Your fantasy of living in a castle in the French countryside may not be so farfetched. For the price of a Manhattan condo, you can own one of the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 historic French chateaux that are now up for sale.
Many of these estates have been put on the market because their current owners can no longer afford the taxes and upkeep, according to Michael Braunholtz, sales director for Prestige Property Group, which maintains an international property database.While the French government is trying to unload hundreds of properties to cut debt, it owns fewer than 1 percent of the chateaux up for sale.
They may look like bargains at first glance, but Braunholtz warns that many of these properties require extensive renovation. Real estate agent Anne Chassaigne-De La Sauzay of Agence Internationale Mercure estimates that total property taxes run about $5,500 to $9,600 per year, insurance costs range from $2,700 to $6,800, and heating for year-round residents costs $4,100 to $9,600.