Many people are attracted to the idea of popping over to France for their annual vacation and who could blame them? France has just about every kind of scenery you could wish for from long sandy beaches to alpine ski resorts. However, there's a lot of difference between staying in a hotel for a week and buying your own French holiday property.
For instance, although French property is quite cheap when compared to many of its European neighbours, investing in a holiday home is still an expense not to be taken lightly. It's a long-term commitment and there are important considerations above and beyond the actual purchase itself. Let's look at some of them.
Where in France?
It's quite possible that you already have a favourite region of France you like to visit or a favourite holiday pastime like skiing that defines the area you want to go. Don't be too quick to jump to conclusions though. I use skiing as an example because the Alps probably leap to mind first. That would be to ignore the Pyrenees though, an area of stunning beauty and excellent skiing, and there's also the often overlooked Massif Central and the Auvergne which is where many of the French ski because it's uncrowded and inexpensive.
Transport links may also be a consideration. It's not a lot of fun flying for eight hours and then having to drive another three or four. If you're from the UK it may seem a short trip across to France by ferry but if your French holiday property is in Provence it's going to take you a day of your vacation getting there and another day getting back. Now if you love Provence you'll probably be happy to put up with it but are there places further North that are more accessible and just as attractive?
What size of property?
Given the price of property in France its quite possible that you'll be able to afford a substantial sized house, perhaps with a bit of land? It sounds idyllic for many, especially if you have a large family, but it's easy to overlook the fact that whilst it might be affordable it also needs looking after. A big garden can quickly become overgrown and it's unlikely that you'll want to spend every minute of your holiday doing weeding! Of course there are plenty of people who will come in on a regular basis and keep the place tidy, but that's an extra cost you have to consider. There's also general maintenance and decoration that any building needs. Perhaps a smaller place is better to start with?
Covering some of the costs?
Lots of people buy holiday property in France and then recoup some of the expense by letting it out to other holidaymakers. It's an excellent idea for many but there are one or two potential drawbacks. If you've got a flat in Paris or Nice you'll never have trouble finding either people to rent it or agents who will handle it for you. But, if you have a farmhouse in the middle of rural Limousin it might not be so easy.
Whatever you're looking for there's a very good chance that France has it. It's a great place for a vacation, and. who knows, you might even end up living here permanently like we did. If I have one piece of advice to give above all else, it would be that when you're looking for your French holiday property please leave the rose-tinted glasses at home! I hate to be a damp squib, but I've seen too many people fall in love with a place and make binding commitments only to find later that they've made an expensive mistake. Do your research, make sure you know exactly what you're getting yourself into and you'll have a marvellous holiday destination for years to come.