Crest is a town accounting for 8,000 inhabitants, part of the Drome department and of the Rhone-Alpes region. It has a strong image explained partially by the large tower, remainder of a huge castle, that has been overlooking it for 8 centuries now. Having a rich past, this town bets on the future and many activities are organized to celebrate and prepare both periods.
The town has charming narrow streets, lined with unexpectedly original stone houses or provence-style ones, which seduce many visitors. Being located to the south of Drome, the town benefits from a Mediterranean climate. The market town is lovely, in any season, and tourists come massively. An excellent place if you plan to buy-to-let or if you contemplate opening a guest house in the area. Indeed, with a wonderful setting around (mountains, lavender fields, olive groves and the neighbouring regional nature reserve).
Property prices in 2008 in France were about €3,197 /sq m on average. Crest offers inexpensive property costing about €1,600 /sq m, being a town where bargains are quite numerous indeed. On the region and department level, property prices are €1,800 / sq m. Buying a flat or an apertment will cost €1,400 /sq m on average. This is once again quite inexpensive when considering the national average (€2,400 /sq m). With all its assets, Crest is an ideal place to invest either to pruchase a home, second home or if you plan to rent property.
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Culture, art and historical heritage: the town is in itself a great architectural place. The area is full of museums presenting its rich history, often rooted in medieval times. In Crest, the most obvious asset is the old keep looking like a huge watch tower. But the town centre is also honeycombed with lovely stone houses that one will discover when strolling in the narrow streets.
Good food: foodies will love the area for its many authentic specialities. Some examples: the Picodon de Crest: this cheese made from raw milk is very fresh and has a white or blue paste. Excellent with a salad or directly on toasted bread. The Couve is a delicious cake created in the 18th century and only found nowadays in Crest. It has a bird’s nest shape and the colour is golden. Generally the flavour is orange or lemon. Ideal when served with a glass of bubbly Clairette de Die. The Défarde is a local lamb dish. Eventually, the Caillette is a gorgeous pork paté with eggs and spinach. This rich gastronomy is a big touristy asset of the area, which draws quite a lot of visitors to Crest.
Sport lovers heaven: Crest offers so many opportunities for sport lovers that you will not think twice before investing there. The landscape around is simply stunning and many practise hiking, walking, watersports and so on in winter, and skiing in winter in the several ski resorts of the department. The Medditerranean is a mere 1h30 away and the neighbouring Ardèche is much renowned for lovers of canoeing, kayaking and climbing.
Activities and lifestyle: the locals live a relaxed life under the sun, surrounded with a great environment. This could look like a cliché but is basically the truth in Crest. The celebrations and festivals taking place (music festivals amongst others, street markets, sport contests) give a very lively ambiance to the town and help newcomers to socialize and get integrated. The glass of local wine helps a lot too, when it comes to this. Excellent for foreigners willing to settle.
Location – transport links: Crest is a calm and quiet place but still swift to access. Airports exist in Grenoble, Lyon , Avignon and Saint Etienne. It has a tgv high-speed train station and you can veen get there with the Eurostar through Paris. Motorways also give a swift access to the region, then Crest is accessible through a more modest but well maintained road.
Provence-style properties: these properties are to be found mainly in the town centre. They have coloured walls and a simple layout generally giving them a friendly aspect. Their roofs are gently sloping, with provence-style (=red and yellow) tiles. They make ideal rental properties or second homes, the most sought-after ones offering a view over the town’s keep tower.
Stone houses and farmhouses: Crest’s stone properties can be found in the town centre or in the neighbouring countryside. They feature locally picked stones which have been used to build walls. They can be a Mas and are ideal in this environment thanks to great insulation properties in any season. If you prefer to by a larger property, then go for a farmhouse around the town, which will provide you with room to have a large garden and a swimming pool but still benefitting from the assets of the French commune. These properties can be found at inexpensive prices.
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