French Surveys

Purchasing a home in France can be daunting due to the problems of language and distance. Historically many British purchasers have bought cheaply but there are hidden dangers particularly with older French property or those that have been neglected.

Our aim is to offer a service to prospective purchasers buying in France to enable them to make an informed decision about their proposed purchase.

The Christmas & Brugge Ltd French Property Survey report provides a constructive appraisal of the property and details the extent of any remedial works that may be required.

Christmas & Brugge Ltd are Chartered Surveyors and carry full Professional Indemnity Insurance to practise in France. The survey would be carried out by a Chartered Surveyor experienced in French property.

As a firm Christmas & Brugge Ltd practises both in the UK and France, specialising in older properties.

Christmas & Brugge Ltd services are personal to you as the client and if time allows we would be happy to meet with you at the French property to discuss our findings. This is not always practicable depending on travel arrangements.

In any event we will telephone you on the day of the survey to provide you with a verbal report. This is often important, as clients have sometimes signed the ‘compromise de vente’ agreeing to purchase the property and need to know at the earliest opportunity if any defects have been found.

We have seen some exceptionally well put together and refurbished French properties. Unfortunately we have also come across a considerable number of neglected properties, some of which, if they were on sale in the UK would be regarded as uninhabitable. We have also seen properties that have been “refurbished” often by ex-UK residents, many unskilled and believing that their basic “do-it-yourself” skills are sufficient to overcome major structural and damp ingress problems.

The French traditionally do not professionally inspect any prospective purchase although we have seen examples of French architects providing reports on properties. In one example on a semi-derelict farmhouse – it amounted to a single side of A5 paper.

In the UK there are two types of survey, the Building Survey and Homebuyers Survey and Valuation. The latter is a pro-forma report issued by the RICS suitable for properties built post 1880. It is suited to UK property only and should not be used in France. The only survey suitable for a French property is a Building Survey, details of which are available from our office.

If you have found a French property and require a survey, in order to provide you with a firm quotation it would be helpful to have details of the website on which the property is located or, failing that, photographs and a description of the property with its exact location. Christmas & Brugge Ltd can then provide you by return a fixed quotation.

Christmas & Brugge Ltd covers the whole of France in particular dealing with inspections of larger properties, but tend to specialise in the Brittany/Normandy areas.