Viewing properties in France

It’s a good idea to plan your viewing trip to France quite well in advance of actually going. 

Properties in France

It’s a good idea to plan your viewing trip to France quite well in advance of actually going. A little homework at the start will save you time, give you confidence and allow you to achieve what you really want in terms of location and property. Read as much as you can about each area: they all have their own characteristics, and you need to be sure you know as much as you can before committing yourself to a purchase. You could do worse than start right here! My France Buying Guide covers all aspects of buying in France and is filled with all the information you will need.

 

House hunting is fun, but can also be quite tiring. It took me at least three longish trips to France before I found my first property there. Do not set your heart on just one property you may have found on the internet which appears to be right for you: you need to go and see it as well as several others. Very often the photos either do not do the property justice or they are much better than the reality so bear that in mind!

 

Another important tip is to keep an open mind. Sometimes you don’t quite know what you want until you see it!

 

It’s important to give yourself enough time. I remember booking a five day trip at the start, fully expecting to find my dream property. I did not! Five days is not all that long and you may be driving quite far each day, particularly in rural areas. If you start out not expecting to fall in love with the first property you see and give yourself “time off” from days of viewing, you are far likelier to find just what it is you are looking for. Give yourself at least one day off during your trip to take stock, and perhaps explore the area in greater detail.

 

Glean as much local knowledge as you can. When I bought my first house the agent spent a day driving me around, and introduced me to some of her family and neighbours. I met a lovely couple in the bar of a nearby village who became firm friends and were happy to share their own tips with me on the area and what to look out for. We have remained friends to this day.

 

Do try your French out, even if you feel it is a little rusty! The French love it when we try – and, I will let you into a little secret here, they find an English accent extremely attractive (much as we find a French accent in English a joy to listen to). My husband says he speaks “restaurant French”! Even this will help as you will find most French people are hugely sympathetic to our sometime inability to embrace their language. The point is to try.

 

When you engage the help of a property agent, give them as tight a brief as possible. The more he or she knows of your requirements, the more time you will save and the more likely it will be that you find what you really want. Take a notepad, pen, map and camera and mark each property on your map as you see it. You may think you will remember everything about each one, but you may not after several days of viewing.

 

Finally, don’t panic if you don’t find what you are looking for during your first trip. France is not far away and short trips are easy to plan. It is far better to bide your time and wait until you are sure about what you are buying. Buying any property is a serious business, particularly one overseas. With careful preparation, patience and proper knowledge of exactly what you are looking for, your dream property will be out there somewhere. Happy house hunting in France!


Further reading for Buying In France

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Viewing Guide

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

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

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Hidden Costs

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

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