Category Archives: Buying French Property



When looking for a house in a foreign country, research is the key. House-hunting trips are expensive and time consuming so you need to weed out the unsuitable properties before you leave home, and only make the trip if there is something promising to see. Check out the estate agent’s local knowledge and experience, and if you feel you have a good rapport with them, then trust their judgement – they should know all their properties intimately and can help you avoid the frustration of a wasted visit. Be realistic – if no advertised properties meet your criteria and budget, you have probably chosen the wrong area and may need to re-consider your criteria.

Find out as much as you can about your chosen area . You may not have time to drive around looking at different towns and villages, so again, use a local French estate agent who can identify an area that fits your needs. Then when a house comes up you will already know what’s around it.

Look at as many properties as you can on the internet to get a feel for prices, and talk to French estate agents to discuss individual properties before you leave home to decide whether they are likely to be suitable. Because most French properties for sale are on the market with more than one agent, be sure to check the property is not already sold before you book your trip. Be prepared to see other properties that the agent may propose – they may in the end be more suitable than the ones you have selected. And be ready to move fast if a suitable property comes up because you won’t know how many other parties are interested.

Top 10 tips for happy house hunting

  1. Make appointments to see agents or specific houses before you leave home, to make the best use of your time in France.
  2. Set a realistic schedule. France is a big place. You may spend more time in the car racing from one appointment to another than seeing properties. Build in time for looking round the area, plus time for second visits in case you see something you like. Take into account the geographical area for example if you are looking at ski chalets for sale in different ski resorts then travel time will increase due to transport links.
  3. Leave plenty of time to get to your appointments, especially if you don’t know the roads, and have the agent’s contact details with you in case you are running late. Do notify the agent of a change of plan, or delay. They will be waiting for you and will have alerted vendors of your visit
  4. Pace yourself as house-hunting is an exhausting business. Try and avoid seeing too many properties in one day - it will cause confusion and is inevitably counter-productive.
  5. Talk to your estate agent. A half hour chat in the office can save hours on the road. Discuss the house you wish to view with your agent as they will personally know the property – they may know of some pitfalls or suggest alternatives.
  6. Don’t take friends and/or extended family with you unless they are directly involved in the purchase. Other people’s opinions and needs can lead to confusion and distraction.
  7. Know what you are looking for. What is great for one person is not ideal for another. Make sure that you all “sing from the same hymn sheet”.
  8. Take notes. A camera plus a note pad to record as much as you can about each house. A good agent will provide printed details for each property visited, with room to add your own comments.
  9. Be comfortable. Wear sensible clothing and suitable footwear for trampling around outside, and take drinks and snacks in the car in case you can’t find anywhere to eat at the appropriate time.
  10. Be honest with your agent about what you like and dislike and your budget. The more they understand, the more help they can be.

But above all enjoy the trip – France is a wonderful place to visit and to live in – so take time off to soak it all in.

Good luck & Happy house hunting!

#Dordogne Smart stone 4 bed Manor #houseforsale with #gite, pool and over an acre of land

Stone 4 bed Manor House with gite, pool and over an acre of land

Property for slae in Dordogne

‘Maison de Maitre’ superbly renovated, with 4 ensuite bedrooms, large lounge with fireplace, dining room and drawing room plus an office, utility room, WC. The 2 bedroom gite has a living area of 64m2 with its own garden and terrace. A 10m x 5m swimming pool plus a  barn completes this magnificent family home. The garden of 5509m2 has a wealth of fruit trees and has been maintained exceptionally well  Set in a quiet location with panoramic views and easy distance of the popular town of #Riberac

Full details :

Normandy. Three properties in one!

Ref 701170 – Large versatile property situated near the village of Percy












This is an interesting property.  The original main house has been extended on both sides over the years and now offers substantial accommodation which is effectively three independent dwellings. At the moment there is one extended family using all three properties – this would ideally suit a similar family who wish to remain together but yet maintain their independence. Alternatively it could be a useful combination of home plus letting units. The property is situated just outside the ever popular market town of Percy which is within walking distance – handy for banks, school, restaurants, supermarket etc..Just over an hour to the ferry ports of Caen, Cherbourg and St Malo yet within reach of Dieppe and Le Havre also Granville (ferry port to Jersey).

To see more properties for sale in France go to
For Normandy property see
And for ski apartments and chalets for sale in the French Alps

South Charente, France. Large mature gardens surround this spacious villa with separate apartment.

Ref 700253 – Attractive 1970′s villa for sale, with basement apartment

Just 2 minutes from the attractive market town of Chalais, South Charente, this spacious and attractive 1970′s villa is set in one acre mature grounds in a peaceful location with no near neighbours. The main accommodation including three bedrooms, is all on one floor. On garden level below, a separate apartment has been created. With independent access, this is ideal as guest accommodation or for letting out. Also on basement level, accessed by a wooden staircase from the ground floor, are a utility/laundry room, study or spare bedroom, garage/workshop, and a useful storage cellar. At the time of its construction, the property was in the vanguard of energy-saving technology, and that is reflected in the current standard of comfort in the property which requires just a decorative makeover to modern tastes. The garden is well planted with a good range of ornamental and fruit trees and has pleasant views on all sides. Bordering the bottom of the land is a wide stream with wooded banks, a pleasant natural boundary that is a haven for wildlife.

To see more properties for sale in France go to
For Normandy property see
And for ski apartments and chalets for sale in the French Alps

South Charente. Spacious, newly renovated townhouse with garden.

Ref 701131 – 4 bed town house, Barbezieux, garden.











Spacious 4/5 bedroomed townhouse. A high quality and stylish renovation yet maintaining original features such as stone fireplaces, wooden floors, exposed stone and original doors. This former printer’s workshop now boasts a 70m² living area with an economical wood pellet fire. Two others rooms downstairs can be used as bedrooms, formal dining room, study, etc. Upstairs are three further bedrooms, family bathroom with large shower cubicle and bath, and a boiler room with space for storage. Above that the loft has high ceilings and could be used to create extra living space if desired. The garden to the rear of the property has high stone walls and a dining terrace area. An extra garage of 150m² can be acquired on option. Situated in a quiet, historic and recently updated area with a very pleasant square just metres away. All local shops and twice-weekly street market within a short walk. Only 20 minutes from Angoulême.

To see more properties for sale in France go to
For Normandy property see
And for ski apartments and chalets for sale in the French Alps

Fisherman’s dream! Riverside chalet near Dordogne village with shops.

Ref 700757 – 2-bed chalet for sale in superb Dordogne riverside setting.












On the banks of the river Dronne, in an idyllically peaceful setting within walking distance of local shops and restaurant, this pretty little chalet is perfect for fishing or boating holidays or as a back-to-nature retreat. It comes with basic furniture and even an electrically powered boat for making the most of the river. The generous grounds are mature and surrounded on three sides by trees and shrubs, which together with the quietly flowing river create a lovely peaceful atmosphere. There is no mains electricity to the property; power is supplied by a large generator housed in an outbuilding, which can be operated by the flick of a switch inside the chalet.

To see more properties for sale in France go to
For Normandy property see
And for ski apartments and chalets for sale in the French Alps

Ski apartment in Meribel, French Alps.

Ref 700073 – Lovely 1 bedroom ski apartment for sale in centre of Meribel











Lovely 36m2, 1 bedroom apartment in the centre of Meribel,  with 23m2 balcony. Good size living room with kitchen area. Bedroom with double bed and storage. Bathroom and separate WC. On the 1st floor of a calm residence with all amenities in close proximity and the ski lifts only a 2 minute walk away. The apartment also comes with a ski locker and reasonable sized cellar.

To see more properties for sale in France go to

For Normandy property see
And for ski apartments and chalets for sale in the French Alps

Useful tips for buying your house in France

France is a large country – five times the size of England – and with a really varied range of climates, environments, house styles and region specific food and wine. There’s a lot to choose from from Normandy property in the north to ski property for sale in the French Alps. Given all it offers, it’s no surprise that France is also one of the most visited countries in the world, both as a tourist destination and as a location for a second or principal home.

How are you going to use your house in the France?

This is probably the most important question to ask. How are you going to use this house? Is it a permanent home or a holiday house? How much time will you spend there? And how many of you are there? I suggest that you write a brief – a wish list – with all the important things that you want the property to have, and in terms of priority. You will find this very helpful when trying objectively to choose between houses for sale in France

For example:

Location, Location, Location – where (the area)

Placement of the property (quiet countryside or near a village or neighbours)

Size of the house (eg with 3 bedrooms)

Plot size (garden/land/acres/hectares)

Do I want to any renovation work (perfect, a bit of finishing or a renovation project?)

Budget (price plus Notaire’s fees)

Do I have any specific requirements (eg ground floor bedroom, or stables for horses?)


France is a big country and it has a lot of beautiful places. It’s worth being a tourist first, if you haven’t made your mind up yet, before you start looking at houses. When you look in the France there are some beautiful small villages, wonderful countryside, beaches and forests, as well as historical interests, and lots of sporting activities. Find the area you like, and then look for your house.

Access is often an important decision – is it near a ferry port or airport for example, which is important if it’s going to be a holiday house or if you have lots of visitors from abroad.

Village or countryside

Do you want peace and quiet (of which we have lots in the France) or do you want to be near to a village or town? In practice, lots of small villages don’t have houses with gardens so if you like some outside space you might prefer to be in the countryside and you’ll get used to driving to the restaurant.


We have a lot of space here in the France, and the land is relatively cheap but if the property you like doesn’t have enough for your needs it’s often difficult to acquire some more. Would you like to have a small garden? A huge garden?  Fields for horses?  But, going back to the first point (How are you going to use it?) how much time will you have to look after the garden or manage the land?

Renovation work

Often properties here need some element of work or improvement – kitchen and bathrooms for example. Are you happy to take on projects like that? Or do you prefer just to walk in? Or would you like a project – it can be fun! But it does take time and also money (and you should budget for slightly higher costs than in the UK, for example), so I advise that you are realistic about this.


How do you expect to fund this house purchase? Cash, selling your own house, or do you need a mortgage? It is worth considering the time it will take to arrange your finances, so you are ready to find a house and then make offers.

Remember the system for buying a property in France requires you to commit up front, and you need to have a deposit of 10% available immediately.

You will need to pay the house price (normally with the agency fees included) and the Notaire’s fees (which include tax and stamp duty and will be between 6- 7% of the purchase price).


When are you ready to make your decision? How quickly could you move? And when would you like to move into your new house? Some of the finance questions are going to have an influence. The process in France takes normally about 3 months between agreeing to buy and signing the Compromis, and then completing the final signing of the Acte de Vente.

Find yourself a good estate agent

It is worthwhile finding an agent who understands you and your needs, and can speak your language. They help a lot of clients create and refine their search criteria, then find them houses which really will fit their needs, and also help with advice and assistance right throughout the buying process.