Written by Alexis Goldberg,
13th April 2017

Deciding on you dream destination and arranging your finances should be top of your French property buying to do list.

Want to move to France but struggling to put all that talk into action? Deciding where in this fabulous country you want to live, and assessing your finances so you know what sort of budget you’ll be working with, is a pretty good place to start. Here are a few steps to help you get out the blocks – before you know it you’ll be relaxing in your new home, glass of local wine in hand.

The location of your property is equally as important as the property itself

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1. Thoroughly research the areas that appeal to you

The location of your property is equally as important as the property itself, so think carefully about how you want to live your new life in France. Perhaps you want to be in or near a busy town close to amenities and transport links, or maybe you’d prefer to be in a rural location enjoying the quiet life by the beach? There are so many questions to answer around this. Start by picking out a couple of general areas which appeal to you and then get researching. Talk to as many people as you can about your shortlisted options; a great way to do this is to visit online forums where expats that live there discuss their experiences. Read articles, books, blogs and anything else you can get your hands on that provides a useful insight into the area. And most fun of all, visit these areas to truly experience what life is like there. You could even hire a house or apartment for a few days, rather than staying in a hotel, for a more authentic experience as a local resident.


Do you want to live in a town, by a beach or both. With so much choice available make sure you research your options thoroughly.


2. Get help from property agents but remember you’re in the driving seat

Many property agents in France speak English and will be more than willing to spend some time with you, not only viewing properties but informing you about the area and giving you the benefit of their local knowledge. They should be able to answer any questions you may have around both the property buying process in France and life there. By all means utilise their expert knowledge but stick to your buying criteria that has been born out of your extensive research, and don’t allow them to persuade you to deviate from your well laid plans. Of course you should allow a certain amount of flexibility, but be sure their advice is aimed at benefiting you rather than their pockets.

3. Finances

Spending thousands of pounds on a property in France is a huge decision. Therefore, your first steps on this journey should include a thorough assessment of your finances. By doing so you will know precisely how much money you can comfortably use from your savings, the sale or re-mortgage of your UK property, or any other source, in order to finance your French property. This will help you focus your search on areas that match your budget. You will also need to understand the additional costs involved in buying a property in France, such as exposure to exchange rates, and other costs that may pop up unexpectedly.

To talk through your French mortgage options, click here to be put in touch with a specialist broker.

If you’re not lucky enough to be able to pay for your property outright in cash you may consider either a UK mortgage, or a French mortgage broker. There are a number of mortgage options available in France, and whilst conditions have become more stringent since the credit crunch, interest rates are low. Seeking the service of an overseas mortgage can be crucial when trying to obtain the best offer for you.

Your first steps on this journey should include a thorough assessment of your finances.

4. Enjoy the journey!

Finally, enjoy this unique journey by taking your time over it and viewing it as an adventure. By being proactive and putting the appropriate measures in place from the outset you will avoid any unexpected pitfalls that could scupper your dreams, allowing you to enjoy what should be a life changing experience.

Buying a House in France Guide.

Buying a property in France is extremely exciting, but it can be nerve-wracking: in what ways is the process different to the UK, how do you cope with the language difference, what fees should you expect and just who is the notaire? That’s why we’ve put together our France Buying Guide, to help you through the process, step by step.

Written by experts, it covers every stage of buying, from viewing to contracts and fees. Get your copy of the French Property Guide by simply filling in the form below.

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  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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