France Property Guide brings you top tips to stay motivated and buy your dream property in France successfully.
We may live in uncertain times, but France never seems to lose its allure for British people – with many more determined than ever to find their own bolthole in France. Let’s not forget that France is a very big country, with plenty to offer in terms of lifestyle, comfort, beauty, and space. We offer our Top Five Tips for staying on the right track and realising your dream of buying in France.
Think about how often you will be there, and whether your plan is to let the property in your absence.
1. Location, Location, Location…
So how do you decide where to look and what to look for? At the very beginning of the process of making your dream of buying in France come true, think about location: do you want to be in a buzzing town, a large village, or does a beautiful, rustic location spring to mind, all about the views and your own land?
2. Be practical
Think about how often you will be there, and whether your plan is to let the property in your absence: places within walking distance of amenities will make it easier to find tenants, and a large stretch of land may become a liability if you are not able to attend to it regularly, so be realistic about your needs and the practicalities involved.
Access to airports and train stations is important, too. How will you get there? How long will it take you, door to door? You are much more likely to use your second home regularly if you have a reasonable journey from the airport. France now has many regional airports serving all parts of the UK, so this should not be difficult.
3. Money matters
Finances are, of course, a key consideration: a property in a town is likely to have higher taxes than one in the middle of nowhere, and the purchase price per square metre will be higher. When it comes to exterior space, this is much harder to find in towns, so bear that in mind in your planning and factor any additional costs into your budget. Our advice as having bought our own place in France is not to compromise on outside space; even if you only have a patio, or a small terrace, at least some outside space is important: everyone likes to sit outside in France (perhaps in particular Brits wanting to finally be able to lap up some summer sunshine!)
4. Embrace the joys of village life
Many people we speak to who are thinking about buying in France would ideally like to find a place in or on the outskirts of a vibrant village, ideally with a good weekly market, a boulangerie and a bar. After all, you want your second home to work for you and there is nothing nicer than leaving the car and taking a stroll into the village for your morning bread and coffee.
At the very start of your search, make a list of your “must haves” and make another list of your “would likes” or “nice to haves”.
5. Be clear on your “must haves” at the very beginning – but try to keep an open mind!
At the very start of your search, make a list of your “must haves” and make another list of your “would likes” or “nice to haves”. A good estate agent will keep to the brief you have given them, perhaps throwing in a few wild cards here and there, but certainly should cater for most important requirements.
Be clear on the essentials, but while having a set idea of what you would like is a good thing, keeping an open mind is also good and will help make the process a smoother one. You may find that you fall in love with somewhere completely different from what you had imagined you would like. But that is all part of the lovely France adventure!