Things to look for and ask when looking at a property, and the area/commune administration

Good evening all.
After just been given the news by a mortgage company, that we will be ok for a small mortgage to purchase a property in France and the “mortgage in principle”, I can go ahead and book viewings.
It has taken a while to get more to the right moment in time for some thing to fit together.

We are planning a short 8 day holiday, property viewing and getting to know the area better and some general sight seeing, so we are off to Normandy, below Vire, and slightly to the West of Saint-Hilaire, and East almost as far as Gorron.
I have read up on quite a few things to look for / ask, of the immobiliers. Something i would like to understand about the reports that communes file. Some communes run a debt , and although the current taxes are ok…you think that in a short while they will have to charge a lot more to get recover from that debt. Does anybody have experience of this in their own commune ?

Anything else that i should be asking, of an estate agent …anything at all… as we probably haven’t thought of it.

Oh , not that this has any bearing really, we are driving own car , to visit areas and explore the local surroundings

many thanks.

We live in Sourdeval, Glenn, 13 km south of Vire and in an outstandingly progressive and well-managed commune that is a magnet for people from Tinchebray, Gers and Vire itself.

There is a very attractive property almost opposite our own on the market at €100 k reduced from €260 k. It has a large well-maintained garden and orchard and is within walking distance of the town centre and its remarkably well-resourced amenities. It lies at the head of the beautiful and historic Vallée de la Sée, and is surely worth a visit. The property is at 36 ave Maréchal Foch and we are at 43. Pop in and say hello, you will be very welcome!

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One of the things I would check is that a decent internet connection is available be it landline, 4G or fibre optic which is now being rolled out across the country.


That is a must Tim…I should know as I am still ‘unconnected’ at home at the moment …

Wondered where you were, welcome back :smile:

Good morning Peter,
Soudeval was an area I liked the look of a good while ago now ( and that hasn’t changed), we discovered a few areas we also like “on paper”, along with property that we like the look of.
We both really liked a property in St-Clement-Rancoudrey, but alas it has taken us so long someone snapped it up - i thought someone would.
Thank you for the invite, if everything to plan, Jane and I would love to pop in.
We will be overnight to Caen, and arriving at oh my god its early… on Tuesday 23rd, and will be foraging around the area for 4 days , before coming northwards towards Saint Lo…so that may be a good time to say hi. ( that would be Saturday i think )…if not viable sure a different day would be fine :slight_smile:

Thanks Tim, very good idea :slight_smile:

Servitude’s and rights of passage is a good one to ask about, also look at the cadastre & ask why if you have many parcels / plots. After all you don’t want to wake up one morning & all the local farmers are queuing up to drain water from the well in your backyard. It’s also a good idea if in any doubt at all, to get your land marked out by a geometre if not done so.

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hmmm a very interesting point or two, and also give me other ideas; thanks Warren.

Continuing with servitudes make very sure that if you have any land no-one is currently exploiting it or has the right to do so even if it’s a verbal contract i.e runnng sheep / cattle etc or cutting hay, cutting wood etc etc.

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mmm thanks Warren, think i may have to look at some clauses, if info is absent.

Still unconnected Mick despite a promise for it to be up and running by now !

Thank goodness that I can go to a friend’s house to collect my e mails, especially important during this time…

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Been here in the Auvergne since 2006 …

Plenty of info already put out but my twopenceworth:

Check the likely weather for all four seasons - varies with altitude.
Check all local amenities.
Visit the Marie and ask about your prospective property and land rights/access.
Check any fosse septique and epandage history
Check if it is a flood area
Tour the local area and see what Farming/industry is local - it could be noisy, smelly or lots of traffic.

Bon courage!

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Hello Glenn,
Have you had your visit yet? If so apologies my post may be too late :slight_smile: this may also be an obvious statement, but when we were looking, agents largely just took us to the one property that we had enquired about. However, they quite often know of others on their own or colleagues portfolios that may meet your needs. It can save a lot of time and is often nicer to build a relationship with one person who has an interest in finding what you need.

Good luck!

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Not at all Tracey, and thank you.

We had arranged to view 4 properties on our visit, and ended up viewing 7, via 2 different estate agents in Gorron and Mortain. Both had large portfolios of property, and they took the time to offer us more property viewings, which is how 4 became 7.
It was a very beneficial exercise, and we came to know what facilities were available from small to larger towns, thus where ideally we would like to be situated between them. Actually just driving through them, we developed a sense ( besides which looked prettier) of which communes looked better cared for, and which seemed to thrive ( shops etc).
On the house front itself, descriptions of what was construed as in good order differs from my own somewhat. But now we can interpret that “speak” a lot better, and also see deduce from pictures amounts of work that are required. All of which will help weed out the chaff.
So although not successful this time, we are pursuing it :slight_smile:



Wise man, good luck with your search!

Good to know you’re making headway in your search for a suitable home, Glenn, and sorry again we didn’t have the pleasure of seeing you and talking about our own experiences of La Manche et ses environs.