Buying a property in the South of France is a big decision. If you’ve done your research, budgeted correctly, and employed the services of an experienced and professional South of France Surveyor, it could well be the best life choice you ever make – and that, of course, is the goal.


Ranked amongst the Top Ten Best Countries to Live in for Expats in 2019 by Expatra, expats rate France as one of the top countries for quality of life, culture, work/life balance and job security. A better lifestyle and safer environment make France an ideal place to retire, the report says, and is also one of the best destinations in the world for families – 64% of expat parents say their children’s health and wellbeing is better for being in France.


Elsewhere, the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey has this to say: “The quality of life in France is exceptional, with a highly developed infrastructure, excellent schools and one of the best healthcare systems in the world.” It also ranks the country as the sixth best destination in world for property, safety and integration. No wonder so many people move to the country, with the South of France in particular a firm favourite amongst expats.

(Image source:


However, when it comes to buying a property in the South of France, there are some costly mistakes that buyers need to avoid in order that their dream life in the region doesn’t quickly descend into a nightmare.

Choosing the Wrong Location

Languedoc-Roussillon, Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Montpellier, Provence – there are so many jewels in the South of France’s crown that it can be difficult to know where to start your search.


The most important thing you can do is carefully consider the French lifestyle you want to lead, the type of property you want to buy, and do your research to ensure you can combine the two within your budget.


Aside from culture, climate and landscape, styles of property can vary hugely from region to region – and your dream château, longère or maison de maître may simply be too rare to fit your budget in the location you want to make your purchase.


Whatever you do, do not throw caution to the wind and commit to a property you simply can’t afford. Instead, consult your South of France Surveyor so you fully understand your options.


Not Carefully Considering the Size and Condition of Your South of France Property

With France’s property prices being generally lower than they are in the UK, the temptation can be to take on a house that is too large. While it may seem like bigger is better – especially if the initial purchasing price is appealing – it must be remembered that there will be ongoing costs once you’ve bought the house. Utilities, rates and maintenance costs are all higher the larger the property, and there will be no escaping them.


Similarly, many people looking for a “project” – i.e. a house that may be lower in cost because it needs renovating, updating, or even extending – do not calculate the cost of the necessary building works correctly. The truth is, most renovation or extension projects cost more and take longer to complete than you anticipate, and if you don’t do your sums accurately, you’ll slowly watch your savings diminish.


Trying to Do It All Single-Handedly

The biggest mistake anyone can make is not enlisting experts to ensure they get the right house in the right area at the right price. It is absolutely essential that you employ the services of a reputed and experienced South of France Surveyor to make sure you get everything you’re looking for.


A South of France Surveyor will not only help you find the perfect property, but will also advise you on the sales contract, the mortgage contract, and with all other research and documentation requirements.

Charles Mackintosh – Your Friendly, Experienced South of France Surveyor

Don’t get caught out by these common mistakes many people make when buying a property in the South of France. Charles Mackintosh has many years of experience working in the South of France property market and will be on hand to help you set your expectations correctly, find the right property in the right location, and guide you through the whole purchase process. Get in touch today for more information.