7 Questions Prospective French Property Buyers Should Ask Themselves

French Property Buying Process Photo

Searching for the right French property can be overwhelming. An abundance of choices means you have good odds of getting what you want in a home, but it can take a lot of patience to narrow down all those options. When you’re able to answer a few simple questions questions, you’ll have a much better chance of finding your ideal home.

1. What is my realistic budget?

Determine the maximum amount you’re able to spend, including the mortgage, bills, notaire fees, land registration fees and government taxes. Setting a realistic number that you can spend on a new home will save you from wasting time viewing the wrong properties. It’s not all about weeding out high-priced homes, though. If you’ll be starting a new job, take your projected income into consideration. You may realize that you can spend more than you expected once you crunch the numbers using your new salary.

2. How willing am I to renovate?

Ask yourself if you’re willing to renovate your new home or if you want a ready-to-move-in turnkey property. Some buyers want something in between so that they can move in when they want to and spend free time fixing up certain rooms or features. A major renovation project may sound like a good idea at first – it’s a way to challenge yourself, design your home the way you like and save some money on the cost of the property. New homeowners often overlook the cost of the renovations, though, not to mention how difficult it can be to find reliable contractors in France.

3. What are my deal breakers?

Everyone has a few deal breakers when it comes to the type of home and lifestyle they want. Will nearby neighbours ruin your peaceful afternoons? Will too much road noise distract you if you’re working from home? Knowing what you can’t live with is just as important as knowing what you can’t live without.

4. What nearby and in-house features do I need?

Write a list of your desired, non-negotiable area and property features. Consider both desirable and practical attributes, plus the needs of your family and anyone who will be a frequent guest. For example:

  • Do you need either a pool on your property or to be close to the sea?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • Do you need any ensuite bathrooms?
  • Is the view from the property important to you?
  • Do you need a stable for horses?
  • If you’ll be traveling or hosting visitors a lot, are you close to the airport?
  • Will you be buying a car or will you need to use public transport?
  • How much storage space do you need?

5. What style of home do I want?

There are a number of property styles to choose from in France. The right one for you will depend on aesthetic preferences and practical needs. If you want a lot of living space, consider a chateau or a maison de maitre. If you’re going to be in a rural area, consider a longère, which is typically a one-story building built with regional materials. There are also vineyard properties available, whether you want to experiment with a few hobby vines or turn the vineyard into a bonafide business.

6. Where is my dream setting?

France has a lot of different landscapes to choose from, including coastline, hills, plateaux, mountains, vineyards and valleys. There are choices within choices, too. For example, if you want to live by the water, you can choose between a sandy beach and a rugged coastline. Note that climate varies greatly from region to region. Depending on where you live, you could enjoy hot, dry summers and mild winters or severe winters with a lot of snowfall, which is perfect for skiers.

7. Do I need to take out a mortgage?

If you’re not able to pay for your new home in full, you’ll need to take out a mortgage. Consider hiring a broker because negotiating with French banks for a mortgage can be difficult. Brokers have contacts at banks and can work on your behalf to secure a good deal.

Let Home Hunts help and guide you

Need any further advice and help in finding your ideal French property? Then talk to Home Hunts. We are a luxury property search specialist who seek out the very best properties that are available on the market and match them to your wants and needs. Call us today to speak with one of Home Hunts’ consultants directly about your real estate criteria, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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