Buying A French Chateau Can Cost Less Than A Los Angeles Teardown

trees and blue sky surround a historic castle in france
For the cost of a teardown property in Los Angeles, you could buy a historic manor or chateau in France.

With Los Angeles home prices hitting stratospheric levels, some buyers are looking elsewhere. For the same price they might spend on a teardown, buyers are considering authentic properties, estates, and timeless mansions worldwide, including France.

Looking for prime real estate abroad is a time-honored tradition. In 170, Malcolm Forbes purchased and restored the 17th-century Chateau de Bellerory in Normandy. The Forbes family would own the property for close to five decades.

french chateau surrounded by forest and fields

For $1.3 million, or about the price of a Los Angeles teardown, you could buy this renovated 18th century castle in France. (Groupe Mercure)

Buyers will be surprised how far $2 million or so will go in the French countryside. In West Los Angeles, about half that amount will buy you a single-family, 996-square-foot teardown on a 6,190-square-foot lot. Two million dollars is also about the median listing price in Santa Monica, according to

With the world working remotely and international travel restrictions being lifted, think of the possibilities. It may even be a worthwhile investment in addition to five-star real estate cocktail party bragging rights. Do educate yourself on buying and owning property in France by working with knowledgeable local real estate professionals like Forbes Global Properties Member Groupe Mercure.

Here are several interesting French chateaus around France currently on the market.

stone chateau in the dordogne valley region of france

This charming chateau, listed for EUR 1.85 million, is surrounded by a peaceful wooded park in the Dordogne valley. (Groupe Mercure)

Renovated Chateau in Dordogne: US $2,197,988

Consider this renovated chateau in the Dordogne Valley in the Southwest of France. A wooded park-like setting is perfect for this 4,844-square-foot chateau and 1,722 square foot guest house on the property. The renovation and interior design are top-shelf. The property hosts a total of seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms. As if that is not enough, there is a gym, spa, sauna and a heated swimming pool to enjoy.

water well and gardens at Aimargues mansion

This Aimargues mansion, built as a wine estate in the 13th century, was enlarged in the 17th and 19th centuries. (Groupe Mercure)

South of France: 17th – 19th Century Mansion: US $1,306,912

For the price of Beverly Hills condominium, you can be the proud owner of this mansion in the South of France, which was originally used as a wine estate. This property has a long history dating back to the 13th century. Surrounded by well-tended gardens, the three-story mansion has 5,381 square feet of living space, an independent apartment, and a guest or caretaker’s house.

The property is 20 minutes inland from the Mediterranean between the villages of Montpellier and Nîmes. Montpellier is the third-largest city in France near the Mediterranean Coast. The medieval city of Montpellier attracts visitors from around the world. The city’s Opera Comedie dates to 1888.

brick sided mansion in the south of france

This three-story brick mansion in the Sable-sur-Sarthe region sits on 12 acres with a pond, mature trees and two fields with horse boxes. (Groupe Mercure)

West Of France 19th Century Chateau 150 Miles from Paris: US $1,366,317

This 19th-century, 10-room chateau, located about 150 miles from Paris, is on over 12 acres and is surrounded by mature landscaping and a pond. There are 4306 square feet of living space spread out over four floors. Marble fireplaces and authentic wood flooring add to the chateau’s inherent elegance. Five bedrooms welcome guests and family alike. The chateau is in “excellent condition.”

Sablé-sur-Sarthe, where the chateau is located, is in the Pays de Loire region of western France. It became famous in the 19th century for its marble quarries.

18th – 19th C. Property with caretaker’s cottage

Authentic details take center stage at this Chatellerault estate, which dates to the 18th century. (Groupe Mercure)

Gracious Estate: The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region: US $1,372,257

Built in the 18th century with a caretaker’s cottage, this property has been fully renovated. Authentic stone and parquet wood flooring, interior wood beams, and fireplaces throughout create a 9-bedroom 4-bath estate. Park-like grounds surround the property, and a heated swimming pool completes the appeal. Nouvelle-Aquitane is the largest region in France with its largest city, Bordeaux.

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I have covered the business of real estate (both residential and commercial) for over 25 years, including more than a dozen years working in the Forbes Los Angeles bureau reporting and writing about as I call it, Adventures in Real Estate. From the first tear-downs turning into mega-mansions in Beverly Hills to luxury condos as investments in Las Vegas, I follow the ups and downs of real estate markets around the country just for the fun of it.