Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France 1

Buying Waterfront property in France comes at a premium, particularly if you’re hoping to purchase a home on the French Riviera. For many, though, the higher price tag is still a small price to pay when you consider everything you’re getting for it: an idyllic, luxury lifestyle in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Just look at this eight-bedroom, Tuscan-style home – it’s no more than a few minutes from Geneva, terraces wrap around the exterior, and an infinity pool looks over Lake Leman.

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France 2

You can have the home you’re picturing, so long as you know which questions to ask and the all-too-common mistakes to avoid. It’s easy to be wooed by enormous houses with breathtaking views and every amenity you could ask for, but going about the process the smart way will ensure you have a home you’ll be able to happily stay in for years to come.

Buying waterfront property in France

France’s coastline is often public property so finding a home that has a private beach that actually belongs to the property is incredibly rare. Your waterfront property may have beach access, and if it’s not a popular section of the beach it could be considered “private,” but that’s more of a descriptor than a legality.

If you have your heart set on finding property with beach access, it’s best to work with an experienced property agent. Waterfront property is in such high demand that these homes are not always listed publicly. A property agent, though, may have access to them, and they could know about a property for sale with the exact requirements you’re looking for.

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France 3

This property in Théoule-sur-Mer has 18 bedrooms spread across two villas; a five-car garage; and an independent caretaker’s house. Outside, there are two swimming pools, two private beaches and a pontoon.

Thinking About Timing and Seasons

Depending on where your home is located, you may not want to live there year-round. Many seaside towns in France are buzzing during the tourist season, but become a lot less exciting the rest of the year or during the winter. Or, maybe that’s what you’re hoping for – a prime location that’s not overrun by tourism year-round.

buying waterfront property in france

If you’re only going to be using the home during the summer, think about maintenance needs the rest of the year – you may be happier opting for a luxury apartment than an enormous villa. This bright and airy two-bedroom apartment in Cannes has 24-hour security, which will make you feel comfortable if you have to head back to your primary home for a while.

Considering Your Must-Haves and Wants

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France 4

High-end waterfront property in France can come with an array of luxury features. This six-bedroom home in Sainte-Maxime has a boathouse and private dock, while this property in Antheor has a cinema room, a hammam and sauna, and a fitness room. To choose the home that’s truly right for you, though, it’s important to get clear about the features that will make or break a sale.

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in France 5

In addition to these niceties, ask yourself how close you want to be to town. Would you like to be able to walk there, like you can with this Saint-Tropez home or this property in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin? Do you need to have access to certain activities, like hiking or skiing? Are schools or medical facilities something you need to look into? If you’ll be traveling to and from your waterfront property often, should you be close to an airport?

Checking Dock Quality and Size

If you own a boat, or plan to once you find your new waterfront property, you’ll need a home with a mooring. Make sure the mooring is large enough to handle your vessel, and make sure that it can survive on the type of moving water you expect. For example, if the water near your home has tides that fall or rise (seafront property as opposed to lakefront property), you’ll want a floating style mooring. An alternative is finding a home close to a marina where you may qualify for long-term access.

Ability to Withstand Waterfront Conditions

Certain elements can cause damage to waterfront properties because they’re more exposed to inclement weather, humidity and salty sea air. You want to make sure you’re choosing a property that’s designed to handle these conditions. For example, beach homes are at the mercy of salty air, which can cause metals to rust – you’ll want to make sure the home has stainless steel locks. While the French Riviera sees mostly sunny days, any type of seaside storm can be rough, so you’ll want a home with impact-resistant windows or that is set away from the waterline.

Home Hunts are here to help you to find with your dream of buying waterfront property in France. If you would like to speak to one of the team to discuss your needs or just to have a chat about the market, you can call us on +33 970 44 66 43 or send us a mail to If you just want to browse through thousands of beautiful French homes, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Compare listings