Exploratory stage for clarifying those initial thoughts into a realistic project:
1. Examine why you want to move and write what you expect to gain from moving.
2. Research the location and type of house you would like with the help of the Internet.
3. Work out what budget you can afford, and if you are prepared to rent the property.
4. Create the brief of what house you want and where, based on your initial research and budget.
5. Share that brief with agents that communicate well, in the area you are looking (and why not share with house hunters and websites as well).
6. Organise visits of the houses you select, staying from 1-2 weeks to months to get a good feel for the region.
7. Then make an offer when you have narrowed your selection to 1-2 favourites, and don’t hesitate to make an aggressive initial offer, especially in today’s buyers’ market.
Purchasing and moving stage:
8. Purchasing is a 2 step legal process, with a “compromis de vente” followed 2-3 months later by the “acte de vente” done in a French “notaire” – make sure you understand this process and what you are signing for or else get help.
9. Now you have the keys and you are moving, it will be a lot of work like any other house move, though do think through the administration steps, such as getting local health cover.
I personally have done this exercise several times, moving back and forth between France and another country, and despite the fact I am bilingual and know France well, I learnt the hard way on some of these steps, in particular steps on search and purchasing (2 & 8) but those stories will be part of another article.
On the SmartfinderVar website, you will be getting useful content for each of those steps, relevant to the South of France, so keep us in your favourites.
What I would like to do, is to help any person considering a move to the Var, get the insiders view. So do give me a call, and I will be pleased to advise :)