It’s so easy to fall head over heels in love with a property. If you’ve been planning your dream move to the South of France for a while, you will no doubt have visited the region many times and explored many potential purchases.


Then you find it – the perfect size, the perfect location, the endless possibilities. You’re in love. It’s perfect. You simply must have it. But love can make us blind to the truth. It can make us do crazy things – like ploughing our life’s savings into a piece of real estate without first enlisting the services of a reputed South of France property surveyor to ensure the building really is as true and perfect and loveable as it seems at first sight.


The fact of the matter is that, although by law in France, sellers are obliged to commission certain diagnostic reports – collectively referred to as the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT) – these are rather limited in their scope. They cover lead in paint, asbestos, termites, and a few natural or industrial risks. What they don’t cover, however, is the structural condition of the building – and with so much money involved, you need to know exactly what you’re putting it into and what you’re taking on.


Here are five reasons you need to have your dream purchase surveyed by a professional South of France property surveyor before buying.


1. To Ensure the Building Is Structurally Sound

A property may look beautiful on the outside, but be falling to bits beneath the paint and plaster work. You need to know you’re not buying something you cannot afford to maintain.

2. To Confirm the Physical Features Are Adequate for Your Purposes

You may wish to extend your property after purchase.But can your vision become a reality? Is it actually possible to convert the loft into an extra floor, the garage into a sunlit conservatory, to add a balcony overlooking the sea or countryside?

3. To Give You a True and Unbiased Valuation

Sellers, of course, want to try and get as much for their property as they can. So do estate agents. But what is true value of your property – and how much will any repairs or renovation projects cost?

4. To Co-ordinate Building and Renovation Projects

If your property needs work and you decide you can indeed afford it, you should know that there is no such thing as a “general contractor” for construction in the South of France. Each trade will be appointed individually. As such, no matter if you are deciding to renovate an older property or undertake repairs detailed in a survey report, the proper co-ordination of any building project is essential – and your South of France property surveyor will be at your service.

5. To Confirm Existing Improvements Are Not in Violation of Laws

Your South of France property surveyor will certify that the building and any improvements, alterations and repairs it has undergone are not in violation of laws or other restrictions, such as those regarding height, dimension and parking.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the property itself, you also need to be aware of boundary lines between neighbouring properties, as well as any rights of way, easements and the existence of any underground cables and drains that may give utility companies a say in any work you want to carry out on your land.


If you think you’ve fallen in love with your dream house, it is absolutely essential that you have the property surveyed by an experienced, bilingual South of France property surveyor before signing on the dotted line. This is the only way to ensure you know precisely what you’re getting yourself into and where your precious life savings are going.


Charles Mackintosh has decades of experience working in the South of France property market and will be on hand to guide you along your way and ensure you don’t let your heart blindly guide your wallet.


Get in touch today for more information.