Five Tips for Buying a Property Abroad

Making the move to France is the dream for thousands of Brits each year, and it’s easy to fall in love with some of the beautiful properties on offer. You can make the dream a reality, but when buying property abroad it pays to do your homework before you start your property search.

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1. Be Realistic About Your Budget

Before you start dreaming of your new mortgage-free life, you need to be realistic about how far your budget will stretch once you’ve paid for moving costs and estate agent and notaire fees. Look for the words ‘Frais d’Agence Inclus (FAI)’, meaning agents’ fees are included. Fees can be expensive in France, so factor in at least 10% of your budget to cover them.

2. Do Your Research

The French system of buying and selling houses has some marked differences from ours, including signing a Compromis de Vente, which locks you into the buying process. The Notaries de France website is a good place to learn about the property-buying process in France.

3. Location, Location, Location

You may have fallen in love with that rambling rural farmhouse, but you need to be clear on the practicalities of your chosen property. If you need to make frequent trips to the UK or are expecting plenty of visitors, then having a port, airport or TGV station within an hour’s drive makes sense. If you’re working from home, rural broadband can often be a bit hit and miss. And what can seem idyllic in the summer sun can feel lonely and isolated when winter arrives. Narrow down your search areas, and then review houses for sale in France at

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4. The Renovation Game

When you’re looking for property for sale in France, it’s easy to fall for that chateau that just needs a little TLC. It doesn’t, and unless you have the budget and the skills to cope with a major renovation, you should adjust your expectations and look for a property that just needs a little nip and tuck, not major surgery.

5. Be Flexible

You may have your heart set on one particular area, but could you get more for your money elsewhere? Be prepared to be flexible on your desired location and you might bag a bargain or find your dream home!