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Buying Cheap Property in France

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

For a good few years now France remains one of the most popular destinations for the English looking for a holiday home or a move away from the UK. Many reasons tempt 10,000's of property across the channel to purchase land and property from the cheaper prices to the quality of life, weather to beaches & skiing.

Each year it is said around 150,000 leave the UK to emigrate abroad with France having the highest population of Brits abroad with the number of citizens living in France varying from 170,000 to 400,000.

Top reasons why the British choose France as their new home:

  • Price of Property and Land: On average property prices are much cheaper and especially of the style that many seek such as villas, chateaux and farm houses. Locations will determine the values mostly with large parts of France being countryside and remote meaning prices are low whereas the cities and locations near to touristic attractions being more expensive.

  • Renovation Opportunities: There are far more rural property in France requiring renovation than that of the UK, most times they come with large amounts of land which is a great appeal to Brits. These renovation projects can be as cheap as 10,000€ (excluding notaire fees and taxes).

  • Lifestyle: Lots of people move to France to enjoy a quieter and slower lifestyle. The opportunity to walk to the local village for a croissants and daily baguette or getting your veg and cheese from the local market is a dream to many especially if coffee outside the café is included.

  • Cheaper: If we take out property costs (though many people will have rid of a mortgage when moving to France), it was until recently a much cheaper place to live for fuel and food with extras like no road tax. Depending on your age and work requirements, it can be more costly re health and self employment taxation.

  • Weather: Mostly France will be warmer on average than the UK. If in central France then winters will be colder and summers warmer, Northern France being rather similar to UK whereas the Southern regions enjoy warmer weather throughout the year.

  • Tourism: France many will say has it all. From golden sand beaches on the Mediterranean Sea to the best Ski slopes such Courchevel. Amazing towns and cities offer architectural delights, there are amazing water ways (both rivers and canals) and it has some of the finest wine regions. There are 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France.

  • Food & Wine: France certainly has the lure for many when it comes to wine with famous regions such as Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux with these areas attracting millions of visitors globally each year. Food then France packs a fair punch with fine patisseries, cheese and meats.

The internet makes it far more easier to find and purchase property in France. Not only have estate agents (immobiliers) their own websites with live listings, but you have large property search portals with Seloger being the Rightmove of France.

You can also find property for sale on social media platforms (mostly Facebook groups / pages) as well as auction sites / free listing sites with LeBonCoin being a great example.

Top tips when searching for Property in France:

  • Decide your budget and make sure you include the costings for all solicitor / agency fees and any renovation works the property might require.

  • Decide your area and make sure that you day to day requirements will be met. Remember that some locations in France are very remote and will require at least transport to get around and sometimes even off road vehicles.

  • Research online if there are already expats in the area by searching social media groups / online notices. Try and make contact and ask questions.

  • Take a trip at least once to make sure the area pleases you and get an idea of the quality of property and their neighbourhood / surrounding area that your money will get you. Try and build a relationship with a local estate agent (immobilier) or independent agent (agent commerciale).

  • Do a thorough research online for places that sell French property as many are sold privately and can save you money going directly. May Facebook groups are dedicated to French Property for sale - Here is an example: Maison A Vendre - French Property for Sale

  • Remember that putting in offers is not that uncommon in France and especially for those property requiring major works you can even start off at 33% off the asking price.

  • Consider additional costs: When estimating costs in your head for renovation works you must also consider services and especially water / electricity as some homes will have neither and it can be very costly and time consuming to get connected.

Title image credit: Pixabay

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