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buying privately

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I will give you a warning that we have seen all to often from brits buying from brits when visiting to give estimates for work. Check the electric installation conforms to french and not british bodge-up (have seen many lethal DIY jobs on the cheap),check the fosse system is correct and not something that is going to cost you dear because they did nothing about it. If there is any new work on the property, ask for the details of the artisan and all paperwork as if under ten years it will still be guaranteed for faults. If near a river,check about flooding and any servitudes (rights of way across the property open to the general public) as notaires do not always reveal these and any restrictions that may stop you from future building or use of the land. You need to be extra careful when buying in France because once sold,you have very little comeback and never never ever buy from just a photo on the internet,I've seen that happen to and the purchaser bought a pile of crap with dirt floors and no plumbing when she was expecting it ready to move into and this was from a brit agent working over here and selling.
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Thanks so much, Val, for all the sound advice, which somewhat confirms my worst fears! I certainly wouldn't buy without viewing but you've given me useful pointers as to what to check/look out for - whatever the nationality of the sellers... I guess all property buying is a minefield in which to tread warily to a greater or lesser degree, but the bodgers certainly don't help matters!
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