Investing your money in a foreign country is daunting for many people. The beloved French ancient cottage is a favourite amongst many buyers. However older houses can have a variety of problems, or sometimes what could be perceived as a problem may not be a problem at all. This is especially true of wall cracks and roofs.

Why not therefore get a Building Survey by an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor? MKN Surveyors survey in all parts of France. Matthew and his family lived in the South of France for two years and had a house in the Limousin for 5 years. He has experience in a wide range of types of property, from new build, back to the house he lived in Tarn, which dated from 1230! He has been involved as a professional surveyor for over 25 years in the UK and France.

He has helped both buyers and sellers to move forward with their purchase/sale. He has drawn up plans, arranged visits by artisans to install fosse tanks and created schedules of works.

Working in all regions of France with a bias towards the Midi Pyrenees, Provence and Alps Matthew aims to get the survey back to you before the end of the ‘cooling off’ period. In that way if there is a major problem, or unaffordable items of repairs, a new price can be negotiated or in only one case, the property regrettably walked away from. Surveys have been carried out on Chateau, New Single storey houses, Alpine Chalet in Chamonix and apartments in Paris.

Given the amount of effort it takes to find a property you like, MKN endeavours to give the solution to any problem, and how that property might be managed into the future which will reduce the possibility of future defects occurring.

This is an especially useful service on older buildings. Many solutions are sold in the brico stores which claim to cure damp etc. In many instances an alteration in the way the property is managed is all that is needed. E.g the use of lime mortars and paints, maintenance of breathability and the use of skilled traditional craftsman. Matthew will recommend finishes and work you can do yourself, where budgets are tight in order to make owning a property in France, the pleasurable experience it should be.

Reports are produced on the RICS Building Survey report format, and delivered electronically. Matthew also inspects the diagnostic reports when supplied, and comments on the points of concern. He has managed swimming pools, runs a B&B, holiday cottage, managed forestry and woodland, and project managed. He talks French (okay, so not fluent yet, but working on it!).

Matthew says, “Surveying properties in France is exciting, it is part of the reason why we do! Every property is different and each area has its idiosyncrasies, how properties are built, the materials used etc. This makes for beautiful properties but it does mean that they all need a professional survey – don’t fall in to the trap of considering French property is as straightforward as those terraced and semi red bricks in the UK!”

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