Wednesday, 21 December 2011

La Belle Aquitaine

This is a short article I recently wrote as an overview of the large area in the South West known as Aquitaine Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Southern Dordogne is it for you?

Choosing where to buy a place to live is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your life. Whether you are looking for a gite, a villa, a stone cottage, a farmhouse as a holiday home or a principal residence, the Southern Dordogne region has it all and is a serious contender. Here are the main reasons as to why: 
·       A stunning and unspoilt region not overpopulated, with plenty of beautiful architecture all around.
·       A fantastic weather.
·       A great and healthy lifestyle.
·       A great gastronomy and an abundance of fresh produce in the weekly markets.
·       A culturally rich area with plenty of activities such as antique markets, auctions, arts and crafts fairs, local music festivals to keep you busy.
·       Lots of outdoor activities such as golf, cycling, forest walks to keep you fit.
·       Great links with the UK.
·       Then there are the people! Friendly, welcoming and always so helpful.  

So how could you go wrong? Add to that a great selection of properties for sale with prices starting at €125,000 and larger properties still at affordable prices and you can see why so many have already made the move. If you are interested in buying a property in Bergerac or south of the Dordogne River, and would like more information about the area, contact me. 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Buying a house in France, the easy way.

This is it! After many years of doubts and hesitation and visiting every summer, you’ve taken the plunge and made the decision. You will finally be buying a house in France. Most of you probably think that this is the hardest part of the process, having decided to leave family and friends behind and go through such an upheaval. Well think again! You now need to find the dream home and deal with real estate agencies in France.  
A typical experience at a French “Agent Immobilier” can leave you feeling exhausted!  Having seen a house within your budget that you believe meets your criteria in the window of the agency, you will have to go in and ask where the house is located because somehow that crucial information is missing from the details on show. Simple enough request, you may think, but not in France.

French estate agents will not reveal the location of a property to you unless you have signed a “bon de visite” which is a declaration that you have been given details of the property by a specific agency and that should you decide to buy it at a later stage, you will buy it through that same agency. The reason behind this is that private sales are so common in France that estate agents are worried that once you know the location of a property you will go knocking on the vendors’ door and agree a private sale with them, bypassing the estate agent completely and avoiding paying their fees.

Therefore, every time you see a house which looks like it could be the one you will have to go into the agency and register with them. Each agency will take your details and ask you for a description of the type of property you’re after. They will then show you their listing book and you will have to arrange an appointment to go view properties. The whole process is quite lengthy and boring and most of the time you will end up looking at houses that do not meet your requirements or at the same house more than once, because in France properties for sale tend to be listed with many agencies. If you can’t find the house of your dreams, you’ll have to start the process all over again. What a waste of time! There must be an easier way, I hear you say.
Well, yes there is. If you are looking for a property in Southern Dordogne around Bergerac and South of the Dordogne River, you could employ a dedicated buyer’s agent like me or in other areas in France one of my colleagues at French Entrée. Click here to see a list of the areas covered.

As independent search consultants who work exclusively for you, we have access to private sales and notaires’ listings. We are very familiar with many of the estate agents and their listings and know of properties that have not yet been listed anywhere. We will find the best houses in the area you are interested in, preview them for you to ensure that there are no surprises and then arrange a suitable viewing itinerary and accompany you on all visits. We then help negotiate the best possible price for your purchase. So why not check out our website here or contact us directly to see if we can assist you in the process of finding your dream property in France.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Are estate agents really your friends?

I am a property finder, otherwise known as a buyer’s agent. My professional purpose and only aim is to represent clients from around the world in finding and buying French properties - especially gîtes, châteaux, vineyards, restored farmhouses, villas with pools in the beautiful Southern Dordogne and Northern Lot et Garonne areas of France - at the best possible price. I live in that region and wish to share it with all of you out there, who enjoy and want to live an uncomplicated and healthier life style in the sun.

I strongly believe that it is now time for homebuyers to attain the same level of representation that property sellers have benefited from for years. American, Australian and Canadian buyers are already converted. It is part of the process in those countries to use a buyer’s agent. After all, you are likely to use professionals to sell your property and deal with your conveyancing, so why not get the experts on your side in searching for and buying property as well.

In the last few years, purchasers have been led to believe that the many estate agents who now offer a property finding service are on their side. Now, there is no doubt that they will be very nice and helpful to them to some extent, but at the end of the day, buyers should not forget that estate agents work for the seller, not them, and are ethically and contractually obliged to represent their seller’s best interests and to get the maximum price for their property! 

I think all would be purchasers using this free service should ask themselves - who pays the selling agents fees? If it is not them, then they represent the best interests of someone else, not theirs. They can also be sure that not only will they not get objective advice about the property that they are buying nor will they see a truly representative selection of the properties for sale in the area. After all, estate agents certainly won’t show you any of the houses being sold privately in the area!

People who want an expert and professional adviser on their side employ buyer’s agents. We only work for the buyer and our only aim is to ensure our clients get to see only the properties meeting their needs and requirements, at the best possible price. A personalised property finding service covers all aspect of a home buying process – from finding the right property (searching the whole market, including private sales and notaires’ listings) using local knowledge and language skills, to negotiating the best possible price.

I do sometimes get enquiries from purchasers who once they realise that my service is not free just walk away, and yet for less than half of an estate agent’s commission they could get a personalised and unbiased dedicated property professional on their side, that would help them enjoy the whole experience of purchasing their dream home. I wish I could convince them that this service, will save them time and money and the stressful experience of spending the next year or so of their lives flying back and forth using their precious holidays to visit properties seen on the internet that will turn out to be completely wrong for them.

I wish I could convince them!  But then again perhaps I just have .........

See the service I offer at:

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

10 Reasons to buy in Southern Dordogne

This is an article I recently wrote for FrenchEntree's Newsletter. It gives you even more reasons as to why Southern Dordogne is the place to buy that dream home! Be it for your retirement, as a holiday home or a fresh start with your family, the area is superb and the perfect place to live in. Here is the link see what you think!

Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Want some ideas to help you enjoy your holiday in the Dordogne this summer?

There is no better place to live or holiday than the Dordogne region of France. If you want culture, great outdoors activities, superb food and delicious wines, it is the place for you. I guarantee you won't be bored, but if you want to maximize your experience, you’ll want to take the brilliant 48-pages free 2011 guide (put together by journalists at The Connexion with help from local tourist boards and readers), with you. You can get it by clicking here . Don’t go without it!

If you have a great time let me know when you come back.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Great news for early retirees in France

The French government is doing an about turn. Early EU retirees will once again be eligible to access the “couverture maladie universelle” (CMU). The CMU is a system of health insurance cover in France set up by the French Government in 2000 to ensure that all people with permanent rights of residence in France, including people from abroad were eligible for medical insurance cover. That access had been removed in 2007. For the full story via The Connextion click here .

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bus Pass or Golf Pass?

I know which I would choose! The Dordogne Advertiser 25 May 2011 informs us that Dordogne’s seven golf courses have launched a pass scheme offering members a discount on all their courses. The idea behind this initiative is to encourage golfers to discover areas of the Dordogne they may not know. The pass is valid two months and you can play a maximum of two rounds at each participating course. So for those of you who are living in the beautiful Dordogne and love golf why not take advantage of this. For more info visit .

Monday, 13 June 2011

Bergerac - Le Plus Grand Boeuf du Monde 2011

You would be forgiven to think that the world’s largest cow will be parading in the streets of Bergerac in Southern Dordogne. Mais non! It is a giant flashmob music trying to bring together a maximum number of singers and musicians to interpret with their musical instruments or voice the same song at the same time in different French towns. This year the event will take place on 21st June at 8 pm. It is the 30th edition of the Music Festival in France this year and to celebrate this fact “Le Plus Grand Boeuf du Monde” has chosen to honour the famous French poet and singer George Brassens with a rendition of “Copains d’abord”.

If you are lucky enough to live in the beautiful Southern Dordogne and more particularly in Bergerac you can participate by going to or just turn up. See you there! If you want to live in the Dordogne but don’t know where to start visit my website at: