Sponsored by Bancaja Habitat
This sympathetically restored maison de maitre in the Charente region (25 mins to Angouleme) features four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two small houses that can be converted into extra living space if required. The property has a low-maintenance garden of roughly 4,000 square metres, with space for a pool if desired. Leggett Immobilier are asking EUR667,800 (see www.frenchestateagents.com for more information).
Can Furios is a small,18th century country hotel with views over the Mallorcan countryside and the Tramuntana mountains. It is 45 mins north of Palma airport and near several beaches and the Pollensa Golf Club. The accommodation comprises eight luxury bedrooms, five en suite bathrooms, private gardens/terraces, three receptions, industrial kitchen, large restaurant/dining room, bar/lounge area with fireplace, proprietor's self-contained apartment and large swimming pool. Knight Frank are asking EUR2,650,000 (freehold) - see www.knightfrank.com.
South Sound Beach, Cayman Islands
The Breezy Pines complex features two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments with spacious floor plans, ample natural light and storage space, and a huge wraparound balcony. Knight Frank are seeking £151,466 per apartment; insurance and maintenance fees are minimal. See www.knightfrank.com for further information.
These two stone cottages in the heart of Brittany (near Belle Isle en Terre; 15 mins from Guincamp, and within easy reach of the ferry ports of Roscoff/St Malo and airports of Brest/Dinard/St Lieuc) are being offered by Leggett Immobilier, who are asking EUR162,410 for both. The properties have been renovated to a high standard and retain many of the original features. See www.frenchestateagents.com for further information.
Contemporary-designed The Keys, in the Quinta da Lago area, comprises 150 fully automated homes ranging from two-bedroom lateral apartments to five-bedroom villas within three separate developments: Key Lago, Key Pointe and Key Verde. Residents have access to six-star services, major golf courses, a private club and other facilities. Knight Frank are seeking between EUR1,060,000-EUR4,470,000 (see www.knightfrank.com for more information).
Panama City, Panama
The Yoo Panama 58-storey tower, designed by Philippe Starck's Yoo real estate firm, is located in the business district of Panama City on the famous Avenida Balboa, which runs along the Pacific Coast side of Panama Bay. The tower will feature loft-style one and two-bedroom, duplex and triplex apartments on the top floors, all with ocean or city views; a designer 300 square metre swimming pool and children's pool; a business centre and four meeting rooms; two multi-purpose ballrooms; a day spa and treatment rooms; lounge with library and pool table; multi-level parking; full-time concierge; two squash courts; and a rooftop garden terrace. Prices from £198,330-£787,653 (see www.propertyshowrooms.com).
Perigord Noir, France
Leggett Immobilier are offering this restored 18th century water mill house, set on six hectares of land in a major tourist region of the Dordogne, for EUR750,000. The property has a proven track record as a successful gite complex, with six individual houses/gites, an 11x5m heated swimming pool and the original mill house with ecologically friendly water-powered mill workings. See www.frenchestateagents.com to view this property in full.
Piegut (Dordogne), France
This large country farmhouse features four bedrooms, 2.3 hectares of private land, a working well, a large barn and two big ponds, entered via double gates and a large courtyard. Leggett Immobilier are asking EUR333,900 (see www.frenchestateagents.com for further details).
Knight Frank are offering this two-bedroom, two-bathroom Tuscan country house, 'Casa Fontanina', for EUR795,000 (freehold). The property includes one hectare of land with terraced gardens, mature trees and an olive grove, and is situated in Monsummano Terme, which is equidistant between Lucca (40 mins), Florence (45 mins) and Pisa airport (40 mins). See www.knightfrank.com for further details.
The Pinetree Apartments seven-storey building is within easy reach of Hitech City and the Bangalore ring road. It features 84 secure one, two and three-bedroom apartments, three sky gardens and a swimming pool on the terrace, a gym and fitness room, basement parking, a multi-purpose hall, outdoor games and children's areas, and retail facilities on the ground floor. The properties are on the market between £23,583 to £35,381. See www.themovechannel.com for more information.
Le Patio Aquitaine, a modern development located in Bruges, a rural suburb of Bordeaux, offers 15 studio and two-bedroom flats, each offering balconies, private gardens and underground parking. Prices start from EUR109,000, with a projected rental yield of 4.25% and mortgages available from 4.60%. Contact www.frenchleasebacks.com for further information.
Try Before You Buy
With rising UK living costs, more people are considering moving to cheaper, sunnier countries like Spain to enjoy a reasonable retirement. But what if they are worried they might not adjust to the Spanish lifestyle?
Rather than risk going through the whole buying and selling process only to find it isn't suitable, a new scheme at Santa Pola Life Resorts near Alicante, Spain, offers would-be retirees the chance to experience life in a purpose-built retirement complex on a 12 or 24-month trial basis.
First you visit the resort to choose a property you like and agree the purchase price. You then sign a rental agreement for the term, and pay a refundable deposit and your monthly rental amount, which entitles you to all the resort's benefits. If, after living there for the specified time, you decide it is not for you, your deposit is refunded and you leave with no obligation. But if you then wish to buy, your deposit and all the monthly payments are deducted from the agreed price.
If you are able to rent your UK property out before you go, this should cover the cost of the rental payments and supply extra cash for when you buy. If you have not sold your home or are waiting for funds to be released, you will have security in the interim.
This scheme offers a safe opportunity to see if life in a Spanish retirement complex is for you. For further details about Santa Pola, see below.
Santa Pola Life Resort, Alicante
Santa Pola Life Resort is in the town of Santa Pola, Alicante, just 10 minutes from Alicante's international airport. It is an exclusive resort for the over-55s, close to several golf courses and with a private beach club and shuttle bus.
The resort is set on 85,000 square metres designed to resemble a Mediterranean village. It features single-storey, fully furnished one or two-bedroom bungalows and one, two and three-bedroom apartments, each equipped with 'domotic' installations, spacious communal gardens, and a 24-hour security and surveillance service.
There is also a social and leisure centre including restaurants, shops, a club house, library, theatre, meeting rooms, a reception room, private bar, spa and fitness centre, outdoor heated pool and full medical facilities.
Prices range from EUR139,500 for apartments to EUR149,500 for bungalows. For further information, see www.bancajahabitat.com.
Caring for children and elderly relatives
Similar to June 2007
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fine reduced to £60,000
Two roles created