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Top Tips For House Hunting In Normandy

We get daily emails from across the world about how to go about moving to France and more specifically Normandy. These questions can include, amongst many others:-

Visa Requirements

Health Care

French Lessons

and how the process works when buying a home, to name but a few. However, have you given much thought about the type of home you wish to buy in Normandy and your reasoning why?  If not, we are here to help you determine what type of house and location will be a good fit given your individual circumstances. Our expert advice was recently featured in an article by the Anglophone on line newspaper, The Connexion France.

Location

As the saying goes ‘location is everything’ and this remains to be true for buying a property here in Normandy.  However, we aren’t referring to the property value. Property values are fairly consistent depending on which department you buy in and, of course, your proximity to the sea and to a major town or city. This is fairly standard wherever you are buying in the world.

When we talk about location in rural Normandie we mean how rural do you want to be? Most of the houses we sell in this area of Normandy, have very little public transport – if at all. So you will need a car.  There are plenty of properties where you can be very rural, with no neighbours and a short or long drive to the nearest village.  For some, this seems idyllic, especially if you are looking to escape from a large city. However, you need to consider whether the novelty of seeing no one and always having to drive to get your bread and provisions will wear off over a period of time.

We recommend you do some research as to the nearest village and large town and decide how close you would like to be? How remote, realistically, do you want to be? We have written many articles on the towns in and around which we sell properties to help you carry out your research. You can read about them here

Things you may wish to consider are:-

Your Social Life

How sociable are you? Do you enjoy socialising and interacting in your home country? If yes, a small village with amenities may be more ideal for you. Even a rural hamlet where you do have neighbours but there is still some distance between you. Or do you think you will miss the hustle and bustle and would rather be in town and be able to walk to shops, bars and restaurants?

How much Land?

It is fair to say that Normandy represents excellent value for money compared to many countries, in particular, the land attached to the house. This is extremely attractive to some that would like to have a small holding, run a business of some kind, keep horses etc. However, if you don’t intend to do all these things, please do consider how much land is too much. Don’t forget acres and acres need to be maintained and looked after. Do you want this burden, in particular, if you want a lock and leave holiday home?

 

Local Schools?

Do you have young children? Do you have easy access to the local primary school?  Whilst it may seem very quaint and again idyllic to live in the countryside when the children are very young – have you considered when they become older and wish to play with friends after school and indeed the whereabouts of the collège or lycée? Whilst your initial house was ideal in the first instance –  a little further planning ahead could mean that you are not spending a lot of time taxiing your children to and from various sports clubs and indeed school itself.

Long Term Sickness

None of us like to think of getting older or sick.  Some may have long term medical conditions when arriving so please do consider your local clinic for services and hospital. How long will the journey be if you need regular treatment? This is something that you may wish to consider.

Type Of House

Do you dream of a renovated farmhouse, a maison de maître, a pavilion style house – how do you wish to live? Is it preferable to live on one floor or do you require something that is a new build where the energy efficiency is as good as it can be? That is not to say a longère cannot be energy efficient but an old stone house will take more energy to heat and may involve installing a new heating system, as opposed to a newer build.  You may also wish to consider whether you want to stack and use wood as your main source of heating, install a gas/oil fired central heating system or other more eco-efficient types of heating?

Links Back To Your Home Country

Have you looked at the various routes available and the costs involved in travelling back to your home country? Are there good links back? How long will it take? This may not be of great importance if you do not plan to do this regularly but if you are commuting between the two countries, this may be a deciding factor as to where your house will be. We have written an article on links back to the UK/Ireland here.

Energy Efficient Grants

Did you know that you can obtain Energy Efficient Grants for your home in France if it is a primary residence? This may be something you wish to consider if the property you wish to purchase needs to be improved.

Internet

Do you need the internet for personal or work reasons? Whilst many areas have fibre optic now, you will need to check the speed of the internet connection, in particular if you use the internet for your work/working from home. You can easily do this by asking your Estate Agent or making your own research on line with the various internet providers eg. Orange.

 



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