Seven French Property Pitfalls to Avoid

Originally posted on & updated on 30th January, 2024

Is moving to France a good idea? We certainly think it is, not just for the weather, the fabulous food, amazing wines, rich culture, history, superb healthcare or for a renovation project with land and outbuildings in the French countryside.

As well as providing endless opportunities for travel, sports and fun, France is great for kids. HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey 2018 found that 64% of expats said their children’s health and wellbeing was better in France, as well as their education, and of understandably, linguistic and social skills. Having moved to France (Pyrénées) at the tender age of seven myself with a younger brother and sister, we fully appreciate the benefits of these lifestyle changes for all, kids and grown-ups alike.

Have you been exploring the idea of a permanent move for a while, a month, perhaps years because of the weather or waiting for retirement age, possibly both. As we come out of lockdown, are you planning your French escape at the earliest opportunity and secure that special place for the family and friends.

This all sounds like an exciting adventure doesn’t it but are there any pitfalls? Here’s our seven top tips to avoid them, to help you make a successful and hassle free purchase. Get a head start and start planning :

  1. Investigate tax, succession and inheritance
  2. Be smart with your cash, save on currency
  3. Work with a qualified English speak agent
  4. For properties with land, learn about SAFER
  5. Be realistic about renovation costs and timeframes
  6. Budget for property taxes and additional costs
  7. Research French insurance, it’s a legal requirement

To learn more about finding your own property in France, visit our buying guide, register to receive alerts or simply ask us.

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