Choosing Your French Property

What are you really looking for in that perfect property?


Aside from exactly why you want to buy property in France, it’s never too early to think about the location and property that you want. We have put together a list of key questions for you to think about when choosing your perfect property:

  • What sort of area/location are you looking at? Brittany, Provence, the Languedoc or somewhere else?
  • Do you want to live in the countryside, in a village, a town, or a city? Are you looking to be by the coast, or in a ski resort?
  • What sort of property are you looking for? A modern apartment, villa, village or town house, character home, farmhouse with outbuildings?
  • Do you want to be in a tourist development or in a residential area? Would a leaseback apartment suit you?
  • How big does it need to be? How many bedrooms would you like?
  • Are you looking for an old house or something new? If old, can you handle a serious renovation? Or perhaps a redecoration is more in line with your plans?
  • Do you want a terrace, off-road parking or garden, swimming pool, land with fruit trees? Could you possibly open a gîte or B&B business, if you are interested in that?
  • What type of view, if any, would you prefer?
  • What else is needed to fulfil your property requirements?
  • Do you intend to rent your property out? If so, will the property be suitable?
  • How far away/close do you want to be from local amenities, such as local bars, shops, restaurants, local market, beach, ski slope?
  • How far way/close do you want to be to the airport/s?
  • Are there adequate pharmacy/medical facilities in the area?
  • What other facilities do you need? Schools? Entertainment? Gym?
  • Will you need to use public transport?
  • When can you realistically think about viewing properties?
  • When will you be in a financial position to purchase and what will you budget be?
  • By when would you like to be handed the keys of your new property?
Start gathering information on an ongoing basis as soon as you can – both positive and negative stories on moving to France, from newspapers, magazines, books etc. Look at expat forums/groups and as many French property websites as you can find. Visit overseas property shows. Search for UK estate agents that have links with agents based in France.
Make copious notes on locations you like, styles of property, cost of properties, which resources are the best etc. Make a note of any questions you can’t find an answer to, and return to it later. Read through the expat forums you can find, and check for any issues or complaints that stand out or reoccur.
Through this, you will start to paint a picture of what’s out there. The more you understand the finance, the property buying process, legalities, potential issues/risks and the overall journey, the easier you will find the process.
All the information above will enable you to create a brief that will help you (and your estate agent) find the property you want, in the location you want and at the price you want it for. It will keep you focussed and ensure you do not get pushed off course during this lengthy process. If that happens you will ultimately end up getting something not quite what you wanted, in an area not quite where you wanted and for a price much more than you expected. The brief should also include a budget, with an indication of you how will pay for the property, whether this be cash or a combination of cash and mortgage, and when you’d like to buy.

Further reading for Buying In France


Viewing Guide

Finding the right property and can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?


Legal Matters

Buying a property in France has very different legal requirements to the UK. 



Hidden Costs

Spending tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property in France is a HUGE decision.


Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?


Don't forget to download your own copy of the Viewing Trip Guide to make sure that you're fully prepared to make the most of your overseas property viewing trip.
Download the Guide


We can put you in touch with a trusted agent in your desired area, who will immediately send you example properties so that you can clearly define what you are looking for in a property.
Find out more...

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