Fallen in love with a property in the South of France? Congratulations – no matter if it’s destined to be a holiday home to let out and visit yourself a couple of times a year, a renovation project, or your permanent new home, you’re about to embark on a life-altering journey. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, the wisest move you can make is to get pre-purchase structural survey conducted by a qualified building surveyor.


Why are property surveys so crucial? Let’s consider the top four reasons. 

1. Building Surveys in France Aren’t the Done Thing

Believe it or not, pre-purchase surveys aren’t the norm in France. They’re not a legal requirement, and most buyers and sellers simply don’t bother with them. 


True, sellers are obliged to commission a limited range of diagnostic reports – known as the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT). However, all these cover are lead in paint, asbestos, termites, and a few industrial and natural risks. 


What they do not cover is the structural condition of the building. This means that there’s simply no telling how long ago it was that a professional surveyor in France inspected the structural integrity of the building you’re looking to buy. The only sensible solution, therefore, is to commission a full structural survey so you don’t end up with more than you bargained for.

2. You Can’t Make a “Subject to Survey” Offer

When buying a home in the UK, it’s common practice for potential buyers to make “subject to survey” offer. This allows for the potential costs of remediation works to be considered during the negotiation stage, so you can adjust your offer accordingly. 


However, as we know, structural surveys simply aren’t done in France – so “subject to survey” offers aren’t done or accepted either. 


This means that you need to commission a survey report before you put in an offer – because you won’t be able to lower it at a later date. 

3. To Obtain a True and Impartial Opinion on the Property’s Value 

Let’s not beat around the bush here – estate agents want to squeeze every penny out of buyers they think they can get away with. It’s their job. And buyers, too, of course, want to sell their property for as much money as possible. 


But what’s the true value of the property? Your South of France property surveyor will give you a professional, experienced, and unbiased valuation – as well as an estimate on how much any repairs or renovation works may cost you down the road. 

4. A Structural Survey Confirm Your Plans for the Property Are Achievable

Can your vision for the property become a reality? Perhaps you’re thinking of extending the property into the garden, building an extra storey, or converting a ground-floor room into a sunlit conservatory. 


A structural survey will tell you what’s possible, and what’s not – crucial pre-purchase information to have. 

Charles Mackintosh, South of France Chartered Surveyor 

Looking to get a structural survey conducted on a property in Southern France? Chartered Surveyor Charles Mackintosh has lived and worked in France for over 30 years. Charles provides true, trusted, unbiased, English language property surveys for British buyers in the South of France. Get in touch with Charles today for more information.