Rural Land Prices

Some years back the block of forest adjoining our garden was sold to a friend who lived nearby. She had just received a small inheritance and took advantage of the rough hand written board advertising the sale. If only I had seen it first I would have got there before her, but I didn’t.

Her idea was to one day build a small house on it but was told by the mairie that there was no chance of it being allowed such use so she moved away to the next village where she lives in, I think, very downmarket accommodation.

I have seen her a few times over the years and she has always resisted selling it though has offered free passage to my garden at no cost other than the notaire to protect me from any inheritance issue.

I now have a very good reason to purchase, not for access but as a separate unit albeit connected by a pedestrian gate and wonder what sort of money might persuade her. So does anybody know where I could get an idea of how much it might be worth? I think it is about one hectare.

This gives you a rough idea -

Le marché des forêts - Forêt Privée Française.

If the forest is a defined area ie has a Cadastre number then you just need a Notaire which would cost less an 1K.

Thanks Tim, that is very informative. Looks like less than € 4 000 for the plot then which would be affordable. Might be a goer as she can’t build on it, though she did sell one artic load of timber a couple of years ago and I am guessing she bought at less than half that amount.

Then I would have to add the notaire and the fencing. I would clear all the brambles and scrub myself, leaving just trees, young and old. It would make a very nice area to walk the dogs in without recourse to open fields owned by others and needing lead restraint for those without instant recall. (I have one such at the moment. :wink: :slightly_smiling_face:).

Just have to try and track her down now, she has no landline and no mobile signal where she is. I think a short request to the neighbouring mairie is the next step. :wink:

Thanks again. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You should be able to tell how much she paid for the plot by consulting this govt site:

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The Mairie in the locale where the land is will be able to advise you her address…

Thanks both, yes, as I said the next step is to ask at the neighbouring mairie for her address.
I tried that link Simon but couldn’t work out how to get a value, but that isn’t so important at the moment, finding her and asking if she is willing to sell is more important.

confused here… if the land is (or would be) attached to yours then I would have thought it was in the same Mairie’s control rather than the neighbouring one where you think she lives…

The sold price website only shows land and property sales from Jan’14 so if the forest next to David’s property was bought before that there is no way of knowing how much it cost.

When I asked at the Mairie about the address of the farmer who has the next field, they couldn’t tell me as they only had a list of people who live there and it’s a separate field, so he doesn’t.

I think the next stop, if the Mairie fails, is the local notaire?

The enquiry at the neighbouring commune is to find out her current address there. Years ago, unable to continue to afford the rent on the ‘council house’ almost opposite us, she moved a few kms away, almost, if not entirely, off grid.
That is where I have to start to see if she will change her mind about not selling it.

She was an original hippy, born of French parents in Algeria she had her first daughter by a Scotsman from Greenock and with whom she wandered France doing seasonal work until he died of illness in Provence. I remember the time when his burial plot there required her to pay to keep it, and with both her daughters, the 2nd from a Lancastrian, she saved and made a week long pilgrimmage to do so. Our first meeting with her caused hilarity as she spoke to us in English but with a very strong Glaswegian accent. :laughing:

We have always been good friends though we lost contact when she moved and in chance meetings over the years she has always promised to give me first refusal if she ever sold and offered me the right to use it as a better access to our property because the official entry is not ideal.

I declined that offer at the time because of our situation regarding the cost of laying a firm track and the notaire. Our present desire is largely for the dogs. Our current foster, Jules, is a lovely dog but has chasse in his ancestry and any animal scents in the open fields trump his normal impeccable recall to whistle and voice and has in the past led me a merry dance through almost impossible forest to find him. With this plot, cleared of brambles but not the trees, I could offer him and possible future difficult dogs, a daily walk completely free of restraint.

If she wont sell I feel sure that she would allow me free access to it but paying a fair amount of money for clearance and fencing even with legal title (via notaire) is not attractive bearing in mind France’s strict inheritance rules.

Managed to track her down this morning to her current home, a 2 room house in a small hamlet. She is married now to an Englishman (yet another Brit :laughing:) and, with my wife we spent a pleasant hour or so in the sunshine.

But the important thing is that she seems willing to sell and I now have to make her an offer. The size is nowhere near as much as I thought, but certainly big enough for my needs, 3,205 sq.metres.

Time for a think I think . :wink: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Using the average prices, as at 2019, from the site that Tim linked me too:

€ 4,190 per hectare / 10,000 x 3,205 = € 1,343

Seems a bit low to me and I thought to offer €2,000 and, if not enough, offer the felled trunks for her to collect whenever she wants.

A friend said no, offer her € 1,000 which will give you room to increase till you reach a compromise. I understand this as a bargaining ploy but, as she had not thought to sell it till I came along, she and her husband might think that I was taking advantage and pulling a fast one, which may cause them to decline altogether instead of bargaining.

The same friend thought that my rough estimates of the cost of clearing and fencing were too high which makes me think that I am right to offer the higher figure. I would really prefer to have her say ‘done’ rather than feel that she should refuse and rethink the whole thing.

I’ll see if I can get some estimates for the fencing, 232 metres of post sinking are beyond my capabilities these days, but I could hire a digger for the clearing and manage that myself. My friend suggested goats for that but what goes in must come out and I have quite enough of that with the dogs. :roll_eyes:

I’d suggest 1500 euros which is more than the average plus you’ve got Notaire’s fees to pay which will be around 900 euros.

Give her these calculations (and the source of the rate/m2, this demonstrates what it should cost but perhaps increase to a round number, as you suggest 1500 euro but it is worth showing how you calculated the starting figure.

Presumably there will also be some legal fees to cover with a Notaire - it would be worth finding out what these would be and who is going to pay them.


This is roughly what happens in our commune…

the geometre identifies/draws up the “plan” of the land parcel - for a fee
the notaire draws up the legal agreement - for a fee

Depends on the situation… how those fees get paid.
Generally speaking the person who wants the Owner to sell the land… that person will pay the fees.

If folk decide on a joint-deal… I’ll give you this bit and you give me that bit… something which works to the advantage of both parties… then the fees are shared…

If the Owner offers the land for sale… then it’s a different matter. The Owner would expect to pay the fees…

As @David_Spardo is approaching the Owner… asking to buy… I would expect him to pay the fees… on top of the land cost.

Thanks to the 3 of you. I think that € 1,500 as an offer is a good idea as I had always intended to show the calculations and a link to the site from which they came.

Will the notaire fees, and I fully understand that they will be down to me as the instigator, be as high as that though? I had a figure of 20% in my head but don’t know where that came from.

As to the geometre expert, I didn’t have one when I bought this plot, or the one next door we bought some time later, I did employ one off my own initiative afterwards purely because I wanted to know our precise boundaries. But something to consider nevertheless and could be mentioned along with notaire, fencing and clearing costs when I present her with my offer.

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You should only need a geometre if the piece of land doesn’t have its own designated cadastre number and you’re not sure of the boundaries.

Have a look at this calculator to give you an idea of the Notaire’s fees -

I would have the geometre ,because the cadastres are often wrong and if you are putting a fence around the land you want to be sure its on your own land, cheaper in the long term to avoid disputes.

I bought a parcel of land from a neighbour a couple of years ago. Backing up what Timothy said, it had a cadastral number and was clearly shown on the official plans (and matched the fence locations) so the notaire suggested no need for a geometre.

The land was about 0.7H, the selling price was 1000€, and the notaire’s fees were 1000€ which seems to be the ‘get out of bed’ cost these days.

I hope you are successful in your venture to buy the land however just for a moment put yourself in the possible mindset of the person you are hoping to buy from.
They have owned the land for some time and until you approached them they had probably forgotten it was there.
The person is living with another Englishman and the english look at land ownership very differently to a French person.
Your interest is highly likely to be seen as a windfall and with thoughts of if he wants it he will be willing to pay for it.
I repeat that I hope you can buy it at a price agreeable to you but dont be surprised if they consider 5000 as a good starting price with the thinking of you want what they have.
Good luck and I hope it works out for you.