The ten priorities when buying a house in France

  1. Location: consider the orientation of the house, the proximity to amenities, the access to the things you are most interested in doing (nice restaurants, good walking, cycling, local markets, community, skiing etc). They are your ‘whys’ of buying a house in France in the first place.
  2. Budget: determine your budget and look for houses within that price range. Don’t assume that you can negotiate a much better price especially here in France where French sellers usually expect to get asking price or as near as and are often not in a rush and happy to wait until they do. If you need a mortgage, understand what you can afford before beginning your research to avoid heartbreak later.
  3. Size and layout: consider the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces, and storage. Make sure that you are looking at the bone structure of the property, not how the current owners are using it. See past the décor and taste of the sellers and try to imagine how it would work for you.
  4. Condition: assess the condition of the property, including the state of the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems. Is it obviously well looked after and maintained?
  5. Amenities: consider the availability of amenities like a garden, garage, or swimming pool and the practicalities of the house.
  6. Energy efficiency: look for properties with energy-efficient features such as double-glazed windows, thick walls, south-facing position, solar panels and insulation.
  7. Schools: if you have children, consider the quality and proximity of schools in the area.
  8. Legal requirements: be aware of any legal requirements and restrictions in the region such as historical building protections.
  9. Proximity to neighbors: consider the proximity of neighbors and potential noise levels but also, if a holiday home, the proximity of neighbours to be able to keep an eye on the property in your absence.
  10. Future plans: consider any future plans you have, such as starting a family, putting in a swimming pool, running gites/bed and breakfast or working from home, and make sure the property you choose can accommodate them.

Most of all, do remember that your perfect house probably doesn’t exist but the property with the potential to be your perfect house does – but only if it meets your key priorities. Then you know that you can make it work for you.

If you need any help with your French property search, please get in touch:


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