Buying Property In South France

Getting the Property You Desire in South France

Perhaps, one of the most important life decisions is buying a property.  With a little mistake, you would be wasting great amount money.

The need for security and safety is greatly desired nowadays.  And what offers this kind of fulfillment is your home.  Only your home can provide an atmosphere of peace and quiet and refuge.  The home is a place of rest and rejuvenation.  Thus, getting a house is indeed more than worth!

And if you consider seeking of a new house abroad, consider South France in your checklist.  South France has so much to offer - reasonable real estate prices, relaxed countryside lifestyle, and terrific cuisine.

Property buying tips:
1.  The first step in buying a buying a property is to consider why you are buying, and how you can make the most of the investment opportunity.  If you are buying to relocate or for a semi-permanent retirement home, you might not be interested in letting your dream home for extra income.  However, the prospect of benefiting from capital growth can be very appealing.

Alternatively, if you are buying a holiday home for your own occasional use, any extra income from renting will provide a useful contribution to your costs, and might even pay your finance costs.  This would make your dream home a free gift from your tenants!  Whatever your reason for buying, look for a property, which will also be your best investment.

2.  Start looking for a property now because real estate experts don’t expect French property to become any cheaper.  They predict prices in many areas will continue at healthy growth rates in 2004 / 2005.  In the long run they expect French property to keep increasing in value.  A positive influence of the switch to the Euro is that it now allows a direct comparison between prices in different parts of the European Union.

3.  Property in some regions of France is still extremely cheap compared to other areas of the EU.  As this is more transparent, they predict that more people will want to buy there.  If you are seriously considering buying a holiday home which is also an investment and which will show significant capital growth over the next few years, they recommend that you start your area of search by identifying which French airports have recently become destinations for new air routes, particularly amongst the no frills, cut-price airlines.  If you are not sure yet where you want to buy, decide now not to rush into buying the first property you see.

4.  Start researching the different areas.  You may know already that some areas are unsuitable and you can cross them off your list.  If there are areas you are not sure about, make the decision to visit them before you finalize your search area.  With the increase in low cost air travel, many areas are now within easy reach for a weekend, so go and have a look. If you are extremely familiar with France, I think you will be surprised at just how many wonderful locations there are to choose from, especially those off the well-worn tourist tracks.

Any research you can do ‘on the ground’ will be worth the time and money spent.  After all, this is a major investment you are thinking of.  It’s worth taking your time to get it right.

5.  Try to view properties early in the year, certainly before July when everyone else is running around looking to buy.  Viewing earlier should give you more choice, and if a vendor is looking for a quick sale, they are more likely to consider offers when the market is quieter.

6.  Don’t make any assumptions about property prices before you start looking.  For example, the south of France has the reputation of being expensive.  It is true that there are many lovely and expensive properties on the Riviera.  However, not every property for sale is a 6-bedroom luxury villa with swimming pool and all mod cons.  There are still plenty of reasonably priced properties to consider if you search around.

They may well be more expensive than their equivalent in other parts of France, but they are still affordable and compared to prices in some parts of London, for example, are still attractive.

7.  The relatively overlooked areas should boom over the next few years as bargains in Brittany, Normandy, the Dordogne, Provence and the Riviera become harder to find.

8.  However, don’t leave it too late to look.  The Germans and the Belgians are already buying up properties.  If you are looking for a second home, which you would use only for holidays, consider buying with friends and relatives and owning it through a SCI.  If you do this with proper legal advice it can help circumvent future tax and inheritance tax law.

9.  Alternatively if you are looking for a holiday home which doubles up as an investment, I recommend you consider buying a property on a new development which you can put into a Leaseback Scheme - more details in French Property Secrets.  Then you are guaranteed a minimum return, which will assist with the mortgage if you require finance, and you can still use it free for holidays. Also you retain the benefit of any capital growth.

10.  But the best of all you can reclaim any TVA included in the purchase price, meaning you can get a whopping 20% instant discount.  This means doing your homework first.

These are healthy tips in getting your desired property in South France and get the most of it.  Remember these things and you’ll get your dream house you long desired.

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