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Buying a house in the Luberon: what you need to know

Buying a house in Luberon
Cucuron

Introduction


The Luberon is a magnificent region (I'm not being objective here) in south-east France, known for its picturesque landscape, hilltop villages and cultural heritage. Many people want to spend a few weeks or even a few years here. However, you'll need to get to grips with it if you want to maximise your chances of finding the house of your dreams and transform your life plans.


Factors to consider before buying a house inn Luberon


Before you even begin your search, it's essential to know what you want your life to be like in the area. Depending on whether you only want to come in the summer or live there all year round, you won't be looking at the same locations. This objective will help you choose the ideal location for your home in the Luberon, and match it to the right budget. Because each location has its own particularities, advantages and disadvantages, and therefore its own budget. A brief overview of the region:


Discovering the charms of the Luberon


The Luberon is best known for its natural beauty, with rolling green hills, lavender fields and vineyards. However, there are 3 sub-regions with varying influences, each represented by a major town:


The Golden Triangle


This is the most popular area, indeed the showcase for the whole region. It is bounded by the villages of Gordes, Oppède and Bonnieux.


Places of interest


All the villages (or almost all) mentioned in the guidebooks are located in this part of the region, and many have even been awarded the famous ‘Most Beautiful Village in France’ label. You can visit Lacoste, Ménerbes, Gordes, Roussillon, Joucas, Murs or Oppède, to name but a few. They all have perfectly maintained calades and stone houses, and are situated on rocky outcrops offering magnificent views over the region. And to top it all off, they're close together so you can easily wander around. In terms of culture, apart from the Abbey of Sénanque, there's not much to do.


Annual activities


As this is a very touristy region made up of villages, it is difficult to find any activity in winter. Most of the shops are closed from November to the end of March, and medical and educational facilities are virtually non-existent. You have to move closer to Cavaillon to meet your needs all year round. It is


Transport access


From the 2 main access points, Avignon TGV station and Marignane airport (Marseille), it takes 50 minutes and 1h15 respectively to reach Gordes by car.


Property prices


Tourism means high demand. The Golden Triangle attracts many French and foreign visitors from all over the world, as well as many celebrities in search of tranquillity. This is reflected in the prices: on average, you can expect to pay between €1m and €1.5 for a 3-bedroom stone farmhouse near Gordes.


The Pays d'Apt


As its name suggests, this is the central part of the Luberon, with the town of Apt as its point of reference. It is bounded by the Vaucluse mountains to the north and the Luberon massif to the south.


Places of interest


Considered the capital of the region, Apt is famous for its lively Saturday morning market. Situated at the crossroads of a number of GR (long-distance footpaths), the town is an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding countryside and its many orchards. Nature reigns supreme here, and the landscapes are undulating. The village of Saignon and the fort of Buoux are the 2 main recommended visits.


Annual activity


This part of the Luberon attracts lovers of wide open spaces. Unless you live near Apt, which has a large number of shops, it is difficult to access all the amenities outside the high season. Given the topography of the region, journey times to the capital can quickly climb.


Transport access


Apt can be reached in 1 hour from Avignon and 1h15 from the airport.


Property prices


Although the Pays d'Apt is less well served by transport than its neighbour, it is nevertheless more affordable in terms of prices. It is the most remote part of the Luberon, and this remoteness is reflected in demand. On average, prices are around 50% lower than in Gordes. The difference is particularly noticeable around Apt, where buyers are looking above all for natural areas.


The southern Luberon


Switch to the other side of the Grand Luberon to discover the southernmost part of the region.


Places of interest


Set against the south-facing slopes of the massif, this part of the Luberon has more Mediterranean vegetation. It is also home to some very pretty villages, led by Lourmarin, Cucuron and Ansouis. Time stands still here, and the landscapes invite you to take a stroll.


Annual activity


With greater proximity to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, this region is more dynamic all year round. Second homes are occupied more regularly because people come here for the weekends. Some shops in Lourmarin, for example, remain open in winter. Pertuis, which has a population of nearly 20,000, is also dynamic all year round.


Transport distances


Pertuis is 45 minutes from Avignon and 40 minutes from the airport.


Property prices


Despite excellent access and villages on a par with those in the Golden Triangle, the southern region enjoys less of an aura. And although prices have risen sharply in recent years, they remain more reasonable. On average, prices are 20% lower than in the Triangle.


Advice from property experts


As property prices are strongly correlated with tourist activity, it's vital to know the area precisely to buy the right house in Luberon corresponding to your needs.


Explore the key villages


Explore the villages of the Luberon for yourself. From Ménerbes to Lourmarin, find the village that best suits your lifestyle. Depending on your daily and professional life, study access and journey times. Depending on your plans, it's a good idea to visit these villages in the off-peak period (ideally late November).


Meet the real estate players


Benefit from the advice of local property experts who know the Luberon market inside out. They'll share their knowledge, trends and upcoming projects. A property finder works for his buyer clients and their installation, so he knows the localities inside out and will be able to put you in touch with his local network.


Conclusion


The Luberon offers an idyllic setting for those seeking a peaceful life in the French countryside. The main attraction of this agricultural land is its picturesque villages, which live to the rhythm of the tourist season. The towns, on the other hand, have little appeal and limited cultural life.


Taking the time to explore, discover and experience each season to the full will be crucial to a successful purchase. If you're in a hurry, working with a trusted property finder can save you time and help you get to grips with the region's secrets.

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