If you’re currently preparing for your South of France property inspection trip, you’ve likely been contemplating your overseas purchase for quite some time. There’s no doubt you’re eager to get started with viewing properties and finding the home you’ve been dreaming about.


However, before you jump in, there’s a few important tips that will help you get the most out of your trip. Booking a week in the South of France and just hoping for the best is a surefire way of wasting your valuable time (though you’re likely to get a great holiday out of it!) These six tips will help you plan your time and make the right purchasing decision.


1. Do Your Research

Long before you book the plane tickets or ferry, you need to carry out as much research as possible. The South of France is large and the various areas have very distinct “personalities.” You might be better suited to a glamorous pad in the celebrity hotspot of Cannes or peace and relaxation in the green hills of Grasse, but you’ll need to do your research to find out.


You should also keep in mind which amenities are important to have nearby. You may well have been dreaming of a secluded chateau in the countryside but it will lose a lot of its appeal if you’re not prepared for a twenty-minute drive every time you run out of milk. This is especially important if you have children who will be joining you as you’re likely to want their school within walking distance.

It's time to start preparing for your South of France property inspection trip.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

You may have many other responsibilities at home and want to get your South of France property viewings done quickly, but you’re just asking for stress if you try and squeeze everything into a day or two.


We would you recommend you set aside a minimum of three days to look at homes in your desired area. If you haven’t spent a great deal of time in France or are looking at properties in more than one area, a week or more would be preferable so you can really get a feel for the area and weigh up your options.


3. Get Organised

Try to liaise with an estate agent before your trip so you can line up several viewings and make the most of your time. It would also be wise to reach out to an independent surveyor such as Charles Mackintosh who can provide invaluable advice on the suitability of properties and carry out valuations. If you’d rather not work with an estate agent, Charles also provides a property finding service and is an expert at matching people with their dream homes in the French Riviera.


Try to resist the urge to schedule more than three viewings in a single day, even if it seems convenient as they’re in the same area. They’ll all begin blurring into one after a while. Take your time in getting to know each property and look for the key features that will make a big difference down the line. Don’t forget to take photos and notes so you can compare properties in the evening (perhaps with a glass of Malbec, one of the South of France’s many delicious wines.)

Are you more about glamorous living in the French Riviera, or peace and quiet in a village?

4. Schedule Some Time for Fun and Relaxation

Your South of France property may well be the place where you spend the majority of your time once you’ve made your purchase, but you’ll also want to get a taste for your local neighbourhood during your inspection visit. Take some time out to explore shops and markets, visit a cafe for a buttery croissant in the morning and sample fare from the nearby restaurants in the evenings.


An inspection trip is as much about the properties as it is about choosing a town you can envision yourself living in. Scheduling in some time for fun and relaxation can go a long way in helping you achieve this, and will help you unwind after a day of viewings.


5. Meet the Locals

It’s not always possible, but if the opportunity arises we would highly recommend you speak with some local property owners. It’s particularly advantageous if you can find some fellow Brits as they’ll have experience with purchasing overseas property and know the ins and outs of settling into French life. They’ll be able to provide insights that estate agents can’t and are of course likely to be more honest than those that have a stake in the sale of the property.

Don't forget to take some time out to enjoy the local area and meet some locals.

6. Don’t Be Pressured into a Sale

Seeing a South of France property and immediately falling in love is a magical thing. You can suddenly picture yourself making a coffee in the kitchen and curling up with a book in the lounge. Any estate agent worth their salt will immediately spot the signs and know they’ve got a potential sale on their hands. They’ll pull out all their best tactics to try and lock you in there and then, but you need to resist. Due diligence must be performed. Even seemingly “perfect” properties can reveal critical issues during obligatory diagnostic surveys. Play it cool and you’ll bag yourself a better deal.


We hope this article has helped you feel more prepared for your upcoming South of France property inspection and we wish you luck in finding your dream home! If you have any further questions or require the services of a chartered surveyor, please get in touch with Charles Mackintosh at mackintoshfrance.com today.