One of the most popular tools we created for English speaking French real estate property buyers is our helpful property visit checklist. You take a copy of the checklist with you to a French property and the list reminds you to do things that are important to review when buying a French property:
Here are some examples:
One Orientation The exposition of a French property is very important. If you do not check you may find out after you move in that your home is darker inside than anticipated. The solution is not to rely on a home owner or real estate agents sense of direction. Buy and bring with you a compass to learn the location of the sun relative to your future home. Indeed, you may have a compass application on your phone, however, a real compass is more reliable. Use the compass and note down the orientation of important rooms like the living room and kitchen on your ESREA France checklist. Warning: sometimes an owner may say “oh! The house is south facing” when in fact it is south-east facing and this makes a difference.
Two Memory Photos Most owners or agencies have photos of the inside of the property and perhaps a few of outside. You need to take what we call Memory photos. * Take pictures showing any cracks or needed repairs in the property. * Take photos of the view from the windows to outside: perhaps the neighbor’s yard is an eye sore or a delight. * Take photos of the street showing what neighboring homes are like. You can of course always take more inside or outside photos of the home. Important: Make sure you tag on your camera the picture from each home by photographing the address on a sign or something like that so when you refer back to it later you can recognize the property.
Three Property and Residence Tax French property owners pay a number of different expenses including property and residence tax depending on the usage of the property. Make sure you get these annual amounts when you visit a property. They vary with every home and they can make huge difference to the annual costs. Most owners will have a copy of these items. Important: do not believe estimates ask to see the originals.
You can get a free copy of our 10 tip guide by visiting our educational website here. In addition, you can find more French real estate information in English.
Here is another article on Real Riviera by ESREA France