Thursday, 13 November 2008

Market Towns of the Brionnais

You've walked through the saturday morning market in your local town, you've picked up your freshly baked bread and treated yourself to some butter croissants, choosen some fresh cuts of local Charolais beef, a selection of vegatables and even been tempted with some regional goats cheese and you finally sit down at the little café on the corner. Sitting there having your coffee watching the hive of people walking round the market, enjoying the typical blue sky autumn morning of the Burgundy region, one of your local neighbours sees you and greets you with a handshake and decides to share a coffee with you and before you know it you are already late as you were meant to be back to start lunch, but you've also just been invited to pop past on your way home and enjoy an apperative...... You've no need to wake up from this dream for this is a typical market morning in our region of the Brionnais.

As we introduce each and every one of our clients to our region and they find their perfect home, it is now becoming apparent that they are becoming accustomed more and more quickly to what the region has to offer and within days they are meeting and enjoying their new neighbours and within a very short time we are pleased to see them totally independant of our needs and immersing themselves totally into the 'Burgundy way of Living'. For many of them, a weekly trip to the local market town is a must.

Burgundy has a wealth of market towns and villages, to name a few: Marcigny, La Clayette, Chauffailles and St Christophe en Brionnais. Closest to our office is the market town of Marcigny. Favoured by many, Marcigny has a market once a week on monday morning and offers a wide variety of local produce to include bread, meat, cheeses, fruit and vegetables. It also offers a small livestock section, freshly cooked cuisine and clothing. The market square is also surrounding by local shops, bars and cafés which makes Marcigny an ideal place to spend a whole morning. Marcigny also offers, on it's outskirts, two supermarkets, a DIY store, the famous Emile Henry ceramic cookware factory and store, a selection of other varied stores.
Chauffailles has a friday morning market and offers also banks, every type of shop imaginable, chemists, doctors, dentists and a post office.
La Clayette has a market day every tuesday with shop-lined little streets climbing up from the famous 12th century turretted Chateau and lake.
You can also visit the well known Dufoux chocolatier, chocolate shop (100% hand-crafted chocolate. Classed as a 3-star chocolate maker).
St Christophe en Brionnais has the
biggest Charolais cattle market in France every Thursday morning and really gives you a chance to experience a 'Real France' atmosphere. There are also a couple of well known restaurants that serve the local Charlolais beef.

Burgundy Property Prices

As we see a worldwide economical melt down and a complete slowdown in spending, we are all suddenly sitting there thinking that we are all tied to the spot, how true is this?

Having been in France, Burgundy region, now for a good few years I can honestly tell you that our region still offers exceptional value for money. I will also remind you that, like the UK and property price adjustments that are taking place there, the European continent is going through the same motions.

UK may be having a hard time, especially what is portrayed each and every day by the media, but France has also been seeing property price drops to make what were once reasonably priced property now even more affordable. So, if you were thinking that the loss in the price of your house you wanted to sell in the UK to afford you a life abroad has completed shattered your dreams, you should think again. It is becoming more and more apparent that prices are coming down here in France too and it is widely known by those in the business that an offer of 30% below the asking price is not something that will necessarily be thrown out the window. We would infact suggest to our clients more often than not, that we should start off with an offer and take things from there. We try and be as genuine as possible and will always inform our clients if we feel there is any kind of negotiation available on any property we advertise.

So, just because you see headline news nearly everyday in the UK about 'House price Falls', do not let that deter you from pruchasing abroad for you will find that suprisingly or not, we are all pretty much in the same boat!

Property for sale in Burgundy, France.

Finding a property for sale in Burgundy these days has become more and more easier, especially with the flooding rate that we are seeing new internet websites popping up hosting 1,000's of property taken from other sites. So as the choice widens, though realistically it is not choice it is repeated marketing, you find yourself looking at a whole host of agents/immobilieres/website portals all trying to sell to you that special product. And what does this all end up giving to the person searching through it all? It's confusion!

Trying to find a genuine website on the internet that promotes solely it's regional property ofwhich they are fully aware of in both information of the property itself and the region that it lies, is now becoming a task. We like to think that our region of France, Burgundy, is a place personnal to us and a topic that we can enlighten onto to others. A basic search on Google for 'house for sale in Burgundy' will bring up some 439,000 separate results and even though we are on the first page, for the browser searching property for sale in Burgundy, they could be forgiven if they were slightly confused as whom to choose to help them.

We could easily advice each client to research French Property magazine publications of present and past, such as 'The French Property News' and see if the website/company name has ever been advertised or been included in editorials (Both ofwhich we have been, past and present), or visit major websites dealing in information of France such as,, (All ofwhich we are included on), or simply look at the general build of the website and the content. For example, at we try and give each and every visitor to our website an impression of what the Burgundy region can offer them to include a varied selection of property, regional information, maps, videos of major towns and villages for you to watch and any client/browser can feel free to contact us at anytime by telephone or email and speak to somebody in our office within the Southern Burgundy and be guided through any questions or concerns, we speak both English and French. will, unlike many of the standard 'world property' websites out there, offer a full before/during/aftersales service to make sure that you find, complete and enjoy your new home in Burgundy.

So, do feel free to browse our website and at any point feel free to get in contact with us to discuss your needs and requirements.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

B&B, chambres d'hotes in Burgundy

You are looking for a B&B, Chambres d'hotes or gite business in Burgundy? Buying an established business is not the only way to proceed for such a venture, the greater percentage of people entering the B&B business in France do so by creating their own business within a residential property, farmhouse, etc, there are many properties available at the present time that could easily be converted over from residential only to residential plus income.
What is the type of property that suits being a B&B or Chambre d'hotes......
1.It must have more bedrooms than are neccessary for the persons who are living there permanently, any number up to 5 bedrooms can be allocated for B&B business in France.
New rules have been introduced this year regarding the running of B&B business, before this they were only guidelines, these guidelines have now become legal requirements. Check out an established business meets these requirements.
Setting up your own business within the property where you would also like to live in is very important, remember there are alot fewer B&B/chambres d'hotes to choose from than there are private properties for sale, so there is much greater choice and value in buying a property you can convert over for use as a B&B..
B&B's in France are used mainly as stopovers for 1 or 2 nights, alot of business is also created through the local community, I know for a fact that local weddings create alot of customers as family and friends stay locally, other family events also create such business.
Over the years B&B in France attracted passing trade, the internet and GPS has changed this, the internet has become a very important source of clients of B&B owners, many clients choose their destination by internet rather than taking pot luck, they also seem to prefer village or town location, that way it is easier for them to walk to a restaurant in the evening, that is if the B&B owner does not offer table d'hote/evening meal. Again I know for a fact this year 2008 clients for local B&B have been predominantly French and other, Brits have been seen less this year, it is very important to base the business around these facts. A good website well publicised is important. Very few B&B rely on return business, clients always like to try new places to stay if they revisit an area unless as stated previously accomodation is sought for a local event or function.
We at Simplyburgundy have much experience in advising people looking to purchase an existing B&B or a house to convert over to such a business, ( we have clients who are currently opearating their own B&B's in Burgundy) our site has many properties that would easily suit the B&B business. Do not hesitate to contact us for any advice relating to operating your own B&B.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Holiday rentals in Burgundy

We may have seen a slow down this year in the interest by Brits to buy property in France, however Gites (country holiday rentals) in Burgundy continue to be in demand. In the region of the Brionnais and Charolais where simplyburgundy specialises in the sale of country properties most Gite owners are experiencing a very good year for rentals. The region has so much to offer for couples, groups of friends and families, in general, prices are very competitive compared to other regions of France. It makes very good sense to do your homework and check out a number of websites, look for feed back, check to make sure you are not paying well over the top for a basic Gite when a similar gite can be rented for much less with the same quality of presentation. Recently I read in one of the French property publications that a French Gite owner increased their occupancy rate just by putting the price up to match the price set by a local British Gite owner and likewise aimed his marketing in a more efficient manner. A very good site for cost comparison is the site Gite de France, this association has been around a long time and normally has a regular advertising clientele, if prices are set sensibly a good return can be had by most gite owners, the numbers visiting France and requiring rental accommodation is forever increasing, it is not only Brits that look for such accommodation, they come as far a field as Australia and Japan. When clients make contact with us regarding the purchase of a property, they often look to stay in the region for a week, they very often ask us to recommend a local Gite which we are more than pleased to arrange for them. We are considering adding Gite and Chambres d'hote recommendations to our site, hopefully we will have progressed sufficiently with this that by the end of the year when we will have a selection on our site to choose from.
Property in Burgundy still offers good value, prices have adjusted downwards in reaction to the market and further negotiation is possible on certain properties, I believe the French property market has corrected very quickly and this is shown in the number of Europeans still interested in buying, especially those who have adopted the Euro, unfortunatly the Brits are burdened with a weak pound sterling at the moment, hopefully that will correct in the near future, maybe the good rental income as a gite could make the investment a sound one, even with a weak pound.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Prices in France

Questions about the possibility of negotiating the price of a French property are becoming more and more common these days from prospective UK buyers of French Property especially those selling in the UK. The most recent call I had was from a couple who visited just over 2 months ago, fell in love with our region of Burgundy and were more than happy with the prices for the type of property they were looking for, their intention was to return to UK, put their own property immediately on the market and get back to us when they had a positive buyer, up to the present moment they have not had a viewing. The question they asked me was. " As we are having no luck in attracting buyers at the moment, if we were to significantly drop our asking price here in the UK can we expect to do the same over there in Burgundy for the property we expect to purchase", my answer to that was " yes, the market here in France is experiencing the same downturn as the UK and the houses being sold are those where the owners are willing to negotiate"
Most of our clients are those looking to live permanenetly in France and are normally coming up to retirement or already retired, they are not looking to wait too long to before they make their move. Market conditions are not exactly favourable for those selling a property in the UK before they buy in France, couple that with the bad exchange rate between the pound and the euro and it makes the job of finding a property within a budget quite difficult, however I can assure clients that not only here in Burgundy but all over France property prices are negotiable, sometimes more than would be reasonably expected, so do not give up that dream it just needs a little more resolve and strong negotiating. Allen Walkey (simplyburgundy)

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Brionnais, Charolais and Chalonais.

These regions are found in the department of Saone et Loire which is located in the southern section of Burgundy and offer rolling countryside with hill top villages not to mention the wine yards, canals and popular market towns. If you want to experience the true history, culture and pleasures of France then Burgundy must be your destination.