How and where do you start your venture for the perfect home in France? The very first thing you have to clarify is your own desires and preferences. What do you look for? What are your requirements with regards to the region and climate? If you are not fixated on one particular region or department, price differences might interest you to. You can find an overview of price differences per department on the website of ‘Notaires de France’.
If you have already made up your mind about the location where you want to own a property, you can easily gather additional information from the community itself. We find that Conseil General is a good starting point for this. Not only can you find the contact details of the town hall, they also have a bunch of statistics that are worthwhile to take a look at. Going from unemployment numbers, percentage of retirees, percentage of singles to information about the land register. If you already have a specific property in mind, make sure that you (or your agent/notary) have a look at this land register. The property might have a stunning view, make sure that this view cannot be blocked by some skyscraper or industry complex in a few years from now.
Before starting your quest for the perfect (second) home, make yourself a checklist with the following items:
- The (maximum)budget that you can spend
- Are you going to take a loan?
- Do you want to renovate? Or are you the type of person that prefers a ‘key-on-the-door’ property?
- Distance of the city center
- Distance of the nearest supermarket (perhaps you don’t want to spend an hour in your car just to do your groceries?)
- Number of rooms, size of your desired garden (do you even want a garden?), pool, …
- What is the number one reason for your move to France? What will you value the most? The stunning view on the ocean, the local community and social life, the city life or just the silence?
- If you have more than just one focus, give them a priority. Depending on your budget, you might be forced to trade in one for the other.
After you have clear view on your own preferences, the real work starts. The real estate market in France knows a predominantly online existence. However, it is not always a guaranty for success. It is never a bad idea to actually make a visit and take in the surroundings. This method might take more of your time, but it definitely gives a more complete view of the local market. Not all properties are listed on all websites all the time. You don’t know what hidden gems might be around the corner until you actually make the turn yourself!
If you want to save some time, you might want to consider to initiate a search request based on your requirements and preferences. If you initiate such a request, our local agents will search for a property that matches your specifications best. The benefit of doing so, is that they have a more complete view of all properties available in their area. They often look across agencies and might have knowledge of brand new listings that did not find their way to all realty websites.
WHO IS WHO
There are a number of professionals that you might come across with when dealing with realty transactions in France. In the following section we will try to summarize these different professions and give you an idea of what their specific role exactly is. If you are looking for one of these professionals, make sure to have a look at our page with trusted partners. For these ‘trusted’ partners, we incorporated a few useful checks ourselves (do they have the needed accreditation, do they speak English, etc.).