Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Estimating the value of a French property

If you are thinking of buying or selling a French property, you may be interested in a short article in this morning's LeFigaro which summarises the pirnciple factors that can affect the value of a property, for better or worse. Here I summarise the main points and (French) terms used.

- 'Surface' - More square metres normally cost more money! Square metres are calculated where the ceiling height is 1.80 metres or more. Mezzanines are not counted as officially  habitable space even when 1.8 metres or more in height. The 'loi Carrez' governs the sale/purchase of apartments and in all cases if the measurement of the area proves to be 5% inaccurate or more (over-estimated) a buyer may claim compensation.

'Terrain' - A tiny patch of grass or space enough to include a pool, a tennis court etc.

'Implantation' - Refers to where the property is located - urban, suburban, rural; close to local services or not; undesirtable elements such as a main road, factory entrance, noisy bar etc nearby

'Agencements des pièces' - Refers to the interior layout of the property, particularly bathroom/WC(s), wasted space (corridors, landings), inter-communicating bedrooms etc.

'Aspecte' - Which way does the property face in relation to natural light, the sun, a nice view etc

'Date de construction' - What were the applicables norms at the time compared to present day?

State of the interior 'décoration' and 'equipements' (such as kitchens etc, gas, electrics, plumbing) - and much will it cost to put right?

'Dépendances' - Presence or absence of outbuildings such as garage etc.

'Servitudes' - restrictions such as a right of way across the property

'Etat du marché - State of the local property market

To the above list I would add, in the case of an apartment or villa, within a co-ownership property ('copropriété') the level of monthly management and service charges, which can be high where there are shared extras such as a concierge, parking a pool, extensive gardens etc.

The article adds that while estate agents may offer a free 'estimation' they may pitch the price too high (to raise the owner's expectations and secure a mandate to sell) or too low (in the hope of a quick sale). An independent professional valuation will cost between 200 and 700 euros.

Source. 18 March 2015