Fantastic bargain properties are out there but its a question of spotting them. In this month’s ‘Bargain Spotlight’ we take a look at Holiday Homes. This sector of the market is, for the present, heavily discounted . Holiday homes are a luxury that many people are choosing to do without. While retiring to France is ever more popular, and demand for quality renovated homes is increasing, the demand for holiday cottages has dropped. To fully identify how we can benefit from this trend it is useful to know what is a holiday home.
A holiday home is different things to different people. Here we are not referring to second homes which tend to be lived in for longer periods. Generally, holiday homes are small cottages and houses used during the milder months for holidays and short breaks. Frequently they are found in the countryside or on the edge of rural hamlets left behind by ‘la dissertification rurale’ as peasant farm workers migrated towards the cities. This demographic change in the second half of the 20th century left many farm dwellings vacant which have been purchased by foreigners over the last 30 years. Therefore, we often find that properties listed as holiday homes are often renovated to a very basic standard and aree less energy efficient, lacking insulation, central heating, double glazing and dry lining etc.
Many of these holiday homes can be cost effectively converted into permanent or secondary homes. whilst a holiday cottage may be too small in the first instant, an ajoining barn can be converted or an extension could be built. Planning consent is normally a straight forward application and can be held as a suspensive clause in the sales contract (compromis de vente).
Whilst second homes cannot offer their owners any tax breaks, renovation of a permanent fiscale residence in France can offer substantial tax breaks for energy efficency works. As part of France’s new energy policy, households with low income will receive government aid to better insulate their homes. It is estimated that 16 million families will benefit. Already, a ‘credit impot’ or a payment to you by the tax authority exists. The amount ranges from 15% to 50% on certain energy conservation works such as insulation, solar heating, double glazing, wood burning stoves etc in the family home (not second home). It should be noted that this is only available if the work is carried out by a professional tradesman.
Some of our biggest bargains are holiday homes – take a closer look at our holiday home listings and see what is available.