If you find yourself gazing into the depths of the internet, searching for that perfect dream house in France, then look no further. Currency UK have compiled their top ten tips for you.
1. Know where you want to buy
France is a large and varied country. Like all other places, it is crucial you do your research before deciding on which area you want to live in. This might mean taking a few trips there to experience different areas and lifestyles before you even consider properties.
2. Plan your hunting off season
You may find that estate agents give you more attention during spring, autumn and winter. The reason behind this is simple – summer sees a flood of all wanting to mix a French holiday with property viewings. It also gives you an opportunity to see what your potential home might be in the quieter seasons.
3. Have a clear vision of the type of property you want and how much you’re willing to pay
It’s important you explain your criteria as clearly as possible to the estate agents to maximise both of your time. When setting a budget, be sure to clarify whether this includes agent fees or not.
4. Don’t chance it
Always ask to see the Carte Professionnelle of the estate agent or property finder.
5. Choose your property wisely
Whilst you would always want something with unique features, it is important that the property is still manageable. Whilst buying a property in need of renovation may be cheap in the short term, spending the time to make it feel like a home or even liveable can add up.
6. Consider using a property professional
Even if you are fluent in French, you may not be familiar with some aspects of French Law, the buying process and local areas. Also, bear in mind that it may not always be feasible to go and visit a property as soon as it becomes available. Professional agents can be useful in such situations and can be your ‘eyes on the ground’ and set up the initial viewings on your behalf.
7. Maximise your spending power
Whether you’re transferring money now or in a couple of years, the type of contract you put in place could mean a difference of thousands of pounds. From one-off currency transfers and ‘forward purchases’ to making regular monthly payments, there are many different types of contract to suit your needs and help you get ahead in the currency exchange game. Contact an expert to see which one suits you the best.
8. Pricing is important
Be aware of French property pricing by taking a good cross section of the market as it’ll be easier to assess what’s a fair price and distinguish a good property relative to your budget.
9. Language barrier
There is a chance that some French estate agents may not speak English as well as others – don’t let this deter you. They may have your dream property! On the contrary, there are an overwhelming number of English-speaking estate agents around France who are ready to assist overseas buyers through the whole buying process, from finding a property to engaging with local artisans for renovation work.
10. To buy or to rent
If you already know where you want to live in France, and are familiar with what life will be like there, we suggest you look to buy. If you’re not, then renting a property first is a great way of finding out. Renting allows you to see what living (rather than holidaying) in France is like and to find out if an area works for you.
If you want to know more about tips and tricks on buying property in France, join our webinar on March 27th 3-4pm BST. Alternatively, if you have a specific topic you would like to discuss, our Individual Account team run 15 minutes free phone consultations.