French Connections
Buying a Property or Rental in France

Purchasing and owning a gîte or holiday rental property in France can be fun and rewarding - but from the start it’s good to be clear about your plans. Location, location. The old cliché still holds good.

Do you have the time and resources for a renovation project or prefer to buy something ready to use? Even the latter will need furnishing and equipping and if you opt for renovation, you’ll need adequate funding and the capability and language skills for the project. Also consider timescale. You won’t earn rental income during renovation, so if you know you need an income stream in May and the property isn’t finished until September, then you could be in trouble.

Self-catering holidaymakers typically travel to France by car so ideally look for a property that is within reasonable striking distance of an existing autoroute or one definitely planned for the fairly near future. Also research access to railway stations and airports. The ultimate might be a location within about 40 minutes drive of an autoroute, a station that links to a TGV line and an airport with both budget and scheduled airline flights!

Deciding a Target Market for your Gîte Business

Who will your market be? Think about your own target preferences - couples, families, groups – and establish whether a potential property is suitable. This will depend on the style of the accommodation, the number of bathrooms as well as bedrooms, the size of the kitchen and living area and the extent of the outside space. Is there a pool or room to install one? Is there space for children’s play and equipment storage?

Check out, too, local things to do and places to go. Eating out, shopping, sightseeing, local life, sports and activities can all be very important to holidaymakers when they are choosing accommodation. Will you let only in summer or do you want to attract winter lets? If the latter, then find out what’s available in the area all year round, especially at Christmas and New Year.

There are three particularly important gîte facilities to consider. First is broadband internet access. This may not seem crucial to you but for some guests it can be a deal breaker. Not all areas of France have broadband yet so it’s worth asking around locally.

The second facility is access to water, whether it’s for swimming, sitting beside, boating or cycling and walking. This might be a swimming pool in the garden, private or shared, or a beach - but it could equally be a local lake or river with plan d’eau.

The third facility is local shops, ideally within walking or cycling distance, but certainly within a short drive. If they are in a village, how viable is its long-term future? And if you are going to live onsite, then of course the local shops will be of interest to you, too.

This, finally, raises another question. Do you plan to manage and let the property from a distance or will you live alongside your guests? If the former, then make sure that the gîte is practical for this and get a reliable local point of contact for key holding, servicing and responding to emergencies. It’s wise to establish options when searching and buying.

If you plan to be a ‘hands on’ owner, then you need to research, discover and advise on local events and activities, so you can really get the maximum out of an area that at first glance might seem unpromising. Also consider what activities you could organise or courses you might run. These days, every gîte needs its unique selling points!

Find French Property for Sale

If you looking for holiday properties for sale across France, then search the properties for sale on French Connections.