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Our second house in France – this time an investment property to rent to French locals

After owning our first dream house in France for almost a year, we started thinking about buying another. The benefits to us are too great to let the opportunity go by with interest rates from French banks still low (4-5%) and house prices still relatively cheap (and plateauing at present). We were looking this trip to buy a property in Provence – while the most expensive region of France, it is a very popular destination for holiday makers so rentals should be easily obtained.
We had not thought of buying in our region again until looking at a few local properties in preparation for our upcoming tour with our notaire agent, Renan. It was then we came across a place which was hard to go past. It is a much larger pied-a-terre than ours in a nearby village with views to a fortified church from rooms on all three levels of the back of the house including the courtyard off the light and airy kitchen. The spacious living area has a fireplace and the upstairs bedrooms could each be divided into two, they are so big. What was once another bedroom has been made into a bathroom with a double vanity and huge triangular spa-bath. The French do not know what they have though as the bathroom, which we would have made the main bedroom, has great views of the church – they didn’t even face the spa bath towards the view!

There is also an attic which will convert nicely into a sitting room/spare bedroom with the best view of the church when we enlarge the window. In the meantime, the house is very livable with polished wooden floors and nicely painted walls. The 12th century church is one thing but the house is also on Rue General de Gaulle which makes us feel even more a part of French history. We plan to rent it to the local workers on a 2-3 year lease. This decision was aided by knowledge that owners insurance would cover for the period it would take to get someone evicted if needed.

Given our region has lots of industry and low levels of unemployment, we think any risk is relatively low. As the rent we should receive will pay the mortgage on our 85,000 euro ($145,000 AUD) house and all costs, we would like this purchase to go through. All looks good so far with only two owners to sign the documents required. It would be in their best interest for the sale to progress as it is coming into winter in France and the worst time to sell – here’s hoping!

To see more photos of the house and village, click here.

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