Why Taking Action on Your French Property Dream is a Good Idea
Why Now Really is a good Time to Buy a Home in France
House Hunting with Latitudes French Property Agents
If your dream is to buy a house or home in France, are you going to let another year pass you by without taking any action to make your dream a reality? This article reviews why it is a good idea to go and have a look at some properties this year and make up your own mind as to whether now would be a good time to make your French property purchase.
Why Now Really is a good Time to Buy a Home in France
Now that Spring is nearly here you must be thinking yet again as to whether the time is right to achieve your dream and buy a home in France. I know that many potential purchasers put their plans on hold during the last year or two as the economic climate hasn’t felt conducive to investing in a foreign property – but you could have been wrong!
If you have your cash deposit sitting in a bank earning no or very little interest then why just leave it there when prices in France have reduced over the last couple of years in many areas, and mortgages within the usual French parameters are widely available? This is not only the time to buy a home in France, but the best time and there is a real opportunity to buy in France before things improve in the UK when you will be in competition with many other buyers; with France now out of recession, prices will increase.
At the very least, why not take the time to see a range of properties in France for yourself? Arrange a viewing trip can be made very easy if you work with Latitudes French Estate Agents, and there are no extra costs involved in using Latitudes services.
Buying a Home in France with Latitudes French Property Agents
Agencies in France work very differently to Estate Agents in the UK. They work on an appointment system and whilst you can just take your chances and pop in, you may well find that you waste a lot of your visit’s precious time if they are not available and you need to wait around to meet them; this can eat into the time you have available to view properties.
Far better is to arrange your meetings with agents before you leave the UK and if you work through a UK agent such as Latitudes then they will make all the appointments for you and be able to arrange them in such a way that you make best use of your time, but still leave enough time to see the villages and towns in the areas you a visiting.
It has always amazed me that some people arrange their viewings so tightly that they honestly do not have the time to see anything of the area to check whether they like the closest village to the property, check out the shopping and restaurants and see whether they like the general area, landscape and architecture. This really is important to your purchase particularly as in many parts of France you will have a much more outdoor life than you do in the UK because of the weather.
Setting your Budget for Buying a Home in France
Obviously you need to work out what you can afford or what you are prepared to pay and then you need to decide on what you think you would like – perhaps make a list of what is truly essential for any property you would purchase, then a list of what you consider quite important and a third list of features that would be nice to have if possible. Don’t forget to include points on what you require from the surrounding area and the immediate landscape. Try not to be too precise as you might find you are asking for the impossible.
Bear in mind when deciding on what accommodation you require inside the house that you perhaps will use the property very differently because of the climate and lifestyle so do adjust your wish list accordingly. For instance a huge living room may not be so important as a lovely terrace and to have a covered area in a garden in the warmer climates may be a blessing whereas huge windows that let in the sunshine may not be such a good idea in those hotter areas as a cool house is a bonus.
Deciding the Length of Viewing Trip
An ideal length of time to visit is approximately 5 days – this will give you long enough to see a good selection of properties in a given area but not so long that you will get totally bamboozled and worn out. It is surprising how tiring it is to be out all day looking at properties as at the end of the day you are both physically and mentally tired from tramping around properties, thinking all the time and trying to make decisions whilst remembering to ask lots of question of the agent you are with, possibly trying out your rusty French!
Most agencies will have additional properties to show you that have perhaps just come onto the market or that they have researched for you from other agencies that they may work with. If you have contacted Latitudes to arrange your viewings they will have given all your requirements to their agencies and will spend some time on the phone with them as well as emailing in order to explain the intricacies of what you require and why.
Obviously as well as properties coming onto the market when you get there, there will also be properties that have been sold in the meantime so that viewing cannot be a precise science and you are relying on the efficiency of the agencies. Occasionally vendors are to blame when things go wrong, because they have perhaps forgotten or not bothered to let all the agents they instructed that they have sold or that they have gone on holiday etc.
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