Laval is a town of the Mayenne French department accounting for 53,900 inhabitants. The French commune is also part of the Pays de la Loire, a region located in the western part of the country. However the Mayenne department and Laval as well offer a different lifestyle than in other parts of the region, with three main assets: the surrounding greenery, the architecture wealth in terms of monuments, and a dynamic cultural life.
Laval is the main administrative town of the department and is located at the crossroads of Brittany, Normandy and Anjou, three areas of France renonwed for their traditions and having served as a backdrop to many event in the French history. Thus the town is dotted with gorgeous properties and buildings such as the ramparts, bridges and the castle – actual delights for the eyes.
When it comes to property, Laval offers a number of superb houses mainly gathered in the town. Properties around the town are of a less traditional style but all of them are generally bargains. The town centre offers a number of half-timbered properties, maisons de maitre, stone or sometimes brick houses with a stable value given their very specific style and location.
A property in France in 2009 costs €3,197 /square metre on average. In the town of Laval, property costs €1208 /square metre. Properties in the French commune are quite inexpensive in spite of the strong character of most houses. This is an excellent opportunity to buy a property in France without taking risks for a later sale. Rental prices in Laval are about €7.87 /square metre /month, however renting property is easy as the town draws quite a lot of visitors thanks to its outstanding cultural wealth and to the setting around.
Art and historical heritage: Laval was listed by the French government as a major place of architecture in France thanks to its many assets. The town centre is full of maisons de maitre, prestigious or medieval houses bordered with cobbled streets. The town itself is dotted with a gorgeous castle, churches and ancient monasteries.
Tranquillity and scenery: the French town combines great sceneries with the amenities of a medium-sized commune of France. Depending on the quarter of the town, you can really enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside while having all amenities within a stone’s throw. This also means that holiday rentals are easy to offer as holidaymakers value highly these aspects.
Lifestyle: what newcomers really appreciate in Laval is its atmosphere and its typically French lifestyle. Life is relaxed in the town and the countryside is within easy reach. Along with this, stunning Brittany is less than 2hrs away which gives much touristy potential to Laval.
Transport links: the town is ideally situated. The A11 motorways gives a direct link to Paris (280km). Travel by train: TGV high-speed trains let you reach Laval from Paris in 1h30 or from London in 4h30. Rennes airport is 1hr away, Nantes airport 1h45 away. They offer many budget flights to the UK. Laval also has a private aerodrome open to business travellers.
Up and coming area: Laval is definitely up and coming. The whole department of the Mayenne is little-know as it is surrounded with Brittany, Vendee or Normandy to name but a few, heavyweight regions of France very liked by foreigners. But the town and its region have much to offer. The motto to describe Laval could be ‘a town with a bright future’ as it really combines a high quality of life with assets such as a great location and strong style expressed through the town centre for instance.
Property Styles and Architecture in Laval
Laval’s property architecture was mainly developed in the 16th century, a time of peace and tranquillity which explains the rapid growth of the town at that time.
Half-timbered properties: absolutely wonderful half-timbered properties can be found in Laval. They are clear signs of Brittany’s and Normandy’s influence on the region. Walls are built from strong wood beams and the gaps are filled with bricks or other light materials such as cobwork. Corbelling structures are often spotted, which means that each storey juts out a bit more of the front than the lower ones. On the roofs, dormer windows are a hallmark of the traditional property style.
Prestigious properties: these hôtels particuliers generally comprise a main house flanked by a tower, generally impressive. They can be built along the streets or be part of a larger building and then, hidden from the view. Some of them have decorated gables, others have additional storeys. You can spot the latter houses above all in the high street. Gorgeous properties with a high value.
Maisons de maitre: there is a relatively high number of these properties in Laval. With their symmetrical layout and generally beige walls, they are unmissable. The dimensions are massive and impressive and the insde of these properties is luminous and, above all, spacious. These properties are a very good choice if you wish to have some space to live of are looking for a family house. In the area, they are also much more affordable than in most places of western France.