You’ve decided to purchase a home in France. As a wise investor, you’ve done hours of research. You’ve written lists of your dream home’s must-have features as well as the deal-breakers you need to avoid. You’re excited, you’re prepared and you’re ready to take the next step. You can’t wait to be part of France’s phenomenal culture, taste the gourmet food and take in the stunning landscapes.
Buying a new home, especially one in a foreign country, is a complicated and humongous decision. Finding the perfect home in an ideal location for your budget takes a solid understanding of French real estate. The truth is that many first-time French property shoppers make the same mistakes over and over. Here’s how to choose your property like a seasoned buyer and avoid those typical pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Spending far too much time searching for properties online.
While you’ll definitely conduct some of your research online, this should only be part of your process. Most properties are going to look fantastic in photos, but you won’t be able to hear the noise in the area to determine if it’s too loud for you or see an unsightly part of the property that’s just out of camera shot.
Most of your online research should be for the sake of finding an agent or property finder, not a property itself. Your goal should be to connect with professionals who list properties in the destinations and price points you want.
Mistake #2: Spending time with the wrong agents.
There’s no need to spread yourself thin and setup appointments with every single agent in the area. You should only commit your time to people who can show you desirable properties.
Find agents who specialize in the locations you’re considering and then narrow down your list to just one or two agents per area. Email them to explain your property must-haves and can’t-haves and to request a list of properties that match your criteria. If you don’t get a reply or if you have to wait several days for one, consider working with a French property finder such as Home Hunts instead of an agent. Property finders understand the market thoroughly and you’re sure to find one in your chosen town or city.
Mistake #3: Thinking above (or below) your budget.
You may find a home that has every single thing you want, but if you can’t afford the price tag, it’s not the perfect home for you. On the other hand, if you can realistically afford a pricier home because you have a dependable, high-paying job, there’s no need to give up the features that will seriously improve your quality of life.
Setting a budget, whether you’re weeding out high-priced homes or getting comfortable with the idea of making a huge investment, is a great way to narrow down your options and make your choice easier. When your agent or property finder knows your price range, they’re able to show you just the properties that you’ll have a real interest in buying.
Mistake #4: Viewing properties that are all wrong.
While you’ll need to eventually see some properties in person, you should be able to do enough research beforehand to omit the homes that definitely don’t meet your standards.
Ask your agent to see all photos of the property, not just the ones posted online. Look at the “plan cadastral,” which shows the property’s boundaries and where your house is located on the land. Ask detailed questions about the condition of the home.
Should you need any further help or advice to help you avoid making some of the common mistakes listed here then contact Home Hunts, who as French property specialists, will be able to help find your ideal home in France.