Historic House / Bed and Breakfast For Sale in France

The House

The house was built in about 1720 by the favorite illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV, the Princesse de Conti. She lived in the castle and the house was built for her finance minister. It sits right at the foot of the Château de Montmirail.

 

 View of the village of Montmirail, surrounded by pristine countryside

View of the village of Montmirail, surrounded by pristine countryside

One enters the house through a gate from a quiet square (Place de l'Eglise) into a private terrace garden. Two French doors lead into an entry with a salon and kitchen. There are two other large rooms on the ground floor, one of which we use as a dining room for the bed & breakfast, the other as an art studio. There is a half bath off the studio as well as a garage, which currently serves as our press room. A large utility room houses the furnace, its fuel tank, and a water softener/pressure regulator, in addition to serving as a workroom for our printmaking and photography (there are two sinks in this space). A separate adjoining storeroom holds tools and enough firewood for at least one full winter (the house has nine fireplaces, of which 4 are in active use).

On the second floor are four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a fifth room which we use as an office. Three of the bedrooms have showers, one has a large claw-foot tub. All the bathrooms were added in 2007 and are equipped with premium fixtures. The rooms on this floor are used by our clientele.

The third floor is an open space which is used as our apartment. There is a large open kitchen, a dining area, bedroom, laundry room and bathroom. The style here is more modern than the rest of the house, with skylights and magical views of the chateau and surrounding countryside. Here we are entirely separated from the guest rooms

Finally, there is a 400 m2 garden (approximately 4000 sq ft) located behind the castle, a 5 minute walk from the house. It has a playhouse, shed, wooden deck, and flower/vegetable garden, as well as a large grass area for badminton or football. It is bordered on one side by the medieval city walls and on the other by a photinia hedge and the ramparts of the chateau.

View from the front windows of the third floor.

Floor plan: 350 sq meters (approximately 3700 sq feet)

The Location

Montmirail is situated two hours west of Paris, between Chartres and Le Mans in Pays de la Loire, Sarthe department of France. It is at the edge of Le Parc Naturel du Perche. The town is classified as a Petite Cité de Caractère, which means that it is kept as authentic to its medieval origins as possible. All utility lines are underground and there are no modern buildings inside the village limits. The countryside all around is completely unspoiled. There are many wonderful walking paths through the woods and down the country lanes. The commune is lively with several village-wide activities throughout the year, including a medieval festival, and yet it is very calm and quiet. The village has a bakery, a small grocery store and butcher, a hair salon, a bar/cafe, two banks, an auto repair shop, a post office and a pharmacy. We used to have a very popular restaurant which burned down. There are plans to rebuild it.

 

The Business

We purchased the Maison Conti in 2007 in order to create a maison d'hôtes (bed & breakfast). We wanted to stay in France and self-employment was a great way to get integrated. We spent a year making the house ready for our business. We added bathrooms, upgraded the electricity and plumbing, and redecorated the interior. We opened our doors in 2008. The business has been growing ever since. We have worked hard to build a good reputation and attract many repeat customers.

The house is set up for someone to take over the business immediately. You are purchasing the house and business including most of the furnishings and equipment used to run the guest house (bed and bath linens, table ware etc.) We will transfer our website and client list to you — in short, to help you make a smooth transition to the idyllic French life-style you've always dreamed of. (We know, we did too!) It's not nearly as complicated to move to France as you might imagine. We can help you find your way. As business owners in France, you are eligible for French health insurance and other social benefits. You don't speak French? You will. There's no better way to learn than on the job. That is what we have done. People here are very patient and helpful. Our busy season begins in April and goes until the end of October, but we do have clients throughout the year.

Alternatively, it is also a wonderful house for someone who doesn't want to run a business and perhaps only wants to live part time in France. It makes an ideal large family vacation home and because of its location and design is very secure. You can close the shutters, lock up and be away for months at a time without worry. We have both police and fire brigades in town and they look after us. Our neighbors are also very generous and vigilant on our behalf. We spent the winter away this year, leaving the house empty for five months. When we returned it was in perfect condition. All the ground floor windows are protected by decorative iron grills.

Why would we leave such a place? We are retiring to spend more time with our grandchildren, who live in Paris. We have no plans to leave France. We love la vie française!

Be sure you visit our website for additional information and many more photos. We can also be found on Booking.com and Trip Advisor.

Costs/Price

We are asking 450,000€ (approximately $534,000 / £400,000) for the house, the business, most of the furnishings, and the garden. You should budget 6-7% on top of the sale price for the notaire, who handles the sales contract and transfer of title. If you prefer to purchase just the house, we are asking 420,000€. (this price does not includes the garden which is on a separate contract.) Property taxes are modest, approximately 1500€/year.

Diagnostic Documents

If you would like to see a complete 77 page document, it can be sent to you.

Contact

Please feel free to call us with any questions you might have +33 (0)2 43 93 35 26 (We are on CET, so be sure to calculate time differences before calling)  or email info@maisonconti.com

We are happy to answer questions regarding the profitability of the business and the costs of running a small business in France. We are also willing to offer advice about relocating to France. It is straightforward.

 Hand drawn map of the village with landmarks. Be sure to see the aerial photo on the Maison Conti website.

Hand drawn map of the village with landmarks. Be sure to see the aerial photo on the Maison Conti website.