Do you dream about moving to France but you just don’t know where to start?
Setting aside time to look for properties is difficult especially if you are moving to a different country and you need to optimise your visits in order to see properties that correspond to your wishes. How do you know if the area will suit you? How are things set up when you want to buy and what happens when you decide to take the leap of moving here?
When we were looking for houses in the region we came down from Paris for a few days every month for 5 months. In that time we managed to see around 60 houses of which the most part did not correspond to the brief that we had given the estate agents. In fact in one case I refused to get out of the car as we had travelled 45 minutes outside of our search area and the house was in the middle of a town on a busy road when we had been clear that we were looking for a rural setting.
I have heard so many stories from people about their house search, about their unhappiness with the “service” given by estate agents, how people were told about the kind of rental money they could get for holiday lets that was literally thousands per week over the average weekly rental for the area and no mention of the tax implications, how “easy” it was going to be to do any work on the house (nothing was mentioned about planning permission, extra taxes, registered builders etc…) and promises of help once they moved that never followed through. The more I listened, the more I realised that that in fact people were just being sold a house, not a lifestyle and that the lifestyle was the real reason that they were wanting to make the move in the first place – the house was just a part of it, an extremely important part of course, but not the only part.
When we first discussed setting up the business we wanted to include real estate in our offer of services but we soon realised that becoming traditional estate agents was not sitting well with the values behind the company and that is the reason that we decided to position ourselves clearly as house hunters and not estate agents. House hunting is fairly new in France and only really appeared on the horizon around 10 years ago. The big difference is that a house hunter works exclusively for the buyer and doesn’t have a listing of houses that they need to sell, the other difference is that a house hunter will look broadly across the board, through various property sales platforms. A house hunter comes under the same rules and regulations as an estate agent so you are fully covered and it will not cost you any more than a traditional estate agent.
You should feel comfortable about your chosen area, so one of the things we do in order to make sure that people get to ask all the questions is set up a dinner with a few people from the same demographics as the buyers so that they can spend an evening asking all the questions to people that have already made the move. Honesty is the best policy and we believe that anyone making such an important move should do so knowing all the pros and cons.
4 excellent reasons to use a house hunting service:
1. It will optimise your time for house searching and visits and you will only see properties that correspond to your brief.
2. French sellers now sell through various mediums so unless you know where to look, have the time and speak the language, you may miss out on your dream property.
3. They are exclusive services that will not cost any more than a traditional estate agent and house hunters work 100% for the buyer.
4. House hunters don’t just find properties. For example, Aquitaine Lifestyle Solutions can help with all the paperwork and processes around the sale and can also provide financial advice, relocation services and, if necessary, property management. Helping you with everything you need for your new lifestyle in South West France.