Friday, November 20, 2009
10 tips for buying in France next year
Inspired by this article in The Times I have set out my top 10 tips for those looking to buy in France during 2010.
1. Choose your location: France is a huge country offering seaside resorts, skiing, cheap equestrian property with acres of land, plush penthouses in Paris and much more. Find your ideal area before beginning your house search.
2. Decide on your "brief": If you're vague with agents then don't be surprised if what they show you doesn't take your breath away. The more thought you put into your brief the better the results.
3. Make sure you see a good cross section of the market: You'll find that some agents are friendlier and more knowledgeable than others but you're buying a house not on a blind date. Agents can only show you what they have on their books and always have a vested interest. Don't forhet that every second house purchase in France is actually a private sale and done without an agent. If possible use a buying agent (see 10).
4. Get your finances in place: It's pointless finding a little gem if you're not in a position to buy it. This is a simple thing to do and will save masses of heartache.
5. Try looking in Jan/Feb: The annual Brit invasion usually starts around Easter and you see prices rise beforehand. Try getting here beforehand and snapping up the best properties.
6. Don't deal with an unlicenced agent: There are still plenty of sharks around. Ask to see their carte professionelle or you could get your fingers burnt.
7. Use a good notaire: Quality differs among notaires and you 100% have the right to choose (don't be told otherwise), ask around and find one you are comfortable with.
8. Try and collect as much comparable evidence as you can: Houses are notoriously difficult to value in France and it's often the owner who sets the price. Visit as many "similar" properties as you can and use this comparable evidence to help negotiate a good price.
9. Don't be greedy: It's tempting to get more land than you need (you'll live to regret it) or to buy a house with masses of barns (roofs cost a lot to repair). If in doubt take your time to really think it all through.
10. Use a buying agent: Let's face it you may well not be fully conversant with the language, laws, process and local area. Buying a house is a huge commitment and a good buying agent will save you time & money as well as give you peace of mind. Not sure where to look? Try here.