About Us

Established in 2005 by Tim Swannie and Francois-Xavier de Vial, HOMEHUNTS offers a complete, professional property search service for clients interested in luxury properties in France, Monaco, Geneva, London, New York and Miami.

We are a fully registered Agent immobilier in France with our own Carte Professionelle but we act for the buyer rather than the seller. We work with all of the best selling agents, builders and private owners so that we can cover the whole property market in all areas. We do take properties for sale directly but unlike a traditional agent, we are not restricted to the properties on our books and we search the entire market for our clients.

Since the creation, our focus has been to offer the very best service we can for our clients, we have won a number of prestigious awards for our service over the years. Our team of consultants are multi-lingual, they all have an in depth local knowledge and they are all experts in the property buying process.

The success we have experienced at HOMEHUNTS is due to our exceptionally high standards and our energetic and dedicated enthusiasm for achieving the best results for our clients. We endeavour to succeed in all aspects of the business, continually improving ourselves as we find more effective ways to increase our range of services. Our ultimate goal is to exceed our client’s goals and expectations. We want to turn your dreams into real estate.

The Home-Hunts Team

Tim Swannie

Tim Swannie . Director

Tim is English and was born in Harrogate in North Yorkshire. He has 20 years experience of the property and recruitment industries across Europe with particular expertise in the UK, France and the Benelux.

Tim moved to live on the French Riviera in 2003. He was drawn to this part of the world by the weather and quality of life, having been a regular visitor to the area for many years.

The idea of Home Hunts was born the following year when Tim was introduced to Francois-Xavier by a close family friend. Tim is based in the Cannes area but travels extensively throughout France and overseas. As well as managing and expanding the overall business along with Francois-Xavier, Tim is responsible for the marketing and advertising for the company. He also spends a lot of time working alongside the sales team, taking care of clients both in France and London.

He speaks English, a little Dutch and tries his best in French!

Rebecca Capel

Rebecca Capel . Website & Database Administrator

Rebecca left the UK for France in 1995 where she had worked for a number of years for a property builders in Cheshire.

She arrived on the French Riviera and joined a boat as crew. After several years travelling the world, whilst always having a foothold in Antibes, she and her partner decided to buy and renovate a property in central France (near Poitiers). The project has been a labour of love for a number of years and is in fact, still ongoing. This process has given her first hand knowledge of the buying, selling and renovating process in France.

In 2010 she decided to relocate to The Var and joined Home Hunts as the Website Administrator. It is Rebecca’s role to ensure that the website is constantly kept up to date with new properties and that the information we provide to our clients is as informative and current as possible.

Francois-Xavier de Vial

Francois-Xavier de Vial . Director

Born in Normandy and brought up in Paris, Francois-Xavier has over twenty years experience in international sales and marketing and has travelled to more than 100 countries.

Francois settled in Marseille in 2002 with his wife and son, having lived in all corners of the globe and he now loves living and working in the heart of the Provence. He represented an English based estate agency in the South of France for some time before setting up HOMEHUNTS with Tim in 2004. Since this time, he and Tim have developed the business to cover many new regions and counties and his time is now split between managing the sales teams, the support team at the head office and focussing on business development. There is nothing he likes more than to be out on the field with his colleagues meeting clients.

He speaks French, English, German and Spanish.

Sarah Deligny

Sarah Deligny . Customer Support Supervisor

Sarah, a natural people person, chose to work in the hospitality industry when she finished her education. After working and travelling extensively for many years, she settled in South West London where she met her French husband.

In 2000 they made the wise decision to escape the city and to bring up their 2 young boys in the spectacular Verdon region of the lower French Alps, behind the Riviera. With 300 days a year sunshine, mountains and fresh air it was the best choice they have ever made.

Sarah and her family have now moved to the French Riviera to be close to the excellent international schools where both of her boys are studying.

She joined the Home Hunts team in 2010 to help with the expansion of the company. She is the first point of call for all enquires. Having bought 3 properties whilst here in France she has a broad knowledge of how the French buying system works.

Brian Proulx

Brian Proulx . Marketing Coordinator / Sales Support

Working in the head office in Marseille, Brian is in charge of a variety of marketing tasks including managing our extensive online campaigns, setting up property mail-outs, analysing marketing data amongst other things. On top of that, he also serves as a key support for our team of consultants providing them with speedy, reliable administrative and sales support.

Holding a degree in International Business, Brian has been living and working in Marseille for three years. From 2009 to 2011, he lived in Beijing, China for a year and a half studying Chinese at the BLCU and immersing himself in the language and culture.

Brian is originally from Upstate New York and speaks English, French and Mandarin Chinese. Aside from studying languages and cultures, he is also a sports enthusiast enjoying basketball, weight training and swimming.

Nicola Christinger

Nicola Christinger . Consultant - Provence

Nicola spent over 10 years working for the BBC in News and Current Affairs and later ran training courses to teach people how to handle the media. She then moved to Zurich in 2000 where she set up her own English Pre-school which she ran for seven years.

As a child she lived in Paris, and then later on in Marbella and Bahrain but always knew that she would return to live in France. She has now based in the Roman city of Nîmes with her family and has firsthand experience of the property process both in France and Europe.

She has extensive knowledge of that certain “Je ne sais quoi” feeling, having been the Editor of a property/lifestyle magazine about southern France and continues to write for a number of magazines published in France and Switzerland.

Catherine Meyer

Catherine Meyer . Consultant – The Var

Catherine was born and grew up in England to Russian/English parents. At nineteen she studied Russian at university and afterwards went to work in Moscow. There she worked in the property business, meeting her English husband who was also working in Moscow specializing in luxury housing.

In 1998 they left Moscow and spent two years in Oman before returning to England and setting up a property development business. Over 7 years ago she settled in the Var with her four children. She joined the Home Hunts team to help with Russian clients and is also responsible for the coastline from Saint Raphael to Saint Maxime and also the Fayence area in the Var where she lives.

Catherine speaks English, French and Russian and has an excellent knowledge of her local area as well as the nearby Riviera.

Chris Moore

Chris Moore . Consultant – The Var

Chris spent fifteen years at Philip Morris International, initially at PM UK and subsequently in the Gulf and Switzerland. As founder of Karizma Marketing Services Chris designed and directed numerous sales and marketing related workshops for over two thousand participants in over 60 countries since 1991. Chris relocated to France in 2008 and although Karizma remains Cyprus based, Chris is now part of the Home Hunts team in the south of France. He has an intimate knowledge of the Var region of Provence including the popular villages of Cotignac, Correns, Aups, Villecrozes, Plan de la Tour, La Gard Freinet and Grimaud.

Chris would be delighted to assist with your property search in Provence, so don’t hesitate to contact him if you have plans to purchase a property there.

Brigitte Appert

Brigitte Appert . Consultant Marseille to Toulon

Having bought, renovated and sold houses in several areas of France, Brigitte has developed a strong taste for beautiful property.

After 30 years of working in technical positions (financial manager, wages and salaries adviser, equity capital provider…) Brigitte followed her husband to Marseille 7 years ago. Coming from Versailles and Paris, the change was quite tough but she soon discovered the qualities that Provence has to offer.

Marseille itself is a constantly changing cirty and is entering an exciting new era at present having been awarded the European City of culture accolade in 2013. New museums and luxury hotels are opening in the city, the famous Vieux-Port has undergone a complete renovation and most importantly, the commercial port is relocating further out of town which makes the centre more appealing to the foreign visitors.

Brigitte, who was introduced to Home Hunts founder, François-Xavier by friends, was delighted to have the opportunity work in the business of finding luxury homes in France for foreign clients. The area she covers stretches from Martigues to Toulon and her job is to develop the selection of luxury, charming and prestigious properties throughout her area.

Jane Lees

Jane Lees . Consultant - Var Coast

Before moving to France in 2000 Jane lived in London where she ran her own publishing company, producing guides and magazines for among others, Heathrow Express, Eurostar and BAA.

Jane fell in love with the Var coast between Le Rayol and Hyeres whilst holidaying in 1999 so much so that she sold up and moved there to the beautiful village of Bormes les Mimosas in January 2000. Still in the same area today she has built up an extensive knowledge of this beautiful coastline and its villages.

In England, Jane had a passion for property investment and renovated many houses and apartments. This love moved with her to France, where she has created several beautiful homes from 'run down ruins'.

With a natural flair for 'what could be possible' and a learned knowledge of her local area, Jane will be an enormous addition to your property search, helping you identify that perfect home or investment assuring you of the best attention and access to the most important agents in the area and finding the best range of luxury properties available at any one time.

Herve Levy

Herve Levy . Manager – Paris

Brought up in the Paris area, Hervé has 15 years of international sales, marketing and management experience while working as Sales Director Europe for a key U.S company in textiles.

With his wife and 3 children Hervé lives in a beautiful, historic village close to Versailles. He dedicates his time to taking care of Home Hunts international clients. Herve loves a challenge and with his extensive local knowledge and international background, he is very well placed to help buyers to really search for properties in Paris or one of its many beautiful suburbs.

Hervé speaks French, English and German.

Amy Bault

Amy Bault . Manager – French Riviera/Monaco

Born in Hong Kong but moved to Biot with her French Husband 8 years ago, Amy has been working for Home Hunts for more than 7 years and she is very knowledgeable about the buying process in France.

Amy has a banking background in Asia and France. Besides speaking Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) fluently, she has also mastered French, English and Japanese. With more than 15 years’ experience as an expatriate in many Asian and European countries, Amy understands very well the expectations of our clients trying to find their dream property on the Cote d’Azur. Whatever you want to know about living in France as a foreigner, ask her, she can tell you!

Valerie Innes

Valerie Innes . Consultant – Languedoc

Val has had a lifelong association with France and the French people. She lived and studied in France, Spain and Switzerland and worked throughout Europe before returning to the UK in the mid-seventies. Her long sales career in the UK involved working for international household names (like Procter & Gamble, J&J, Rank Organisation) and travel further afield to Australia and Canada.

Having moved house numerous times both in France and the UK, working as an independent estate agent, translator and hotel manager, Val settled permanently in France in 2006. She is very familiar with the bureaucracy and cultural and social changes one goes through when purchasing a property in France.

She knows Languedoc and Midi-Pyrenees especially well and is based near Limoux, Aude. She is interested in art, history and architecture and, finds the more relaxed pace of Mediterranean life very appealing. Val thrives on meeting new people and encouraging them to benefit from such a lifestyle and more sunshine in Languedoc Roussillon.

Val speaks English, French and Spanish and gets by in German and Italian.

Albert van Creveld

Albert van Creveld . Consultant – Languedoc/Aude/Hérault

Albert was born in The Netherlands, but having lived in many different countries, Albert can be considered a world citizen. After high school in The Netherlands his international aspirations began through university in Belgium and after that an MBA degree in the USA.

He successfully started and later sold his own business in The Netherlands, after which he moved to Switzerland, Belgium and the US, where he has lived for 13 years. In early 2010, he and his family decided to fulfill their dream and start a B&B in the beautiful Languedoc region, in between Narbonne and Carcassonne. He and his wife thoroughly enjoy meeting different people from all over the world as guests in their B&B.

His experience in international business, the hospitality industry and his personal record of moving 27 times in his life, can be very valuable in helping Home Hunts clients find their ideal property in the Languedoc.

Albert speaks Dutch, English, French and German.

Esther Deneau

Esther Deneau . Consultant - South West France

Esther was born and grew up in Paris St Germain en Laye. At 17, she left France to finish her studies in the south east of England where she eventually worked as a translator and a French teacher at the local colleges. After 20 years of working in educational positions in the UK (teaching, coordinating, and managing) Esther moved back to France with her family and more specifically to the beautiful Dordogne region where as a child, she has spent many family holidays. Esther not only speaks French and English fluently but she really does feel completely at home in both languages and both countries. She loves meeting new people and has a real passion for property.

Sue Li

Sue Li . Consultant – French Riviera

Sue was born and brought up in Shanghai, China but decided to move to the French Riviera in 2000, looking for warmer weather and a healthier, outdoor way of life. She has a masters degree in finance which she obtained at a French business school and has experience of working in a variety of sectors including communications, customer relations and luxury property.

Sue lives with her husband and daughter in the Antibes area has an excellent knowledge of both Antibes and Cannes, the areas in which she works. She is both professional and a great listener who loves meeting new people. She speaks English, French and Mandarin and is here to listen, understand and help you find your dream home!

Chris Leder

Chris Leder . Manager – Geneva/French Alps

Having worked in music marketing in London in the late 90’s, Chris decided to take a break by spending a winter in Meribel, and never went back. After a second winter in Courchevel, he then moved to Tignes, where he spent 8 years owning and running a successful bar restaurant in Val Claret which he sold to spend more time with his family. He joined the Home Hunts team early 2011, and hasn\'t looked back.

He knows the Alps from Mont Blanc to Briancon like the back of his hand, mostly down to the fact that if he’s not at work, you’ll either find him fly fishing, paragliding or skiing his way around the mountains, depending on the time of year.

Chris is based in Vuiz en Sallaz, ideally situated between Geneva and Chamonix, and after and years of living and running a business in the Alps, he is more than happy to share his knowledge of the mountains, Alpine real estate, and the often complicated French system. Half English, half American with a French daughter and partner, Chris obviously speaks the language like a local.

Rory Ramsden

Rory Ramsden . Consultant – Aquitaine

Having worked at the top end of the interior design world first in London, then the middle east and finally in the Channel Islands for 20 years, Rory decided on a complete change of pace to indulge his other passion… Sailing. After staging a major championship in Guernsey, his organisational and marketing skills lead him to stage Olympic windsurfing World and continental championships world wide for the next 20 years. Rory has lived in France since 2007. First in Paris, where he learned to cook at the Cordon Bleu.

Then in Provence, where he wowed guests and their friends with his cooking at a 600 year old Mas. And now in south west France, where he has settled down amongst the rolling hills of the Dordogne to enjoy the French lifestyle with his wife Lizi. Rory is keen to introduce you to the area and help you find the property you really want with the minimum of hassle. He will do everything he can to help guide you through the French buying process so you too can live your dream.

Victoria Holt

Victoria Holt . Consultant Alps & Geneva

Victoria spent most of her working life as a strategy and change management consultant, before competing in a round the world yacht race in 2002/3, which changed her life. While on the yacht, she began dreaming of a different, more colourful life in France, and master-minded her move to the French Alps in 2004, where she built her own ski chalet holiday company.

The consulting world beckoned again in 2007, this time in Geneva, and after establishing a strong reputation as someone who delivers, she was asked to run a 3 year project to construct a new headquarters for an international Private Bank in the centre of Geneva. Victoria joined Home Hunts fresh from completing this project to follow her passion for property. This passion includes renovating her own Savoyard farmhouse near Morzine, when she is not skiing nearby or scuba diving somewhere warm.

She knows the Portes du Soleil and Geneva very well and is delighted to showcase these beautiful parts of France and Switzerland, not least as amazing playgrounds for the whole family. Victoria speaks English and French.

Barbara Abeillé

Barbara Abeillé . Consultant – Provence

Barbara was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but left for London in the « swinging sixties » after graduating from university. Barbara also spent 10 years living in Africa with her French husband. The family moved to Washington DC where Barbara raised her two daughters.

While in Washington, Barbara worked for almost 30 years as a Top Producing Realtor in the DC Metro Area. She gained much experience working with buyers who were relocating in and out of the DC Area.

Barbara has owned many properties in France and is a real francophile, she decided to move permanently to Provence in 2011 and cherishes her decision everyday. She decided to return to Real Estate in Provence with Home Hunts and employ the same expertise, understanding, care and concern to the buyers in France that she was known for in DC.

Catie Konrath

Catie Konrath . Consultant – Provence & The Gard

Originally from the North of France, Catie spent 25 years in England working in tourism and as a Personal Assistant in various industries.

She’s always felt equally at home in both countries but moved back to France 6 years ago with her young family. She settled in the Gard for the natural beauty and the extensive choice of outdoor activities the family is so fond of. Catie soon became an active member in various local organisations and has built up an excellent knowledge of her local area.

She is now keen to pass on her experience and knowledge and will be a great help at guiding clients through the intricacies of moving from one country to another.

Delana Nelsen

Delana Nelsen . Consultant – Provence & The Gard

Originally from Minnesota, USA, Delana moved to Aix en Provence 6 years ago to take a year “sabbatical” between jobs as a Television Advertising Executive. Call it a mid-life crisis if you will but it was more like “if not now, then never”. The year came and went and she just couldn’t make herself leave Provence..

Delana’s work as a local tour guide and her “continuing influx of visitors” has deepened both her knowledge and love of this region that she now calls home. Her background in property investment and home renovation has given her “mean skills with a diamond blade tile saw” and an ability to see the great bones of a property. Delana speaks English and French although she probably can’t hold her own in a French conversation on astrophysics…or in English for that matter!.

Delana would be delighted to do all that is necessary to find you your perfect home under the beautiful blue skies of Provence.

Grégoire Boutrolle d’Estaimbuc

Grégoire Boutrolle d’Estaimbuc . Consultant - South West France

Gregoire was born and raised in Normandy in a 17th century manor house. He has lived and worked in many different places and gained 25 years of international sales, marketing and management experience mainly in the I.T and hospitality industries.

Gregoire speaks English as well as he speaks his native French, he has a natural enthusiasm for luxury real estate and is currently based in the stunning city of Bordeaux.