Buying property in France is a completely different process to buying property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (buying property in Scotland is different to the rest of the UK) and it must be said (apart from the language difference) is a far less stressful process. Estate agents in France can draw up a legally binding contract as soon as agreement has been reached between buyer and seller, there are many differences between French estate agents and their counterparts in the UK but for more details on these please see the separate article on Estate agents in France. French property is as diverse as any older established country in Europe and in general is much cheaper than property in the south of England, particularly for those seeking something like an old French farmhouse to restore. Barns in France are another popular type of French property as they are normally cheap and can be imaginatively converted (subject to planning permission) into attractive dwellings, but beware this can be a costly and time consuming process. Buying a country property in France has changed the lives of many British families; the change from a suburban ‘semi’ in a typical English town or city to a Farmhouse in France with perhaps a few acres of land has become the realisation of a dream for many but a nightmare for a few.
Rural property in France is not the only attraction for potential immigrants, there are many who buy traditional houses in France that are in towns and villages similar to those in their own countries but which offer a different way of life as well as better value in terms of the size of property available for a given price. Apartments in France, particularly in the larger towns and cities are considered normal living accommodation for many French people who are often amazed at the British love of an old country farmhouse or cottage in France. Travel down to the cote de azure to view and consider the seafront properties and suddenly you’ll find a flat in France costing millions of Euros albeit for admittedly lovely homes; for much less money though one can own a beautiful traditional French chateau. Personally the dream of a chateau in France with perhaps a small vineyard to produce my own wines and space to enjoy the wonders of everyday life is something that I aspire to.
The Mediterranean coast and the French Mediterranean property is extremely varied; in the Riviera district to the east (considered by many to be the sailing capital of the Mediterranean), the Maritime Alps plunge abruptly into the sea, forming one of the most scenic areas of Europe. West of the Riviera, the coastline gives way to the large, marshy delta of the Rhône while to the West of the Rhône delta, a coastal lowland dotted with wetlands stretches all the way to the Pyrenees. Inland one finds typical rural French property but on the coast much of the property is apartments and flats as land prices are very much higher here and constructors endeavour to get as much property as possible onto each square metre of land.
An altogether different type of property in France to consider is of course those French properties that are situated in the mountainous regions there are rural properties and small French farms but with the tourist trade of skiers and snowboarders in the winter and walkers and climbers in the summer, a small mountain hotel in France makes a home as well as a business. With the Pyrenees on the Spanish and the Alps on the Italian borders as well as the central massif area there is no shortage of mountain properties in France.