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Would You Proceed With A Purchase ?

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We have found a property we would like to buy and have submitted an offer which has now been accepted. We are currently translating the CDV. I have family currently living in France and their advice based on the current health and economic situation is that we put everything on hold for 2 months . The house was due to have a new roof in May , paid for by the current owners so nothing could possibly be rushed through anyway. Any advice as to whether we should proceed or hold off ?
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Too many variables to make a recommendation. You don't now what will be happening next week, let alone in a couple of months.

I'd be asking myself whether it is too much of a bargain to miss, how will I ensure they put the new roof on (what wording to put in any documentation), whether I'd be able to use it in the foreseeable future (ie the next couple of years).

Where you are is also relevant.
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The house is a good price for the location and we are aware of the work that is required to bring it up to standard. We would not complete until the new roof is on. The house is in the Vendee and would be our permanent home. There’s no requirement for a mortgage and providing we were sensible could survive on my small pension and savings until we could have funds from at least one of two gites .
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Agents....British by any chance ?

To complete the sale you need to be face to face with the Notaire and the sellers. That ain't going to happen any time soon.

Now, you mentioned the 'gîte' word.


Talking of which. How many Brit Gîtes are in trouble this year. Thousands I guess.

Forget gîtes....pleassse.

Oohh...and forget renovation. Pointless.
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ALBF is notorious for being anti-country living and anti Brits living in the country.

Of course the sale can be done online, via Skype or whatever, if the notaire agrees, but be prepared for a lot of blather. I guess the papers will have to be signed and posted, maybe witnessed by someone.

Which bit of the Vendée are you looking at?

If the house is what you want and you are satisfied with the deal, go for it.
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A sale can't be done online. What on earth are you talking about.

If it can, you would be insane to do so.


We have a killer virus. The world is going into economic meltdown. We have have Brexit.

FFS..I can't believe we are talking about this.

France will be a very different place in a few months time.

Hold fire OP and stay safe.

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Sorry to disappoint but the agent is French and it is also a French company. What is this magical year you speak of ? Will the world be a different place or just France. My family already reside in France so it’s not unfamiliar territory. Yes the property has a gite and we are fortunate in that we have a ready made market for the opportunity - although would never be too smug to assume . As for a renovation - the fosse is non compliant and the pool needs a new cover......
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OP...do what you feel is best.

You know, I can't go out and buy toothpaste at the moment without a great deal hassle and you want to buy a house in France from the UK. LOL.

Who is doing the roof BTW ? Well, whoever it is they are not doing it at the moment and won't be doing it for a few months.

When it is done...are you going to inspect it before you buy ?

You do read/watch the French news don't you.

I know you have Family in France but they seem (with respect) clueless. Really. No one is going to recommend to you to move to France this year.

France will be in lockdown until June I reckon.

By then, a lot of businesses will be out of business.

It going to be carnage. It is going to be horrible.

The next few years are going to be tough for everyone. Because someone has to pay. Life is going to get very expensive.

If you going to move to France, buy a normal house in a 'non' rural location and enjoy life.

Don't waste your time with gîtes and swimming pools. It is a well trodden route to disaster.

Edit......given the way the UK/Boris is going with their Crono policy of killing everyone, it won't be long before Brits will be refused entry into France for quite a while.
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I all too often wonder how long it will be before the gite and b&b market will be saturated.

I also wonder, as does our son who remained in France, what prices will be like, getting to and from France in the future, ferries and planes and I suppose that there is always the tunnel when all this is over.

And if this goes on, and you could not move until after December, unless things are on hold, you would have to justify your move to France and your income and health care, before being given the right to stay. And that will be an ongoing thing, getting new visas until a certain number of years has passed.

Yes you can sign up for your house when living in the UK. The notaire can be given the power to sign on your behalf, paper work to be dealt with.  We did just that when we left.

I still would not sign up for anything at all at this present time. Not at all, not in the UK and not in France, not anywhere.

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I'm with you, Idun. As a regular viewer of Bienvenue Chez Nous, and all of the other occasional programmes which come up on YT, I wonder how B&Bs and gites survive, especially given the prices they have to charge. If the location is right, then they get a decent return, as far as I can see, but the investment often appears to have been enormous, and the level of comfort verging on the luxurious.

That said, we don't know exactly where and what and how much the OP is hoping to buy, and it may be in just the right spot and at just the right price to be a great deal. The OP may have a good deal of experience in the business and be able to spot an opportunity.

Best of luck anyway, Trudi!
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Idun asks..

"I all too often wonder how long it will be before the gite and b&b market will be saturated"

The market was saturated before this virus. Now I guess most will be out of business by the end of the year. It is going to be carnage. Brit gîtes especially because they tend only to cater for the Brits.

THERE WILL be no summer vacance this year in France.

People will not travel to France and those living in France will not travel far.

Life is on hold. Why don't the Brits get that ? This is serious.

Anyway, even under normal circumstances, nobody running a gîte business in France makes enough money to live to on. Most lose money.

Chancer had a good business model but I guess that has fallen apart.

The Op is living in a dream world. They need to get that message before they screw their lives up.

Sorry to be blunt.
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I guess you might have received similar advice during WW2 although I suspect the viewing and purchasing process would have been rather more onerous. But you get my drift?

Then, following a few years of stablisation and some hardship, Europe prospered like never before for the next 70 years.
If it feels right in your water
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Does the ever helpful ALBF have insight in to Chancers business or is he basing his failure of Chancers business on the fact that Chancer no longer posts (well, extremely rarely) here?

If this is the house that ticks all the boxes and is to be your final abode then go for it. Does not matter to you if it loses value...just those you leave it to.

It does seem that gites can be a little precarious but you could always let on a long term basis. You will not get as much per week as letting to the holiday market but you will have extremely good occupancy rate whereas you may not on the holiday market.

As others have posted to counter ALBFs mis-information service you do not need to be there.

Perhaps, use a different notaire to the seller (no additional cost) and make sure that the roof replacement is legally tied up as a cost to the seller).

As a final thought you may be able to negotiate a lower price with the current situation.
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Come on Paul T, ALBF said:

Chancer had a good business model but I guess that has fallen apart.

He had a great model, and that model  may have changed, but was in general long term lets to those studying or perhaps temporarily working at the Airbus factory (or some such thing)  opposite his place.

And that could well have fallen apart for now.

He didn't say it had sunk.

People will always do as they want or think best. Everyone thinks that they know best.

So that really poses the question as to why the OP EVER posted this question in the first place. With replies to posts, along the likes of 'et toc!' Well that is what it feels like to me, as they indicate family living in France. Using french professionals.

Because everyone knowing best is an opinion, and asking on here will get as many differing responses as there can be.

As I have felt forever, I have absolutely  no idea whatsoever why anyone would retire to France unless they spoke good french. And they may. And I may get another 'et toc' rely to that too. 

And running a gite or b&b, beyond me. But that is me, I couldn't, wouldn't.

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@ Pault T.

Yes you DO need to be there. Unless you are a complete muppet.

What is it with the British and France ?

What is it with the British and setting up Gîtes in France.

If it was so easy to make money, everyone in France would be doing it. But they are not are they. They are not stupid.

For crying out loud.

On another forum, a month does not go by with some British type asking about setting up a gîte or B&B type nonsense in France.

The answer is always the same. Whether it is from me or others (French or other people living long term in France from across the world)...Don't do it.

BTW...we have a major crisis on our hands which won't go away for quite a few years.

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After having bought and sold homes in a few different parts of the world, including one in Provence, I would likely put the purchase on hold under today's circumstances.

It is often quite difficult to sell even the most fantastic of homes, even when priced to sell.  And while you are unlikely to be seriously thinking of the re-sale value of a home while you are negotiating to buy it, you really should spend some time thinking about the subject.  Look into the area you are considering buying in very carefully.  Look at the demographics, the history, the population, the medical facilities, the ease of access or lack thereof to services.  How long has the house you are considering been on the market?  How long have others around it been on the market?

I can honestly say that for each house we bought, we really did believe IT would be the last place we bought -- the place in which we would live until death.  Circumstances change.  Therefore, now, we go in with our eyes wide open.   Expect to make nothing off a future sale and expect it to take a longer than desired time to sell it.  Keeping into account the costs involved in selling a property in France.  If none of those negative things take place, you're fortunate.  We have not been very fortunate in the last 3 home sales we have made.  We have not lost money on any of them, but the profits were minimal and the time it took to sell them FAR FAR too long.  Buying has always been a piece of cake.

I don't know the OP's citizenship.  Someone has suggested the UK?  Was that confirmed?  We are American.  So, we had to go through the very long process of legal residency which is not a small task by any means.  And, renewed for several years before being able to 'apply' for the 10 year residency card, which we both have now and have actually renewed it for another 10 years.  Gosh, we're getting old.  If you don't have to go this route, then no worries.  If you do make absolutely certain you KNOW the tasks and the costs involved here.

That goes the same for bringing children to France who will be attending public French schools.  Make sure you know what to expect.

The main reason I would put off the purchase is because we are now living in very uncertain times.  I know nothing about the particular house Trudi is considering.  But, it is hard for me to imagine any house holding its same value 3 months or more from now.  I would be inclined to believe you could obtain the house at a lower price by waiting. 

Though I am confident we will get through the current virus crisis, none of us really knows what changes may take place before we get there.  As things seem to be changing in France on a day to day basis, even the world.  You may find you'll change your mind about moving here.

At the end of the day, only you can make this decision, as you obviously know.  Me, I would put the transaction on hold.

Now, if you do that and the seller says he'll drop the price by 50%.  I'd have a serious think on it.  Not likely to happen though.

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"Yes you DO need to be there. Unless you are a complete muppet."

We have both sold and bought in France. On two occasions the other party has not physically been present. Our Notaire acted for them on both occasions.

So your statement is not true, Whether you should be there is another matter.
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@ Lori...good post.

Something that I mentioned and Lori did too.

From Le Parisien...

'Face au coronavirus, les notaires anticipent une chute «des prix (immobiller) de 10 à 15%»'

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I'd like to read the Le Parisien article ALBF, but it is a pay site and I'm too cheap to pay.

I get the idea though.  I think the 15% is in their dreams.  I think it will be a lot higher than that; particularly in certain parts of France.  I hope not, but we will see.

I hope Trudi will come back to us and share more information on her circumstances.  I'm sure many of us would be able to relate to the process she is considering.

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