I saw this article in today’s Telegraph – the journalist is talking about buying in Peter Mayle’s Provence – but the ten pieces of advice given at the end of the article are good.
Did I mention I met Peter Mayle – here is a photo of us 🙂
TOP TEN TIPS FOR BUYING IN FRANCE
1 Try before you buy
Rent a holiday house in your chosen area. You might discover it is too far from airports or the sea. Or you don’t like the local wine or architecture.
2 Investigate in depth
Photographs can be deceptive. Go to see properties at least twice and drive there yourself. Also check out the surroundings. Is there a good local village? Does it feel too built-up or too remote?
3 Check the layout
If you are planning to let your property to holiday makers, the layout of the house and grounds is crucial. Dangerous balconies, unfenced pools and remote locations down bumpy tracks will put off potential tenants.
4 Know procedures
See www.frenchnotaire.com for detailed information on the purchasing procedure and financing a property in France.
5 Seek assistance
If you don’t speak French, go with someone who does and is on your side. If you are planning on renovating, take along an architect who understands your intentions.
6 Planning help
It’s obligatory to use a qualified and registered architect to prepare and submit a planning application, if the proposed habitable area is greater than 170sq m.
7 Sharing a vision
When choosing an architect, make sure you see a few of their previous projects. French tastes differ dramatically from English. You need to find someone who shares your vision.
8 Check agreements
If you decide to proceed, the vendors’ notaire (solicitor) will send you a compromis de vente (sales agreement). Make sure you understand and agree with it. Your own notaire will help you to modify it if necessary.
9 Sourcing funds
There are numerous mortgage brokers offering to lend money for French property.
10 Agent support
Consider using a buying agent to help locate a property and negotiate on your behalf.
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