Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Renovation project - Selling or buying a house in France

Renovation project - Selling or buying a house in France

photo courtesy of
https://fr.pinterest.com/pin/489273946992398571/
Selling a house can be quite simple in France. There are 3 main ways to sell a property:
1.      Use an estate agent
2.      Use the Notaire
3.      Sell it privately
There is no additional cost for the seller to use all methods and a lot of different agents. We have chosen an international agent and the local agent to ensure that we get full coverage, we have also used another agent that appears to be mainly social media and internet based.
There are large differences between each of the options, the biggest being the amount of fees that are paid.
In France the buyer pays the fees, though personally I think this is ridiculous and just a good selling ploy. Yes the fees are on the buyers paperwork showing clearly how much was paid, but ultimately it is the seller who takes less as you do not want to advertise without the fees as any potential buyer would be shocked at the total fees due. But this is just my big bug bear and nothing is going to change it.
So the fees range from approx 6% to 10 % of the property value.
We were able to negotiate the fees with the two main agents; the other agent came in at 3% fees (even I would not want to negotiate that down!)
1.      So what do you get for your money with an agent?
First you get a very enthusiastic person come to visit you and write-up your property and take photos, though we took our own as we wanted to make sure they were just right.
Then you generally don’t hear from them again, unless there is a viewing booked.
The agents will advertise on the internet and the big portals such as Greenacres, zoopla, right move etc (many of which you can do yourself for a fraction of the cost)
The biggest benefit of an agent is that if you have a non French speaking buyer they may feel a lot more comfortable with an agent ad some people will only buy using an agent.
BIG TIP if you are looking to buy. Look at private ads as well, you are just as protected!
So depending on who your agent is, you may get a lot of contact or you may have to chase them up on a regular basis, but you can change them with no problems.
2.      So what do you get with a Notaire?
Basically very little in the sales department, they advertise your property without fees (yes you still pay immobilier fees) and tend to put it in a file in the office for anybody to come and look at, we saw our last house in there when we were looking to buy this one. They are not always kept up to date. Other Notaires may be a little more proactive.
However the Notaires really come into their own once you have a sale and ours are excellent, friendly, professional and able to speak French and English so a massive bonus.
3.      So what happens if you advertise privately?
Basically quite a headache, but it is a headache that can save the buyer up to 8,000 Euros in our case and let you put your house on the market at a much lower price.
So far we are advertised on Greenacres, Zoopla, place in the sun, le Bon-coin and a number of social media sites and the cost for 3 months has been 48 Euros. (Quite different to 8000).
I have made it sound very simple and really it is, as long as you can take good quality photographs and are able to complete a write up and often you will need to do that write up in French.
You will also need to be able to receive e-mails in French and answer them quickly; I opted for no telephone calls as I still struggle with some french accents.

But if you are confident enough you really can save a fortune.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Renovations wanted for TV show

Renovations wanted for TV show
Are you lucky enough to be renovating a chateau or a large property here in France? Have you been watching the TV series escape to the Chateau and thought that is what am I doing or I could do that?
If so now is your chance
Spark Media is looking for anyone who has been inspired by the Channel 4 series 'Escape to the Chateau' and is heading to France to buy a chateau, or is already renovating a chateau. We’d also like to hear from those renovating a larger property with history and character. We’re making a new TV series so if you’re interested to find out more about the programme, please get in touch with Nicola – nicola@sparkmedia.tv

Good luck to anybody that goes forward and please let us know how you get on.
And if you would like to move to France with out renovating and move into a completely finished house with the option to have a ready to go gite business take a look at the following link.

Friday, 3 February 2017

House for sale Huelgoat Brittany France **** REDUCED TO 102,000 EUROS ****

House for sale Huelgoat Brittany France **** REDUCED TO 102,000 EUROS ****
The house is fully finished, we can sit back and relax, happy in the knowledge that we have returned another old village house to its former glory. But what is next for us, do we stay here in France, we love this village so much, but after 4 years it is time for another adventure. Portugal is calling stronger than ever and for this reason we are going on the market.
We will get to enjoy our house while we wait for it to sell, the time to relax will be a strange feeling but so good to recharge our batteries before beginning the next stage, but for now it is time to handover to somebody else
You have been with us on our journey and seen the house transform, would you like to the next part of the story?
There are so many options available with this property,
1.      The chance to live in a large family home in the centre of Huelgoat.
2.       A great holiday home with small manageable garden so no worries about spending your holidays taming wild overgrowth
3.      The opportunity to move to France and start a business straight away, a 2 bed house and a 1 bed house either of which can be let out, in a year round tourist location.
Only 102,000 euros with option to include all the furniture.
The property in detail:
Habitable Area: 123m2
Land Surface Area: 161m2
Energy Efficiency: D - 227
Co2 Emissions: A - 5 
Living room with new wood burner set in a large granite fireplace.
Fully fitted kitchen with dining area.
Stairs to:
Main bedroom with door to large private terrace
2nd double bedroom
Family bathroom
All upstairs windows have views over the forest.
From the kitchen:
Enter the dining room with external door to patio garden and full utility room.
Doorway that can be locked to a separate cottage with:
Large living room with small fitted kitchen and large granite fireplace, separate external door to outside
Stairs to large bedroom with vaulted ceiling and exposed beams and wooden floors, door to private terrace with views over the forest.
Fully fitted shower room off the bedroom.
Large garage/workshop. 
Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
House and drive

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
the terraces and rear of the property

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
main kitchen

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
kitchen dining area

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living room in main house

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living room in main house

Renovation project house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
dining room and door to little house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom in little house and door to terrace

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom in little house with door to ensuite bathroom

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
kitchen area in little house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
living area in little house and external door

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
bedroom 2 in main house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
family bathroom

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
stairs in main house

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
patio garden

Renovation project - house for sale Huelgoat Brittany, France
garage and little house terrace
The house has been completely renovated with new double glazing, new electrics, new plumbing, new fitted kitchen, new bathrooms, new wood burner and flue. 

The property is located approx 200 metres from the town square with a selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. There is also a doctor and dentist in the town and a supermarket with 24 hour petrol. There are creperies and ice cream shops along the lake and within the forest you will find an internet cafe selling vegan food and organic beers.
There is public transport available with a bus service to Carhaix and Morlaix (Morlaix has a TGV train direct to Paris and further into Europe)
There is a mechanic/vehicle service garage and a taxi service in the town.
Huelgoat has a large leisure lake with cafes and an enchanted forest with many tourist attractions (again only approx 200 metres from the property). 
Although a popular tourist destination the area is never crowded. 
Here are some photos of Huelgoat (approx 200 metres from the house)
Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France

Renovation project -  Huelgoat, Brittany, France
Huelgoat is located approx 45 mins from Roscoff ferry port, 30 mins from Morlaix (with a TGV train to Paris) and approx 35 mins to the nearest beach 
International airport at Brest approx 50 mins away.
If you have any questions or would like further information please contact us either on here or via e-mail on the contact page.

Please share with your friends and family, thank you

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Renovation project - We have finished

Renovation project - We have finished!
Wow we are now on the final job of the project, there is not just light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel is actually disappearing.
This last job is one that will make such a difference, and will finally give me a garden, yes we are doing the garden.
Here is a photo to remind you what our garden has looked like for so long, as every pile of rubble was removed it was replaced with another
We have approx 50 m2 of patio and we are going to put gravel down. Currently there is some very sparse gravel but also lots of rubble and goodness knows what from the house.
So we have no alternative but to clear what is currently there and replace it with new gravel. As with everything there will be no waste, the old gravel and rubble is taken up (we have run out of gravel bags and now realised the bags you buy from the supermarket have other uses) these bags can carry a good amount and the old gravel is used to the fill the space in the garage, so that not much concrete is required.
Remember there is often a use for everything, even rubbish.

Once the garden area is cleared we clear a channel along every wall of the house below the damp course, it is essential to have this for good drainage and to keep the water off the building.

We also dig quite a big channel where the drive meets the road, this will help to keep the gravel in place and hopefully prevent it from ending up all over the road.
The gravel arrives, we have ordered 3 tones, to me this seems so excessive as the area to be covered is only approx 50 m2 but as we are getting towards the end, it is definitely not excessive, it turns out to be exactly the right mount there is not one stone to spare.
We stand back and look, I finally have a garden and the house is now finished. Tonight it is a bottle of wine, a relaxing bath (moving 3 tonnes of gravel is quite tiring!) and a big sigh of relief with the question of what are we going to be doing tomorrow!!!!!