Here are a few factors we recommend you consider carefully before you make the purchase:
- Second home or your future residence ? Depending on whether you spend more than 6 months per year in France and whether you move your business interests here, you may become tax resident in France. This is not always as fearful as some make it out to be, as there are a number of mechanisms such as double tax treaty’s with most western countries that imply that if you pay tax in your country of origin, you will not have to pay tax a second time in France. Some additional information can be found in this Angloinfo How to guide. We also partner with excellent financial advisors who will be pleased to advise you, and have had years of experience helping other expats plan their move here.
- What are the maintenance costs ? The main costs are the 2 property taxes, habitation and fonciere, and maintenance charges that amount altogether to between 1% and 2% of the cost of the property each year. To cover this cost, an easy option is to rent your property in the summer in July and August and this will generate normally between 3% to 6% of the property's value. To look after rentals you have the choice between real estate agents that manage all aspects of the rental for a commission of around 25%, or individuals willing to take care of changeovers and finding clients for less than half the cost of an agency.
- Which are the best areas on the French Riviera ? Usually the size your budget is going to be the key driver in determining a suitable location. In the same way your budget determines how close you can be to a town centre in London or New York, on the French Riviera it will be how close to the sea you can be and what sea view you can get. As a rough guide property prices almost double when 1km from the coast compared to 10km (3000 to 5000 Eur/m2), and more than double again when you are right on the coast with a close sea view to over 10000 Eur/m2. Our advice is that if you plan on spending more time on the French Riviera you should favour having the extra space and tranquility that villas inland provide. There are some superb inland villages all along the French Riviera, such as Mougins nearer Nice or Lorgues in the Var.
- How to find available properties ? Once you have decided on the areas you like, you can then use any of the property portals we have listed on our site to get an idea of what is available. But if you don’t want to go through the steep learning curve of doing the search on your own, make use of Smartfinder Home's property search service. In addition to the search, we will ensure you don't pay above market price and advise you on the potential resale value of the house you select.
With this in mind, we wish you every success in your property hunt !