Beginners Guide to Renovating in France

Written by on December 22, 2015 in Property in France, Renovating in France

beginners-guide-to-renovating-in-france

Renovating a rundown old farmhouse or barn, a little cottage or even an abandoned chateau in France is an appealing prospect for many of us. For wannabe renovators, France offers a plethora of brilliant opportunities in the country, city and on the coast. Whether it’s a simple fixer-upper or a full-on restoration job here are some key tips for beginners to help make that dream renovation project successful.

Beginners Guide to Renovating in France

Before you buy: Do your research before you sign on the dotted line of the sale and purchase agreement…

Surveys: The notaire (French equivalent of conveyancing solicitor) will arrange for a survey but it’s not an in-depth evaluation like you’re used to in the UK. If you want a full structural survey then consider hiring your own surveyor.

Sources: Ask your immobillier (estate agent) or notaire for recommendations. Request validation that architects or engineers have the necessary qualifications for surveying.

RICS Organisation has a list of surveyors most of whom are British working in France. Click on box marked “Find a Surveyor”. Confirm registration to operate in France and have professional indemnity insurance for building surveys.

Be aware that there are often many caveats in contracts that act as a get-out clause for the surveyor should something be discovered later that was not picked up in the survey.

Consider hiring a local builder or “maître d’oeuvre” (building contracts manager) to take a look at the property.  This should give you a good idea of the work involved and the costs of doing it. However you won’t get a guarantee this way.

A good survey may provide leeway for negotiation on the price of the property and can minimise risk.

Read the full guide in The Good Life France Magazine including Important Considerations, Before You Buy, Before you Start and lots more useful information.

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