Questions you should ask yourself when buying a property in France

Jos Deuling,  Sunday, 31 March 2013

Doors of old houses in France 

Through a simple questionnaire, you can get a reasonable estimate whether this is a property that suits you:

  • What is my budget?
  • What are the maintenance costs?
  • Can I rent the property and what are the rental costs?
  • Is the home easy to reach?
  • Does it have a fast Internet connection and a good cell phone connection?
  • Do I want to live here year round?
  • Will I use the house 20 years from now?
  • Is it not too cold in the winter?
  • Can I sell the property easily?
  • Is the house located near tourist attractions?
  • Are there airports nearby?

It is wise not to spend more than your budget even if it is tempting to spend that an extra 20,000 on your 'dream home'. In case of deferred maintenance make sure that you know exactly what needs to be renovated. Hire an expert to assess the condition of the property. See bottom of this page for an overview of English speaking surveyors.

If you have ambitious plans and want to give the house a different destination (e.g. a Chambres d'Hotes) or if you want to renovate the house completely, then you need at least a certificat d'urbanisme. Check with an independent expert.

To finance your home with the proceeds of the rental income is a risky business. You're not the only one with that idea around. More and more foreigners start a Chambres d'Hotes or start to rent out gites. Furthermore, the number of tourists in recent years has fallen. Calculate your profit! If you need more security, than you should get a job.

The times of plenty in the housing market are over. Previously you could still make a gamble. Prices rose after all anyway. Nowadays you should be happy if prices don’t fall. Buying a house as an investment property is not obvious nowadays. If you still want to invest your money in a second home in France, choose a popular region like Paris, the Riviera or the French Alps.


Picardy & Nord Pas-de-Calais

- UK type Property surveys in France


- UK type Property surveys in France

- French Property Surveys

- Peter Goddard, Anglo-French Building Surveyor

- Peter White Building Surveyor / Expert en bâtiment

- Helping home owners in France since 2001


- Andrew Allen Architects, Pre-purchase feasibility studies

- Bretagne Architectural Services, Pre purchase feasibility surveys

- UK type Property surveys in France

Pays de la Loire

- UK type Property surveys in France


- For total peace of mind, have the property professionally surveyed before you say "oui"


- We offer RICS Homebuyer Reports to house- hunters who wish to be informed before taking the plunge to purchase a property.

- Property surveys and Diagnostic Surveys in the following areas in the south west of France: Dordogne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Haute Vienne, Gironde and the Lot et Garonne.

- Gordon P. Barnes, Chartered Surveyor resident in South West France

Midi-Pyrénées South

- Gordon P. Barnes, Chartered Surveyor resident in South West France

- Richard Stirrup, Pre-purchase surveys

- Robert Lyell, Pre-purchase surveys

Midi-Pyrénées North

- Use our professional services to investigate if the property is indeed your dream home.

- Richard Stirrup, Pre-purchase surveys

Centre Val-de-Loire

- UK type Property surveys in France

- French Property Surveys


- French Property Surveys


- We provide prospective buyers with a bilingual one- stop shop consultancy and continuous support service


- Robert Lyell, Pre-purchase surveys


- John Marshall Surveys, Chartered Valuation Surveyors & Building Pathologists

- identifying significant structural defects, maintenance and repair items and things which are, or may be, dangerous and which could affect health and safety of those in or around he buildings.

- Ensure you buy your dream, not your nightmare. Provide security, confidence and peace of mind.

French village in the countryside
Search for French property and real estate for sale in all regions of France. Fermettes, gites, houses, B&B’s for sale by owner. Houses for sale in Gironde, Dordogne, Landes, Calvados, Manche and Orne 
Highly recommend them to any French student

Buying a house in France Until recently, Foreigners almost always bought an authentic old house somewhere in the French countryside, even if it had defects and required more maintenance than a new home. In recent years, this trend is changing. It is increasingly common for foreigners to buy a new home in a development. What are the advantages of old versus new homes? 
More articles