Oldstonesblog

The quest for a French house with a soul

Category: House hunting

How much for your neighbour’s house ? Ask Patrim.

Do you wish to valuate your property, assess the property market in a search area or are you just curious about how much your neighbours sold/bought their house ? (we all are).

Ask Patrim, the new tool from French tax administration.

For that you have to be (or ask) a French tax payer. Then connect to your account and follow our HouseHunters tutorial.

Once connected, click on ” Rechercher des transactions immobilières..“(see red arrow)

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Hiring A Bird Dog For Free ?

When hiring property finders, or bird dogs as they are called in the US, one expects them to find your dream house and support you all the way till the key transfer. This is a kind of tailor made service often associated with hefty commissions. In fact, compared to a XXxth Century estate agent, a bird dog costs almost nothing. Explanation.

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Property Price Negotiation, A Roleplay.

Price negotiation in the French countryside is a touchy game where rationality is less than often the leading principle. There are nevertheless some basics in French seller psychology a foreign buyer should know.

An exorbitant price might be a good opportunity

In fact, most French private sellers have no idea about the price they can ask for their house. They bought it in French Francs a long time or some years ago (ages in the fast moving property market) and suddenly they are decided or have to sell.

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Househunting is investigating.

Because of too much home staging house hunters are often lured into visiting French properties that are not worth the time and the journey. To avoid this some basic searches on the net can help get a better picture of the property and even explore its dark (or grey) sides.

As a property finder, we do this all the time. Once a property is spotted, we remotely assess it by deeply browsing the net. We collect facts and information not only on the house, but its environment, the seller, its purchase history. Everything available.

When we select a proparty for our own fisrt viewing, we already “know” it well and home staging won’t put wool over our eyes. This tedious homework is time and money savvy and it makes us able to provide a first class service for reasonable fees.

LBC

To illustrate this, I invite you to a journey into property intelligence. Our start point today is an ad on Leboncoin ( https://www.leboncoin.fr/ ), the French portal where everyone can advertise anything, even castles.

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Montpellier, Montpellier, Montpellier !

Place de la Comédie.

On a well know UK expats forum someone recently asked about the best places where to move in southern France. One member somehow emphatically replied “Montpellier, Montpellier, Montpellier !”.

Is actually Montpellier the trendy town to move in? Known as a vibrant city where students can fully exploit their partying capabilities Lo Clapàs as it is dubbed in occitan (the rocky mound) is more than that.
With around 280,000 inhabitants it is the 8th most populous town in France and one of these few French cities with more than 100,000 dwellers that saw their population steadily growing since 1945. As its late mayor Georges Frêche once described it, la Surdouée (the Wonder-kid) has a lot of fancying sides for house hunters looking for sea & sun without missing culture and entertainment. It has also some dark sides.

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Languedoc-Roussillon – The Beach Factor.

Franqui beach (Aude)

How often do we property finders hear the following requirement from house hunters: “One more thing, nice beaches should be no more than a 30mn drive away from the property” ? When searching for a house in Languedoc or Roussillon they are all talking the same. They want to dwell away from the tourist herds while being able to enjoy easy beach leisures from time to time.

Surely enough, Languedoc and Roussillon are God gifted areas with long sandy beaches, snowy mountains not too far, wonderful food, quite decent wines, night life and old cities with character. The issue we’ll discuss here is how to select a place in this area according to the “Beach factor”.

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Ibuprofen or property finder ? Make a choice.

headache all the time

The added cost of a property finder is obvious while the incentives are unclear. Why pay someone to search for a house when one can do it for free with the help of technology and blogs, and have fun still ? Expat magazines are full of house hunting success stories that tell “yes, you can”.

The dark side of the moon is that the media usually forget to mention the fiascos and problems. Buying a house in France can be challenging, risky and costly before getting to the first sip of wine with a bright sunset on the terrace. I recommend visiting sites such as the Survive France Network to get no dark but not too rosy a picture.

How hiring a property finder can help prevent the dream journey into landlord ship to turn into a painstaking battle ?

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Finding THE Place For A New Home Is like Piling Up Matryoshkas.

10 good reasons to choose your wallpaper – 7 criteria to select your cat’s basket – 8 worst places to live in No man’s land… Numerals are trendy on house hunters social media, giving a (flawed) impression of completion and expertise.

I suppose this fascination is a kind of brainchild of the Big data. The more data the better the choice is the motto of the day and estate agents websites nowadays are competing in piling up search criteria in their apps.

But does reading a post about France 10 best B&Bs help choosing a good B&B location ? What to do ? Do the same as the Top ten or exactly the opposite ? Be a cautious but smart follower or a risk loving explorer ? 

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Living with the winds

vent-arbre

Wind is the bulk movement of air -Period. Each of us knows what wind is. Sailors, kite surfers, cyclists and distinguished owners of numerous defunct umbrellas know more.

Actually there are winds and winds. Some of them are global resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the Equator and the Poles. Others are local generated by the heating of land surfaces and usually lasting a few hours. According to the wind’s strength we speak of squalls, breezes or gales, or eventually storms and hurricanes.

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Tags for a dream house.

When working out the profile of our dream house we usually draw a mental image of a property that reflects family members’ personalities and expectations.

This picture is often influenced by the house magazines and websites with their “stunning”, “amazing” perfectly decorated properties surrounded by superbly maintained gardens. As experienced house hunters know too well, flawless properties do exist but never match their budget. More often, what they view demonstrate that aesthetic inclination is something we, humans, don’t understand the same way.

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