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What the French names for types of house for sale mean


Owing to its long and rich history combined with its great variety of landscapes, France has a wide range of different  types of houses to offer for sale. We have summarised the main ones in the list below. 

Maison individuelle: This is a term used for any type of detached house in France.

Maison mitoyenne: This is a term used for any type of semi-detached or terraced house in France where there is at least one shared wall. 

Appartement: As you would expect this is a flat/apartment in France which could either be part of a house or a larger building. 

Villa: Typically used to describe houses from the south of France and are usually quite modern in style made from a breeze block structure with rendering and tiled roofs. 

Longère: Usually found in the Northern regions of France these long, one-storey stone properties are very popular with foreigners looking for character stone properties in the French countryside. 

Bastide: This type of property shares its name with the fortified medieval towns built in the 13th and 14th centuries in the south of France. They are mostly found in Aquitaine & Languedoc-Roussillon in such towns as Monpazier, Monflanquin, Carcassonne and many more. They are instantly recognisable due to their square shapes and layouts and imposing stone structure, often with arcades or archways on the ground floors. 

Manoir: Usually of a grand and elegant design, belonging to a “Lord of the Manor” in days gone by, the manoir is usually found in country locations as they were very important for agricultural production. Manoirs frequently have surrounding walls, gatehouses and a courtyard with stables and are built of stone or brick. 

Château: The term “Chateau” in French does not just refer to a castle but also encompasses country houses and palaces with or without fortifications. They are imposing and often very grand in style, usually coming with their own park, courtyard, stables, gatehouses, breweries, bakeries etc- they were designed to be as self sufficient as possible. Although chateaux are found all over France they are most commonly found in the Loire Valley

Mas: These stone farmhouses are some of the most desirable houses in France and are found in the south of France, usually Provence. They typically have pastel coloured shutters, tiled roofs and often have outbuildings or small barns.

Hôtel Particulier: This is a private mansion or townhouse built in brick or stone which used to belong to wealthy town dwellers. They have plenty of space, high ceilings and large windows. 

Maison à colombages: This is the term used to describe half-timber houses, with the other half being brick, plaster or “torchis”. They are very attractive and full of charm.