The 5 top criteria for French property buyers

Despite the fact that every buyer looking for a property in France has different priorities and an individual wish list there are still some criteria that are listed on pretty much every property search brief I am given. These are the top five, not necessarily in any order:

1. A community

This is a difficult concept to apply to a property but buyers definitely hope to connect with others in the place they are looking to buy. Maybe this is since (and because of) the pandemic but more and more buyers want to feel as if they are part of a community whether that be a market town, a village, a hamlet or rural community. They also want to be a short distance from shops and cafés (but also completely private and peaceful!) If I had a Euro for every buyer who asks to be on the edge of a village, with no close neighbours, lovely views and walking distance to all facilities…..

2. A character property

Period houses are top of the wish-list for the majority of people looking for a property in France. The type of period house is often less important so it could a manoir, a maison de maître, a farmhouse or a village house, just so long as it has plenty of character and original features. Anything that encapsulates the history of the region and is built from materials from the landscape in which it sits is very attractive to foreign buyers.

3. A beautiful garden and swimming pool

The majority of buyers in France are looking for plenty of outside space, a pretty (but not labour intensive) garden, lovely terraces and, ideally, a swimming pool. Not necessarily lots of land but a private, green space with shade for the summer and sunny, protected areas for the winter.

4. Amazing views

In this part of southwest France, a country view is the most desired outlook with a mountain view coming second. A view is usually one of the aspects of a property which sways a decision during viewing. It is not necessarily what the buyer thinks they want most but can often be the deciding factor in the purchase. A beautiful view that changes throughout the year and with the seasons adds huge amounts of interest to a house.

5. The wow factor

What constitutes a wow factor depends on each buyer and is hard to predict but it can often be an unexpected space such as a double height living room, a vaulted ceiling, impressive structural beams, beautiful elements such as marble fireplaces, a glass fronted room, spectacular views from a terrace or simply a fabulous finish with thoughtful fixtures and fittings. Equally it can be a fantastic pool house, a summer kitchen or a luxury bathroom. It is important however to make sure that the wow factor is part of the house and not simply the seller’s art or furniture which will go with them when they leave.

What all of these things really amount to is that buyers are, consciously or sub-consciously looking for a property that offers a fantastic lifestyle. This can seem random but is, in fact, fundamental to any property search, whether that be for a permanent home or a holiday home. Buying a house is not simply about bricks and mortar (or stone and oak), rather lifestyle opportunities provided by the house and its location. It is not just a roof and some land, people have higher expectations and buying a property in France is still a dream for many people and dreams are notoriously very hard to pin down. But while many of us can’t change our lives completely, we can certainly enhance and improve them and one of the very best ways of doing this is buying a beautiful home in a lovely part of the world.

If you need help or advice in finding the perfect property in France, please get in touch:

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