How do you find a bargain property on the French Riviera?


Here is David’s question:

I heard you talk about the lady who lost 300,000 on her apartment. I am looking to buy and would like to find something that is a bargain or at a knocked down price, what advice would you give me as a buyer to find these discounted properties.

I would also like to ask about the difference in price between something with a sea view and a property without.

So to answer the first part of this question, finding a bargain apartment does take some time. But first you need to be sure about the area that you are interested in. Visit, spend some time, walk around, window shop the agencies to see what types of properties are available in that area.

If you go through an agency, they can tell you how long the property has been on the market, so maybe there is room for negotiating a better price if its been for sale for a long time. You can also ask if there has been some recently reduced properties. That gives an indication that there is a stronger intent to sell and perhaps be more open to accepting a lower offer.

Obviously the closer you are to the beach, the more expensive it will be, so look to be set back, but what is nice is that the natural geography of the Riviera is terraced with many hills, so you still might find a place with a view.

Obviously properties without a sea view will be less expensive than one with a sea view. A good trade off for a sea view would be a garden. An outside space to enjoy.

What has been a recent trend lately are larger homes or bastides where people are selling off the independent cottages or guest apartments on the property or even an entire floor. One of the benefits of finding this type of property is that you have the direct advantage of feeling like you are living on a large residential property that comes with privacy. Meaning you don’t have a lot of neighbors.

These types of offers are becoming more prevalent as some people just don’t have the necessity of having a huge home, if there kids moved away or they are getting older. You will want to look for keyword such as co-proprietaire in the description of the property.

You can also look at ads in the newspapers or community portals for For Sale by Owner, but do beware that this is more risky, and you will have to properly equip yourself with the right legal people to be sure you don’t run into any legal problems either with the sale or the deed of the property.

And finally, You can also consult some rental agencies to view some properties and see if there can be a possible bargain to be found through asking if they would consider selling the property.

However, there is one thing to always keep in mind regarding finding a bargain…

And that is Why is it a Bargain?

The last thing you would want is to be stuck in a money pit of endless repairing work on hidden damages that in the end does not create a bargain, but rather an added expense.

So put your critical pairs of eyes when visiting potential bargain properties and especially look for signs of water damage, condition of the roof, plumbing, electrical connections and the condition of the walls.

If you smell moisture and feel humidity, its not a bargain.

So David, there are bargains to be had, but they do take more time to find and some work. Patience is key here.