Renovating French Properties

By David Seymour

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Summary: While many have successfully renovated French properties, be sure to do your research and know what you're getting into before deciding to purchase a property that needs extensive updates. David Seymour gives some insight.

France - Renovating French Properties

If you are thinking of investing in property in France, or have already started looking at French homes for sale, then you will already be aware of the many different styles and types of French property for sale. French property offers both already renovated homes, and also those requiring the property equivalent of CPR (resuscitation).

Villas in France, French chateau and homes in France in general are still a great bargain for many Brits wishing to relocate or retire to France and a better way of life. And for those considering investing in a French property to renovate -- do you really want to spend years replacing ancient plumbing or constantly fixing a leaky roof?

The trend for buying a dilapidated French home for renovation, whether a barn, villa, townhouse, cottage or chateau, is still going strong. And for many retirees who are themselves professional tradesmen, or very experienced and knowledgeable handymen, the lure is great. But do you really want to spend years putting right a series of D.I.Y. disasters that someone else has made; during what should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment? What a pity to relocate or retire to such a fabulous place as south west France and then not have the time to enjoy its myriad delights.

Before making the decision to buy a French property to restore and renovate, you owe it to yourself (and your family) to think about buying a home which has already been restored, with adequate plumbing, a safe electricity system and sound roof. Think of all the time you could spend playing golf or fishing or just playing with the grandkids in the garden.

French villas or homes for sale which have already been restored are well worthy of your consideration. Many have been refurnished and renovated to an exceptionally high standard, and benefit from every conceivable luxury. Turning your three bed semi in a big city in the UK into an already renovated French chateau in its own grounds may not be as impossible as it may at first appear. Many areas of the UK still benefit from exceptionally high value homes, when compared to French property prices.

If one of the main reasons you are considering retiring to France, or relocating to France, is that you want to enjoy your retirement or leisure time with your family in a good climate, with excellent food and drink, fantastic infrastructure, and with plenty of time to enjoy your time, then perhaps renovating a property, which can be both costly and time consuming (not to mention exhausting), is not your best option.

If you are in south west France, there are literally hundreds of things you will want to do - from fishing and golfing, to surfing and mountain climbing. That is if you can manage any of that after a six course gourmet meal. The attractions of buying a home in France are many; the pace of life in France is considerably slower than ours in the UK. The people take their time, and enjoy every day as it comes, often spending three hours or more on a family lunch.

At the end of the day, what it boils down to is what you want to do with the rest of your life and what is most important to you, and your family. If you have been lucky enough to discover the amenities and pleasures of south west France, then there is little doubt that you will want to buy a French property, and make this country your home away from home.

But before jumping in and signing away the next ten years of your life on a complex and costly French renovation project, take some time to consider if this is really the best option for you and for your family. All it will cost you is a little time.

About the Author

David Seymour is lives in South West France and is the managing director of Adept Marketing SARL, a company specialising in property for sale in france

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First Published: Mar 31, 2007

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