5 Reasons Why House Hunting in Winter is a ‘Bonne’ Idea

5 Reasons House Hunting in Winter is a ‘Bonne’ Idea

Autumn and winter are traditionally busy times at MFH-HQ with international buyers and families coming to France to try and seal a good deal before the end of the year.

There are several benefits of visiting France at fall, as well as a few useful ‘reality checks’, so here’s our 5 reasons why we think house hunting in winter is a good idea.

1 - Save Time and Money

At this time of the year, it’s easier to get around; there’s no summer holiday traffic and the same applies for hotels or hire car. Airplane/ferry tickets/hotels tend to be much cheaper, as long as you avoid the Christmas and New Year holiday, especially in Paris.

In winter days are shorter and there’s the time difference with the UK making days shorter, so property visit needs to be carefully planned in advance.

2 - What is it Really Like?

It’s important to sample the area at a ’less glamorous time’ of the year when the heating has been turned on, the pool covered, the gardens are duller and you can hear traffic noise much more easily thru the bare trees.

This also provides a opportunity to immerse themselves in ‘full french mode’ and get a realistic picture of the local climate, and about the local community; villages, shops, markets, etc…. some places can be quiet in winter with little shopping.

3 - Perfect Timing is About Planning

Most buyers know that timing is as important for them as it is for the sellers who often look to sell before the end of the year, often for tax reasons, after a nice summer in the pool.

So it makes sense to secure a property in the winter, to be enjoyed in the summer when the sun’s out and you are able to enjoy the full benefits of your french home and lifestyle.

Another benefit is that those french owners, notaires, mairies, have more time, and are less rushed; even in the evening at a restaurant after a busy day.

4 - Start Planning For Summer

It takes about 3 months to purchase a property (see our buying guide), that’s plenty of time to complete and get ready in time for the summer, and even secure bookings if you are looking to generate income from a rental activity. For example, if you were to make an offer mid December, realistically with Christmas and the New Year in the way, you’d probably be looking to complete around may, easter at a push.


5 - Have Fun & Stock Up for Xmas

And at this time of the year, there are always plenty of events on; so why not stop over to enjoy the Beaujolais nouveau celebrations in Villefranche, the Lights in Lyon, a fondue in Annecy, or a nice and healthy salad on the promenade des anglais in Nice, just to name a few.

And the trip wouldn’t complete with some shopping in preparation for your Christmas diner, start thinking about some of those classics you want to treat your guests; amuses bouches, cheeses, wines, charcuterie, … and little shopping in Paris or Toulouse.

If you are planning a trip to look at properties in France this winter, please get in touch with plenty of notice. ‘Noel’ is a very important time for the french when families are away and/or together, Enjoying Life as it should be!