Moving to the Dordogne

By : Nick Marr

There is no doubt about it, UK buyers are currently in the best position for years for buying property in France. The favourable exchange rate is combining with improved equity from rising UK property prices, and the mostly buyers’ market in France to make buying a property in the country an enticing prospect.

One word of warning though, areas such as the Dordogne, which is known for its inherent beauty, can still prove costly for investment. The Dordogne has always attracted not just numerous British ex pats, but many German and Dutch natives too. That looks set to continue, as the area has lost none of its charm and natural elegance. In addition, both the US and Australian dollars are currently experiencing strength against the euro, so competition from other foreign investors is strong. In this environment it is still likely you could pay an inflated price if the Dordogne is your dream location.

What is the attraction of the Dordogne?

One look at this beautiful area, in the Aquitaine region of South-West France, and you can see what all the fuss is about. The Dordogne is awash with tiny historic towns and villages (10 of the recognised most beautiful villages in France are in the region), vineyards and orchards; it’s a completely idyllic setting.

The Dordoyne also benefits from excellent travel links. Bergerac, Bordeaux and Brive la Gaillarde airports are all situated in the region and you can travel from the UK by Eurostar, via Paris and Limoges, in approximately nine hours.

Of course one of the attractions of the Dordogne can also be a drawback if you let it. The large ex pat community in the area means that you can often live there quite happily without the need to speak French. The problem with this is that it can stop ex pats truly integrating into the local community.

Video Guide to The Dordogne

What can you expect from purchasing a property in the Dordogne?

The Dordogne is the third biggest region in France, and it’s huge, so it’s a very good idea to do some homework before making any purchases. Check out the towns such as Périgueux, Nontron and Bergerac, and spend some time there, exploring the local villages.

You should also be prepared for the financial aspect of house purchase in France. Although the estate agents fees are normally paid by the seller, they can also be shared. These fees are quite high so you need to check what the situation is with your purchase. You will also need to pay stamp duty if the property is older (approximately 5% of the purchase price), notaire’s fees (approximately 2.5% of the purchase price), mortgage fees (approximately 1% of the purchase price), and solicitor’s fees (approximately 2% of the purchase price). Capital Gains Tax can also be an issue, and the situation with this keeps changing. Make sure you get the latest information before you buy.

Given the sizeable costs involved it’s important to make sure you get the best possible exchange rate for your money. It’s often worth speaking to a specialist to check the best way of sending your money to France for the purchase.

If you want to make the dream of living in the Dordogne a reality then you should be prepared for spending some time there getting to know the area, and you should be prepared to spend more money than you may in other areas of France, to get those amazing views, and that incredible lifestyle.

Seearch property for sale in France by owner, real estate agents and property developers here

Learn more about the wonderful Dordogne region at