Friday, 17 August 2018

Radon – a new diagnostic report

Very recently, the purchase of a property in France has had yet another diagnostic report added to the lengthening list.

This time it is called E.R.P (Etat des Risques et Pollutions) regarding Radon, to replace ESRIS (État des Servitudes 'Risques' et d'Information sur les Sols).

Quite a large part of France is potentially impacted. The map below gives a general overview.

Within the zones highlighted, there are areas where there are volcanic or granite areas, plus some sandstone areas which can be affected. 

The degree of Radon could be very localised, and can vary significantly even within a small commune.
Radon is everywhere, as it is formed from the uranium in all rocks and soils. Outdoors everywhere and indoors in many areas the radon levels are low and the risk to health is small. The darker the colour on the Radon maps the greater the chance of a high radon level in a building. However not all buildings, even in the darkest areas, have high levels.
If you have a home in a Radon risk area, then you can undertake significant work to improve your rating. The aim of remedial work is to reduce radon levels as low as possible. There are several methods that can be used to reduce high radon levels.

Some simple actions such as sealing around loft-hatches, sealing large openings in floors and extra ventilation do not reduce radon levels on their own. When combined with other effective measures, they can improve the reduction of radon levels. Completely sealing floors is difficult and can cause rot in wooden floors.

Below is a map of the UK, identifying areas affected by Radon

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Making your money go further to get you that dream French property

At Allez Francais, we want to make sure that your hard earned money goes further for your French house purchase.

That is why we are offering a cash incentive of 100€ when you make your first trade via our dedicated currency partners - Foremost Currency Group*.

On average they beat the banks rates by around 3% - meaning on a transaction of 250,000€, you could save a whopping 7,500€ (for example).

If you were able to secure a 3% reduction on the price of your house wouldn’t you be delighted?

How do I get 100€?

All you need to do is e-mail and ask us to refer your details to our broker Adam Bobroff, Director at Foremost Currency Group.

Adam (or a member of his team) will then contact you about preferential rates on your currency exchange.

*100€ offer available on your 1st trade per household only. Subject to a minimum value of 100,000 Euros.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Figure it out

The following is a slightly amended version of an exchange that I have had with a vendor during the course of this week.

They purchased their home in France in late August 2015 for a figure of 265,000 € (inclusive of agency and Notaire fees). Fast forward 3 years and they have to sell because their circumstances have changed significantly, so they have been on the market for 2 months.

Today we have an offer for them at 242,500 € (net vendor), which they have initially refused, because they are "losing money" on the sale.

To them, the house cost 265,000 and they would effectively lose 22,500 € by accepting the offer that is on the table today. I have subsequently had a conversation with them about the real cost to them, rather than what appears on paper. If you think about it, the figures in Euros are the paper figures, and the real cost is what they paid in Sterling, and what they will get back in £s when the money is repatriated.

Looking more closely at the figures, it became evident that 265,000 € had actually cost below £200,000 (in fact £196,295) when the currency was purchased via our dedicated dealers in August 2015. Accepting the offer of 242,500 € today would yield £212,720 if they lock into a forward contract. So, rather than a perceived loss of 22,500 €, the client is now actually making £16,425 in the currency that really matters to them going forwards - Sterling!

Sometimes, even seemingly intelligent people do not see this, and we need to paint the picture for them. They are not alone, there are many out there who don't see the logic here and focus blindly on the Euro figure.

Incredible that if you take the absolute £ low and the £ high over this 5 year period there is a difference of 33.44%. That is truly massive - and really is over the 2015-2018 period rather than the whole 5 years.

Friday, 3 August 2018

8 sizzling reasons to buy property in south west France today!

Prices are stable and if anything increasing steadily. Nothing spectacular, but none of our sales have been for heavily discounted deals. Several sales have achieved full asking price, all sure signs of a steady market. Value for money has never been an issue here in South West France.

Mortgage rates are still incredibly low in France. For example, via our own dedicated French broker we have access for our clients to rates as low as 1.25% over a 10 year period. This rate is so incredible that cash buyers are deciding to retain their capital liquid, and borrow even though they have no real need to do so.

Lifestyle - everyone relaxes when they come to France. The rat-race and stress are well and truly left behind when you arrive south of the Loire Valley. Enjoy the many festivals and farmer's markets that are there to enjoy throughout the summer months.

The weather in general this summer has been exceptionally good, but in France we have been able to enjoy gloriously long sunny days, with balmy evenings that are just perfect for a BBQ or drinks. Do beware of the extra powerful rays of the sun however, and use a sun screen.

Our selection of houses just gets better and better. How? Like the man from John West or Del Monte (do you remember the adverts), we only take on the best. Around 40% of the houses offered to us by vendors are not accepted, because they do not meet our strict criteria for quality and value for money.

Retirement - With its unbeatable food and wines plus that laissez-faire attitude, there is simply nowhere better to retire than France. Many of our clients have retired to France and are now fully integrated into their « communes ».

Healthcare - as the demise of the NHS continues, France's health service provides world quality support and treatments. Virtually no waiting lists and immaculately clean, modern hospitals.

Viewings - need to be confirmed well in advance, normally 7-10 days minimum. Especially during the month of August, (when we also take a few days off), forward planning is essential.

Finally, congratulations to France's victorious football team at the World Cup 2018, and also to Geraint Thomas for winning the Tour de France 2018. Allez!