Before you put an offer in on a house in the South of France, it’s absolutely essential that you have a property survey conducted by a trusted professional with plenty of experience in the local market.


Why is this so important? Because commissioning a house survey is the only way to get a fair and unbiased appraisal of a property’s condition before you commit tens or hundreds of thousands of euros into it.

Do I Need to Get a Building Survey in the South of France?

Not by law – nor, indeed, convention. Unlike in other parts of the world, property surveys aren’t the “done thing” in France.


Nonetheless, having a building survey conducted should be right at the top of every buyer’s priority list.


House surveys help buyers avoid expensive and unwanted surprises further down the line, and provide the peace of mind needed to proceed with the investment.


 Expert house surveyors will be able to tell you whether those hairline cracks are merely cosmetic or indicative of a significant structural problem that is going to cost thousands to put right. They will highlight precisely what repairs are needed – whether it’s a damp patch that needs addressing, or the replacement of a whole roof.


Given the thousands of euros it is going to cost you to buy a property in the South of France, the few hundred you’ll spend on a building survey to have the reassurance of an independent, expert surveyor giving it the green light is undoubtedly a great investment.


With a comprehensive survey report in hand, you may reconsider whether it’s worth buying the property or not. Alternatively, you may wish to use the information to negotiate on the asking price.

Choosing the Right Type of Property Survey

There are three main types of house survey you have conducted. The type you choose will depend on the age and condition of the property, the depth of survey you need, and your budget.


Basic Survey – Condition Report  


This is the most basic – and cheapest – building survey available to you. It is most suitable for properties under 10 years old that are in a reasonable condition.


The survey rates the property’s condition using a “traffic light” system, which reveals the varying degrees of attention each part of the property might need. This report, however, does not provide many details as to the repairs that may be required, and doesn’t include a market valuation.


Mid-Level Survey – Homebuyer Report


The most popular choice for people looking at residential properties over 10 years old in reasonable condition, the mid-level building survey covers everything in the basic survey, plus more.


The report will give advice on budget for any repairs that need immediate attention, plus the cost of ongoing maintenance required in the future.


A homebuyer report will also include a market valuation and provide a list of issues that may affect the value of the property.


Comprehensive Survey – Full Structural Report


This is the most detailed – and therefore most expensive – survey report you can have conducted. It is highly recommended if the property is over 50 years old, in visible need of repair, or if you’re planning on renovating the property in any way.


The full building survey includes everything in the mid-level survey, plus an outline of the likely scope of any remedial work and potential consequences of non-repair. You will also get detailed advice and recommendations on all aspects of the required repair or renovation work, including timescales and likely costs.

Finding a RICS Qualified Surveyor in the South of France

If you’re considering having a property survey conducted in the South of France, you may be wondering where to go to find a RICS chartered surveyor.


You’ve already found one.


Charles Mackintosh has over 30 years’ experience living and working in the region and provided highly regarded English-language property surveys and advice to overseas buyers.


Get in touch today for more information.