In 1998 when my husband convinced me to look at properties for sale in the south of France, I thought he was daft. We lived on the west coast of the United States on a 20 acre farm and had 3 children under the age of 6. Granted they were studying at a bi-lingual school in Portland, Oregon, but certainly, I thought, I can’t manage owning a property at this distance. Perhaps you’ve felt the same way?
Scouting the Dordogne
One thing led to another and the idea of “scouting out a few farms in the Dordogne” sounded like a fine idea for a holiday to me, if nothing else it would make a nice break from home duties.
That was then and now is now, albeit a dozen properties later. At the end of the day I couldn’t resist the siren call of such lovely places and also, sharing them (both financially and management-wise) DID make sense. Perhaps it will for you as well?
Here are a few steps many years’ experience has taught us. We recommend you take them to decide whether owning a share of a holiday home in France or Italy is really the best option to start living your European expat dream, at least for a weeks of the year.
Step 1. Learn whether a shared home is right for you
What kind of International property are you seeking ideally? To get to the bottom of this, be prepared to do a little soul searching and maybe ask yourself some key questions such as:
Whereabouts in Europe would you like to be ideally, how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need and are likely to use, do you fancy somewhere busy and urban or would you prefer something more villagey and rural?
If you’re going rural, just how remote would you like it and how do you plan to get about and explore the surrounding area once you make the move? Would you be happy driving or do you need some sort of public transport infrastructure on your doorstep?
Why do you want a property share anyway?
Is this for investment or purely for personal enjoyment, as an alternative to simply renting a villa?
Know the Terrain
How well do you know France & Italy already and why exactly do you wish to own property there? If you’re not all that familiar with French of Italian expat life, maybe do some research among leading expat websites, forums and blogs. Life in Europe differs from that in America or New Zealand in many ways, so is pays to do your homework first and be aware of some of the key differences.
If your motivations are largely financial, ask yourself:
What’s your maximum budget and how realistic is that, how much flex do you have and what’s your readiness to invest?
On a scale of 1-10, where are you in terms of readiness to own property?
Flexibility with Fractionals
Why fractional ownership? How flexible can you be with work and booking your time periods in advance?
Step 2. Get your questions answered and ask us for a fact sheet, describing in detail all the the ins and outs of fractional ownership.
Step 3. Sign up for our free email newsletter, to get all the latest news and views on our properties and the behind the scenes business of fractional property ownership. To sign up, see the box in the right-hand sidebar labelled ‘Get our Emails.’
Step 4. Take a close look at our Operating Agreement, which describes the rights and responsibilities of shared ownership in an Limited Liability Company set up.
Step 5. Learn what others have said about owning a pied a terre abroad. Take a look at our customer testimonials
Step 6. Ask about the ease of resale, especially useful for those of you who are mostly looking into fractional ownership as an investment opportunity.
Step 7. Decide to visit the property in person, or to view it by watching some of our property videos
Step 8. Call us to get more acquainted: 585 905-0849.
Nothing beats the personal touch and you’re bound to have lots of questions right off the bat. Ginny Blackwell has created fractional ownership properties in France, Italy, Mexico and the UK since 1989 so is very well placed to chat you through some of the detail.
For full feedback, please send your completed shared ownership questionnaire to email@example.com.