Thursday, 9 April 2015

Thursday, 9 April 2015

5 top tips for buying property in France

1. Choose your area. France is a very large country, and many people mis-judge distances on maps or even using their GPS systems. Tell your agent what you are looking for – climate, countryside, house style, etc – and build in requirements for accessibility back to the UK if needed. Having chosen an area, research it before you start booking viewings. If you need help or guidance, ask – we are here to help. 

2. Maximise your viewing time. With a ‘wish-list’ you can draw up property to view, but try to keep an open mind if an agent suggests a special property, as this can often turn up trumps. It is equally important to say what your absolute deal breakers are, as that can rule out a few properties, not immediately obvious from a website description. Plan your viewings carefully, and don’t try to fit in too many. Sometimes less is more – so go for quality rather than quantity.

3. Work with your agent. It is amazing how many clients try to keep their requirements secret! The more we know about you and your needs, the more we can help. Often we learn more over a coffee and a croissant than we have learned from several conversations and email exchanges ahead of a face-to-face meeting. You need to build a relationship with your agent to work on a close basis, rather than a scattergun approach, which can clock up considerable mileage. Often, working this way, you may be taken to a new property not yet on a website.

4. Use our additional services. Over more than a decade in France, we have built up a good network of contacts, including currency dealers,insurance and mortgage services, English speaking notaires, financial advisers and more. We only recommend those we have tried and tested.

5. Be realistic. For several years now, France has been a buyer’s market. However, financial changes over the past year have brought back UK buyers. Many French houses (not all) are now priced very generously, and are achieving the full asking price. This has not happened for several years, and unless the property is considerably over priced, then it is unlikely that an offer at 10-15% below the asking price will be successful. Again, working with your agent, they will often know how receptive, or not, a seller may be to an offer.

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