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Traditional Normandy Houses - Survey?

Posted by Sue2-780848 - Created: 15 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Causette-780879 - 14 years ago

Congratulations Sue, you must be delighted!  Whereabouts have you bought?

JudyM

 

JudyM (14)

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Posted by Sue2-780848 - 14 years ago

Thanks for all your replies, we think we have now found a place, chocolate box pretty and within budget - fingers crossed that the process goes smoothly.

 

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Sue x

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Posted by avonlady-781067 - 14 years ago

Woodworm seems to be quite rampant in many parts of France.  We have quite a bit which has been treated.  Only trouble with the treatment seems that the colour of the stuff comes through wallpaper!  We have found 'pointing' the old stonework is expensive, we were quoted 5000 euros just for the front of our house, so are going to try it ourselves.  Good luck.avonlady

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Posted by Nicolas-781064 - 14 years ago

Hi Sue,

Still loking for house in Normandy,

I have one to sell, near Paris 50 min by train, 45 min from La Defence,

near Giverny.

Let me know.

Nicolas

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Posted by Nick Warner-780931 - 15 years ago

Hi Sue

I have just logged on to your item and understand your caution.  As a French registered surveyor working in your area, I have seen some very good quality property in colombage construction but also some awful examples!  Whilst as another correspondant has confirmed there is no legal requirement to have a survey in France, my (biased!) opinion is that when buying any older property is is wise to do so.  Would you buy an old car without an MOT? Experienced surveyors can often spot problems with buildings that the purchasers miss.  This is because a survey site visit takes about 4 hours to complete whilst the prospective purchaser usually visits the house for about 30 to 40 minutes with an Agent in tow who just wants you to sign up!  Also the surveyor has no interest in buying the property or its location etc. he is simply concerned with the condition of the structure etc.  He is therefore more focussed on this and less likely to view the property with 'rose tinted glasses'!

Whilst it is fairly commom practise for French purchasers to ask a local builder to look at the house for them, it is more difficult for most Uk purchasers as there is inevitably the 'language problem', also French Builders are much more specialist that their UK counterparts - general builders are few and far between.  Finally on that point, can a builder who may be asked to do the work give you a truly impartial opinion of the work that needs to be done?

 

Nick

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Posted by Sue2-780848 - 15 years ago

Judy,thanks for replying, i cant get into my e-mail box at the moment but hopefully when i do i will reply, your information is helpful, and i think it best now if we book to come and view some of them to see for ourselves - before there are non left or the prices take them out of our reach.

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Sue x

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Posted by Causette-780879 - 15 years ago

Hi Sue,

I've put a message in your in box..  Yes, colombage cottages can be dark inside, if they have low ceilings (which many of them typically have!).  you have to look roudn for those with high ceiliings...  You can also break into the colombage, and insert glass between some of the timebrs to bring in more light - I've seen this done very attractively on a few houses in this area.  Our place has high ceilings downstairs, so it gets lots of light.  You'd be welcome to visit it when you are over.

You're right to come across here soon - there was an article in the Pays d'Auge (local Calvados newspaper) on Friday which says that house prices are continuing to rise in this area - 23% for last year!  The chairman of the Calvados notaires went on to say that it may not be double figures this year, but it will be close.  The reasons he gave were that mortgages are at a very low interest rate, people have much more equity, and so can move up the property ladder, and demand is outstripping supply (sounds familiar??!)  He also said that 20% of all last year's house sales were to foreigners, esp Britons...

Regards,

JudyM (14)

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Posted by Sue2-780848 - 15 years ago

Thanks for the help Judy, this is one of our concerns as a lot of the houses we have seen really are very small, they look beautiful on a photo but may not be very practical to live in? Can they be a little dark inside as well? - I think we need to get over and look at and around some to see what can be done  - i saw on another subject that there is a list of estate agents people have mentioned. And Green Fingers, thanks, if we see something i will get in touch. 

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Sue x

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Posted by Causette-780879 - 15 years ago

Hello Sue,

We've had our little cottage for a couple of years now, and we lived in it for a little while when we first moved over here permanently.   We bought a modern house to live in permanently (which I detest!), so I'm now on the lookout for another colombage house for us - east of Caen (which is exactly where I now live and work).  E-mail me if I can be of any help!

We didn't have a survey done on either of our houses, although we did get a local builder (who knows colombage) to give us his advice on the colombage cottage.  Surveys aren't usual in France (in UK they are to ensure the Bodg Soc/bank has made a good investment in lending you the money for your purchase!) - well not by the French, anyway.  They tend to use architects and/or builders.

Regards

 

JudyM (14)

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Posted by green fingers-780882 - 15 years ago

I know an English chap that does house surveys for a fixed fee.

Please email me if you would like his details,

 

get planting....

green fingers