How to Buy Overseas Land
Properties for sale in France
Real estate in France
A house in FranceBuying has always been the most popular choice for overseas property: easy to get to by car, often surprisingly affordable and fun to rediscover your French school.
The choice of environments is also noteworthy. The French Alps are home to some of the best ski resorts in the world with all the other adventurous activities the mountains offer. There is the wild Atlantic coast, the Cote Sauvage, or the gentle coastal cities of the north in Normandy and Brittany.
And of course there is the famous splendor of the south of France. We may love to hate the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, but it has helped keep the French land in the hands of smallholders who have kept it (and its huge selection of wines and cheeses!).
France never really became a place to buy investment property, which helped prevent overdevelopment. Also, the overseas newcomers have not - in general - tried to turn France into a corner of Essex or Düsseldorf. France is the place to have fun the French way.
Because the British have been buying houses in France for so long, the processes of buying and owning are easy. There are many English speaking realtors, as well as home builders and other real estate professionals, that you might need.
Where can I buy property in France?
The south-west of France is one of the most popular areas for its climate, cuisine, and beautiful landscape fringed by charming bastides or villages.
The Dordogne in the Aquitaine region is always popular with UK buyers, and prices have fallen 50 percent. Bijou village houses start from under € 100,000 and 3-bedroom family houses with beautiful gardens for € 200,000.
Don't be afraid to haggle as many homes have been languishing in the market for a few years. The Lot-et-Garonne is a similar scenario.
The market in Gascony is a little livelier and in recent years there has been an increase in demand for Poitou-Charentes, where you can get a three-bed house for € 150,000 or a charming renovated watermill for less than € 250,000.
Another area that is becoming increasingly popular is the Pyrénées-Orientales region, which combines mountains, chic coastal towns and proximity to Spain. The pretty village of Ceret, the vibrant city of Perpignan or the chic town of Collioure are well worth a visit.
Or the Languedoc-Roussillon area offers a cheaper alternative to the overpriced Provence or the Cote d'Azur, with cities like Montpellier, a dynamic high-tech industrial city with an artistic, bohemian culture.
The landscape has vineyards and lavender fields like Provence, the Mediterranean is on your doorstep, but for € 150,000 you can get an apartment in Montpellier, or a mountain hut or village property without much land but in good condition.
There is no doubt that for many wealthy buyers from all over the world, the Cote'Azur remains THE place to own a vacation home on the Mediterranean, but prices have not changed and the hotspots around Nice, St. Tropez, Cannes, Antibes and Mougins are all still in great demand. Look for villages nearby to these hotspots for greater affordability.
In the north, Brittany and Normandy are great options for people who don't like their spots too hot in the sun, but still average 5 ° C higher than southern England.
The fishing villages are a big attraction, with restaurants at the harbor, but inland you have the weekly markets, castles, green landscapes and wonderful infrastructure, all just a jump across the canal. That convenience drives up oceanfront prices, but walking a few miles inland and sizable farmhouses go from € 250,000, cottages from € 85,000.
Head to the less populated interior of France - the Auvergne and Limousin, for example - and prices will drop even more. So it's worth exploring these beautiful and dramatic regions of France a little further.
Paris, like London, has bucked the national trend and prices continue to rise, while the French Alps remain our favorite ski property location with the Three Valleys. For investors, the returns of the first-class alpine ski areas can hardly be surpassed in two consecutive years.
If you love classic French reds, a fantastic area is the des Entre deux Mers around the elegant city of Bordeaux, where many houses come with a small vineyard.
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