A deserted French village with enough buildings for dozens of families and a communal swimming pool, is up for sale in France – for a little over $400,000. You have until this friday to put in your bid, but if you miss it fear not – there are plenty more bargains across France, Spain, Greece and Portugal, as European economies continue to implode.
The steal of a price for Courbefy, in the unspoilt French boondocks is due both to France’s failing economy and the long-term decline of rural communities.
Buyers have until Friday to put in for the village, which is situated in the Limousin region in the centre of the country,just under 30 miles from the city of Limoges, which has excellent rail and road links to Paris.
All of Courbefy’s buildings – which are mainly made up of family homes and a village hall – are available, together with the pool, stables and tennis courts.
Jean-Pierre Chateau, who lives in the nearby countryside, told Le Figaro newspaper that it was ‘heartbreaking’ to see the place as a ‘ghost village’.
He said it once had a unique atmosphere with ‘village festivals which were held right up until the 1960s’.
Courbefy is of huge historical interest as there are ruins of 13th Century castle nearby, as well as an ancient chapel.
Mr Chateau said locals, many of whom were farmers, started to move out in the 1970s, as they chased jobs in the new industries.
During the 1990s there was an attempt to turn Courbefy into a holiday village, complete with hotels and restaurants, but the hugely expensive plan was abandoned.
Since then it has been over-grown and is mainly visited by ‘thieves, drunks and squatters’, according to another local.
Courbefy was put up for auction by the Limoges judicial authorities last Monday, but nobody bid.
Accordingly it is now up for sale, with the price of 330,000 euros meant to reflect the amount of work necessary to return it to its former glory.
Bernard Guilhem, the mayor of the area of countrywide which covers Courbefy, said it would be ‘lamentable’ if nobody came forward, suggesting that anyone with a fair offer could probably get it for less than $400,000.
If no-one comes forward then Courbefy will remain in the hands of Credit Agricole bank.
The country is going through an economic downturn at the moment, with property prices falling through the floor as the cost of living and unemployment rises.
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