany France
4 beds | 1 bath | 120 m2 (1292 f2)

Our opinion: We know what you're saying..."How is this a FIXER?" It's for sure a home you could live in straight away as it does have updated electrics and plumbing (yay!). BUT, to make it really stand out, it could use some refreshing. Starting with the kitchen...the dated floor and wall/backsplash tiles have got to go. The cabinetry is OK, but depending on your budget, could be updated along with adding better appliances. We'd love to see if there is a possibility of creating a second bathroom or even just a toilet/WC using part of the large unfinished utility room on the main floor. Overall, the decor could use a refresh, but again, the bones and the period features are really lovely. On the exterior, we'd like to see some low cost improvements - shutters, painted door and flowers/vines/plants to give it some personality.


From the listing:

Pretty 4 bedroom house situated only 20 minutes from the coast and would make an ideal holiday home. With its new electrics and plumbing this property only needs some finishing touches! The property benefits from being on mains drainage, central heating and a wood burner in the lounge.


Asking €48,000 (or about $51,000 USD)

Tarbes, Haute-Pyrénées France
1 bed | 1 bath | 36 m2 (388 f2)

Our opinion: And now for the wild card property...a tiny pied-à-terre with lovely windows and balcony situated within a well-maintained art deco building in SW France. First things first, THE CARPET NEEDS TO GO ASAP. We would bet on original hardwood floors being hidden underneath, which hopefully wouldn't require repair/replacement to save the budget for that bathroom - which needs rescuing from the 1980's. The kitchen is not shown, but an educated guess says it's a kitchenette that needs a facelift, which also wouldn't break the bank. Replace the decor & furniture to freshen it up. And lastly, we'd tear out the bedroom loft/mezzanine to accentuate the tall ceilings and windows, making the bedroom appear much larger. Who wants to pack 2-4 more people into 400 square feet? We'd prefer to keep it a cozy & romantic two-person flat, thank you very much!


From the listing (Google translate):

Come and visit this comfortable and pretty T2 bis which is located in a charming residence which was once a hotel where prestigious guests came to stay.

There are still beautiful testimonies of this period: large openings, cut stones, large staircase, superb wood and iron elevator.... .


This property can respond to several projects: main home, second home rental investment: annual or seasonal rental (mountain, countryside, cures, skiing, road or all-terrain cycling, etc.).


The front door opens onto the main room lit by a large window. On the right, the bathroom, laundry area and toilet.

At the end of the living room is the equipped kitchen and a bedroom with a double bed and a mezzanine sleeping 4 (therefore 6 in total).

The spaces are well thought out (plenty of storage) and the volumes are comfortable (high ceilings).

All joinery is quality double glazing.

The apartment is free of any occupation because it is currently used as a second home.

The large private cellar (10m²) is healthy. It allows to store tools, bikes, skis... .


No work to be planned on the residence. Low condominium fees and low property tax.

Source: Green-Acres


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