The department of Maine-et-Loire is in the Pays-de-la-Loire region, also known as Anjou, its historic name. Located at the crossroads of Brittany, Centre, Aquitaine and Normandy in western France, it’s a land of castles and vineyards, historic towns and pretty hamlets.
We talk to local estate agent Darren Briers about why Maine-et-Loire is a great place for expats to consider a move to France or second home…
What made you move to Maine-et-Loire
My partner Angela and I fell in love with a lovely typical Angevin village. It’s steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside. There are magnificent forests in which we spend a huge amount of time exercising our Weimaraner dogs.
The pace of life here is relaxed and people like to make the most of the good life – “La Douceur Angevin” is what they call it here. This department has a mellow climate, great vineyards, stunning landscapes and wonderful towns. The red, rosé, white and sparkling wines that are produced in this area are superb.
We also like the very clearly defined seasons, Jan/Feb can be cold and fresh with heavy frosts but we rarely have snow. March and April are the main Spring months and the temperatures steadily rise in May. June/July/August and September are our warmest months very much in line with the South. The grape harvest for wines is usually around the 3rd of 4th week of September. October sees the start of a usually mild Autumn with the occasional frost and rain
What is the appeal of Maine et Loire for house buyers?
It really is an ideal area, we have a micro-climate with the same weather as the Charente and Dordogne – lots of sunshine – but we are two hours nearer to ferry ports for UK crossings. The high speed TGV services from Angers mean we are only an hour or so from Paris. This region has a vibrant economy with a massive tourism industry. It also has all the things one associates with French living in terms of gastronomy and vineyards. The area is steeped in history with lovely medieval towns and villages.
Property prices are highly attractive. You can find small properties and renovation projects from as low as 40,000€. A nice 3-bedroomed typical longere cottage or farmhouse in good condition will cost around 125,000€.
Every sort of property is available from chateaux, water mills, farmhouses, manoirs, gite complexes, renovation projects and modern houses. The typical style of Maine-et-Loire is tuffeau stone blocks with a traditional Slate Roof. All the famous Chateaux in the region tend to be built this way too.
Where should property seekers look in Maine-et-Loire
Angers is a lovely city, but I think some of the prettiest towns are Saumur, Montsoreau, Bauge, Montreuil Bellay, Beaufort en Vallee, Les Rosiers and Brissac.
For off the radar/not so well known places in Maine-et-Loire that home hunters ought to consider look anywhere within the circle of Saumur, Bauge, Noyant and Montsoreau. This area has truly stunning countryside and pretty villages plus easy access to the main towns, tourist destinations and motorways. And importantly, prices are very sensible in this area.
Generally speaking the area has a more vibrant economy closer to the Loire in the north where property prices remain steady with a fairly buoyant market.
Can you sum up life in Maine-et-Loire?
A very relaxed lifestyle in beautiful surroundings. You’ll receive a warm and friendly welcome. There are plenty of events and things to do and see all year round, not just in the summer months. And, because of the climate you can fully enjoy this region all year round.
See Darren’s portfolio of properties for sale in Maine-et-Loire: www.frenchestateagents.com. Interested in becoming an agent for Leggett Immobillier? See details here.