Year in Provence Author Gives Tips on French Property
Few who have thought about starting a new life in the south of France will have managed to avoid bestselling novel, A Year in Provence.
And now the author has given some handy tips to those who are thinking of moving to the area and buying French property.
Speaking to the Independent, Peter Mayle, who moved from the UK in 1987, has provided potential buyers with a handy guide to investing in Provence and what the area has to offer.
His previous books on the Luberon and the various TV programmes and films based on his books has done much to popularise the Provence area of PACA (Provence and Cote d’Azur).
Guide to France’s property hotspots
Having lived in the region for two decades, Mayle has certainly got to know the property hotspots.
He says that for access to airports, cities, towns and restaurants then Marseille, Aix or Avignon are the places to be, although these can be pricey, adding: “But if you go to Haute Provence, 50 miles away, you get the same weather, scenery and lovely houses at a fraction of the price.”
Mayle also said that there were a number of differences between the way property is bought and sold in the UK and France which can create potential pitfalls for buyers.
“The thing that English people find odd is that they don’t have formal surveys here. But nobody’s going to stop you from getting an expert to take a look at a place and it is a good idea,” he said.
Top tips when moving to France
He added that no building work should be carried out without a ‘devis’ which is a detailed estimate of the cost and is free to obtain. Mayle also reminds ambitious renovators that if you are planning to revamp, say, an old farmhouse “you must be prepared for setbacks”.
Finally, he says that learning at least a little of the language “makes such a difference to your enjoyment of life here” as it broadens your social circles and allows you to get involved in village life.
For more about Peter Mayle’s Provence – Provence A-Z reviewed