Buying a Villa? Read This First!
The French Riviera is a very unique housing market, and there’s a lot to learn if you’re interested in buying a villa here.
Nearly 30% of villas on the French Riviera are classified as ‘second homes’ (many of which are rented as vacation homes for the summer season), and nearly 8% are “unoccupied” (most of those are used exclusively for vacation rentals). Only 62% are primary residences.
If you’re looking to buy a villa (on the French Riviera, houses are referred to as “villas”) in France, it’s very important that you do your homework! Here is a guide to the things you’ll need to research before putting in an offer on real estate in the south of France:
Our Guides to Buying Real Estate in France:
Our guide to where the market is headed includes: French Riviera real estate market predictions, current & historic pricing trends in the market, and the reasons why prices will continue to fall.
Our guide to real estate listings includes: how to find villas for sale, what to look out for, misinformation and warnings, auctions & foreclosures, buying direct from sellers, why timing is everything, and the reason why only about half of villa sales are publicly listed.
Our guide to real estate agents includes: who to trust (a warning), things agents tell you, how real estate agencies operate, and why you should avoid illegal and non-local agents.
Our guide to pricing & determining a villa’s market value includes: why there’s so much extreme overpricing, how to estimate a villa’s market value (what it’s worth), and a step-by-step guide to finding your offer price.
Our guide to important things to find out includes: diagnostic reports and surveys, sun & micro-climates, potential issues with the view, housing taxes, the age, internet and mobile access, danger (red) zones, health risks, privacy & space issues, nearby problems, what you’ll actually own, illegal additions and structures, why they’re selling, how to verify, and more.
Our guide to things to consider includes: your actual costs, learning about local crime & squatters, and questions to ask yourself.
Our guide to the buying process includes: negotiating the price & the initial offer, choosing an honest notaire, buying in the black, the official offer & deposit, using a SCI, the deposit, the cooling-off period, what to do before handing over the money, and the final signing.
Our guide for after you buy includes: insurance pitfalls, tips for second homes, renting your villa, renovating, and what to know about hiring people.
(These guides are intended to help people who are interested in buying a villa on the French Riviera. Monaco has its own, very unique, market and this guide does not apply to the Monaco market.)
Before you buy, make sure to read our expert predictions for the French Riviera real estate market in 2021 and beyond so you know when the best time to buy is, and how to bargain based on the market trajectory.