CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

A pied-à-terre in France to add to your Surrey home?

PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:03 14 January 2015

The dream of the rural idyll coupled with the easy access

The dream of the rural idyll coupled with the easy access

Eleanor O’Kane

Given its easy access from Surrey, France is the ideal location for a second home – and with the first French Property Auction about to happen in London, now could be just the time to take the plunge...

With its rich culture and stunning landscapes, it’s not surprising that France often tops our list when it comes to planning a holiday. Whether it’s taking the family camping, indulging in a romantic break to Paris or hitting the slopes in the Alps, France has wide appeal – and when you factor in its renowned food and wine, well, it’s no surprise France is the most popular tourist destination in the world.

What is more, with its easy access from the UK, and the home counties in particular, France is also a great location for a second home. Depending on where you buy, you can be relaxing across the Channel, glass of wine in hand, within just a few hours 
of leaving the office. And, if the idea of your own pied-à-terre appeals, now is a good time to start doing your research, according to Karen Tait of French Property News, sister title of Surrey Life. “Sterling recently hit a two-year high against the euro and this, combined with low property prices, means buyers can really get a lot for their money,” she says. “And if you’re buying with a French mortgage, there’s more good news as rates have fallen to a new all-time low.”

Under the hammer

For those looking to invest in the French market, there will also be the perfect opportunity later this month when the first French Property Auction in London takes place. Over 50 French properties will go under the hammer on Saturday January 24 during The France Show 2015, an annual lifestyle event at London’s Olympia that showcases the best of France, from travel and food to property.

This year, The France Show has partnered with the UK-based company French Property Auction to bring the sale to British shores for the first time. Nick Green of French Property Auction believes it could well be a chance to pick up a bargain. “This is an open competitive environment where French agents can present properties from motivated sellers to serious UK buyers with very attractive reserves to encourage a faster than normal sale,” he says.

During the auction, held under what’s known as the ‘modern’ method, bids are accepted conditionally. Once a winning bid has been accepted, the buyer pays an administration fee to the auctioneer and undertakes to exchange preliminary sale contracts within 21 days. The sale only becomes legally binding for both sides when the preliminary sale contracts have been exchanged, after which the purchase progresses under standard French law. 
The French system also allows for a seven-day ‘cooling-off’ period after the preliminary sales contracts have been exchanged, which gives the buyer an opportunity to withdraw.

If you’re tempted, the catalogue of properties for sale is available to browse online at and features a range of properties, from farmhouses to fishing lakes. Those seeking an easy-to-manage holiday home should take a look at Lot 12, a restored stone house in the western region of Poitou-Charentes. With two to three bedrooms and a courtyard garden, it would make a fuss-free second home. The current marketing price is just €119,000. For outdoorsy types, Lot 42 is a detached three-bedroom village property in picturesque Savoie in the Alps. Just 9km from the Three Valley ski area, it has a current marketing price of €445,000 with an estimated rental income of €1,250 per week during peak times in the summer and winter seasons.

Expert advice

While buying a property in France is reasonably straightforward, it pays to take advice from the experts before parting with your cash – and The France Show is also the perfect place to do just that. Running from Friday January 23 to Sunday January 25, this popular show will be buzzing with French estate agents, financial and legal advisors and currency and removals experts, so it’s an ideal time to do your research.

The show’s free property seminars will also give the low-down on buying and owning property in France and help you decide where to buy to suit your needs. You can even get advice on the best ways to maximise rental income, which means you can watch the pounds roll in when you’re not kicking back at the property yourself – now that really is living the dream!


Eleanor O’Kane is the former editor of Living France magazine and writes regularly about French property, travel and lifestyle.
The France Show 2015 takes place at London Olympia from Friday January 23 to Sunday January 25. The French Property Auction will be held at the show on Saturday January 24. Readers of Surrey Life can benefit from a saving of £6 on the entry price (normally £16 per person). To purchase your tickets, visit or call 01242 264777* and quote the promotional code: SUR25. 
*A handling charge of £1 per order applies.



10 great reasons to combine your Surrey life with a taste of France

• Easy access: Choose from the Channel Tunnel and Eurostar, the ferry ports or one of France’s many regional airports

• Extra income: France is the world’s number one tourist destination so where better to rent out a holiday home?

• Bring the pets: With an EU Pet Passport there’s no need for your four-legged friend to miss out

• Great food: The national cuisine has been granted Unesco status for its quality

• A wealth of landscapes: From mountains to coastline, countryside and forests to ancient volcanoes; we could go on…

• Value for money: Thanks to the current exchange rate, your pennies go further

• Grape expectations: Wine is part of the culture and you’ll discover great, affordable vintages wherever you go

• Family life: On Sundays, everything comes to a standstill as the generations meet up and spend time together

• An active lifestyle: France is home to some of Europe’s best ski resorts, top surfing beaches and the world’s toughest cycling race

• Your pick of properties: From pretty village houses to elegant country manoirs and chic Parisian pieds-à-terre, the choice is yours...

More from Surrey Life


The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching! We pick some of the best events to celebrate Halloween in Surrey

Read more

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (26, 27 and 28 October): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, October 19, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thursday, October 18, 2018

To mark the appointment of Peter Estlin, a former head boy at King Edward’s Witley, as new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Surrey Life has joined forces with the 400-pupil school to give away two tickets to the Lord Mayor’s Show on 10 November plus an overnight stay in London

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wrap up in your favourite coat and scarf, grab your sparklers and a warming drink, and enjoy one of these fantastic firework displays taking place in Surrey for bonfire night

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Home to outstanding architecture, ambitious community projects and arts ventures that are putting these villages firmly on the map, East and West Horsley are among our county’s most desirable addresses

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chertsey’s best-kept secret, the Great Cockcrow Railway, steamed into a half-century this year

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A taste of Korea has swept into the beautiful market town of Godalming as Bada sets out its stall with a tapas-style fusion of seafood, traditional dishes and spice

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

With friendship as the central theme in Adele Parks’ new book, Zoe Richards met up with the bestselling author and her publisher, Kate Mills, to find out how these two Surrey dwellers have discovered a successful working relationship, and become firm friends too

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

As the twilight falls, the magic begins… There’s something for everyone at Christmas at Kew – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of five family tickets for two adults and two children to the Preview Night of Christmas at Kew on Wednesday 21 November 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Good table manners have long been a source of national pride but in this modern age of social media are our longstanding traditions being left behind? Rebecca Younger visits the stately Beaverbrook estate for a lesson in British etiquette

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search