Winter property viewings in France always pay dividends! As the old saying goes, if you like a property when the weather is cold, the nights are longer and the trees are bare of their leaves, you will absolutely fall in love with it when summer comes around.
There are many other reasons why winter viewings make real sense, and here we look at some of the main ones.
See an area at its quietest
In many parts of France, the atmosphere in the winter is entirely different from the summer months. The tourists are gone and in some more rural parts restaurants and bars may close for a period. Having said that, life does go on of course and it is often a pleasure to walk around a village in the winter and witness the lives of the French folk who live and work there year round. Plus, you will always find a restaurant or café open somewhere, often with a log fire burning in the corner and a hearty homemade French winter dish such as boeuf bourguignon at a very reasonable price.
The French tend to admire us Brits who come over to look for property in their beautiful country. They somehow know that people who venture over during the winter months are dead set on buying property here. You are more than likely to get chatting to some locals in a café or bar who will be intrigued that you are in their domain during the winter.
Make sure you’re prepared for a viewing trip with the tips and tricks from our Viewing Trip guide.
You’ll have full attention from the estate agent
Estate agents in France are selling a lifestyle, not just a property. They know very well that winter viewings often bring serious clients to the table, unlike the window shoppers who browse whilst on holiday during the summer months. Therefore, you are more likely to have their undivided full attention and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about their area, the lifestyle, the amenities etc. You can, of course, also pick their brains about what life is really like there during the winter, straight from the horse’s mouth!
Properties which have been on the market throughout the summer months and have not yet sold may well be reduced during the winter so this is an excellent time to look from a financial point of view. There are plenty of bargains to be found in many parts of the country.
If you are ready to buy in France within the next few months, call our friendly France Resource Team on 020 7898 0549 or email France@propertyguides.com.
Reasonable travel prices
There are still many airports serving the UK which offer flights at very reasonable prices during the winter months. Airports such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bergerac, Lyon and, of course, Paris remain open all year round. As for accommodation, this tends to be far cheaper during the winter in hotels, B&Bs and private gites. Don’t forget to ask for the best price: many will be happy to offer you a deal when they are not so busy. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
If you are driving down to France, which many people are very keen to do rather than fly in the world as we now know it, you will be pleasantly surprised. You are unlikely to find traffic jams, the roads are much emptier and even freight seems to go less often by road during the winter. Driving down at a leisurely pace, staying in a pretty village on the way and taking it easy can be just as much of a pleasure as it is in the summer.
The climate generally in France is seasonal and although you need to venture into the deep south to find real warmth in the winter, you will still find the sunshine if you venture down to the south of France. There is nothing like a cold, crisp, sunny winter day in a French town or village to whet the appetite for a new lifestyle, away from the rat race of the UK. Many people who live here actually prefer France in the winter; it has an atmosphere all of its own.
To sum up, if you are serious about buying a property in France, winter viewings make absolute sense from all points of view. So, book that viewing trip!