I had a long discussion recently, with a structural engineer who came to look at the property I wish to buy, and he has been doing structural assessments for 14 years in France. During the discussion, I mentioned my concern about the future of the town, and he told me about his experience, and observations. He owns a place in the country near a small commune that has dwindled over the past decade: shops have gone, the population is mostly older with few kids, etc… His observations from his work on structural assessments all over France seem to indicate that many towns and communes are suffering even more than ever, economically. That’s common knowledge, I think; so my question is whether I could venture to ask the mairie such questions about the town in which I’m interested in purchasing property. Would it be impertinent to ask if the town has, for example, a strategic plan?
While of course it’s impossible to see the future, I want to make sure I understand to the best of my knowledge, without ruffling too many feathers of course, what I’m up against with my calculated risk to purchase and renovate property within a small, tourist-centered, wine-industry-oriented, town economy.
I know that many folks on SF own property in the country, and that is not affected so much, perhaps, by the changes in one’s nearest commune. I also know that in my case, it may be good to rent an apartment of course, but I’m not sure that spending a year in the area will be the answer. Please let’s not go there, in this discussion, if you don’t mind.
I’m just trying to make sure I haven’t overlooked any obvious way to learn about the future economy in small towns, villages, communes; and also I want to know if my asking for this information from the mairie would be impertinent, in your opinion.