All of France is within easy reach of the UK by flight or car, so why not go on a property fact finding mission before you buy? Here are some hints and tips about visiting France to find properties to buy.
Setting aside a long weekend to discover the region of France you’re interested in, and view suitable properties, is a worthwhile investment to ensure you make the right choice.
Research Where to Buy First
Before you visit, do your research first. Decide on the areas of France you’d like to buy in, based on your own personal criteria. For example if you want to buy a holiday home, find out about the climate of your region and how accessible it is by airport or autoroute. If you’re planning to let your holiday property as well, do some research into potential rental income using our rental property search. If you are planning to settle permanently find out more about living in France.
Dealing with French Estate Agents
Be prepared for the change in culture when dealing with a French estate agent, or Immoblier, particularly in rural areas. Don’t expect to walk into their office off the street and be handed an instant list of suitable properties, like you would in a UK high street estate agent. A visit may be a lengthy and courteous affair over several cups of coffee. Your agent may suggest going to see suitable properties straight away and you may end up spending the whole day with them. So plan ahead and make appointments with agents of interest, which will give them time to prepare a list of suitable properties, and make sure an English speaker is available if you need one.
Ask About Properties for Sale
Sometimes not all properties are openly advertised for sale and you can find a real gem through local word of mouth. Visit local bars or café’s and make friends with some of the locals, or if you staying in a local gite or B&B, ask the owners if they know of properties for sale.
Go Equipped for your Property Hunt
Make sure you are well equipped for your mission! Take a good selection of maps, a camera to record what you see, and of course your French phrase book. Make sure your mobile phone can be used in France, and that the agents you are visiting have the number. Pack some drinks and snacks as well, in case you happen to miss the narrow window of opportunity offered by many French restaurants, of eating between 12.00 and 2.00pm!