Case study – Buying abroad
Amanda Turner, aged 48, and her husband Philip, aged 47, from Surrey, are about to complete the purchase of a second property in La Garde-Freinet, a medieval mountain village in the Côte d’Azur.
They discovered the location several years ago and spent many holidays there with their two children. Five years ago, they fulfilled their dream of buying a home in this stunning location – a split-level bungalow which they converted into a four-bedroom villa with a pool.
“The property had been on the market for more than three years and was in need of extensive work, so we managed to get it for less than half of the original asking price,” says Amanda. “We spend as much time there as we possibly can, including most school holidays and as it’s near Nice and Marseille, it’s within very good distance of local airports so it’s also possible to come here for some weekends when we can manage it.”
The couple have become very familiar with the local property market, so when the opportunity arose to buy another renovation project in the same village, they didn’t think twice. “We’re buying a three-bedroom property which also requires extensive renovation, but as we have some experience behind us now, as well as access to the local team who helped us first time around, we feel very confident about it and are very excited. It’s purely for investment purposes this time and we aim to sell the property once the work is completed.”
The original asking price for the property was €220,000 but the couple negotiated this down to €180,000. This time have opted for a variable rate deal on a repayment basis, having put down a 15% deposit.
“I would definitely recommend using a specialist broker,” says Amanda. “Not only were they able to source the best possible deal for us, but they took the pressure off the whole situation from start to finish and saved us a lot of time, cost and hassle. In fact, on both occasions, we found the process easier than buying property in the UK.”