For accounts manager Ian Williams and his wife, Louise, buying leaseback is the perfect way to purchase a property in France.

Not only does it mean they get a regular rental income, the house is maintained for them and they can still holiday in it when they feel like a few weeks in the beautiful countryside of Deux-Sèvres in the west of the country. It is also right next to a golf course.

‘I also think it is has great potential to increase in value,’ says Ian, who was attracted to the idea of a golf course that comes as part of the development. ‘I don’t think the sport has taken off in France the way it has in Spain. I think it is just a question of time before it becomes popular.’

The couple, who have two young children, bought the two-bedroom ‘villa’ on an 80 metre square plot for 180,000€ (£124,000) – excluding the 19.6% VAT they did not have to pay [20% effective March of 2014] – in Domaine Les Forges. This is a 110 villa new development set around a 19th century chateau with a 27-hole golf course, pool and tennis courts – all just a 30 minute drive from Poitiers airport. The couple have use of the house for six weeks a year, with a commitment from the developer that it will be rented out for another 26 weeks per year.

Ski resort

As with many new build leasebacks, the payments on the property are staggered according to when different parts of the house are completed. The Williams’ first payment of 5% of the value of the house was paid last May. The property is due to be completed in May 2007 in time for summer holiday season, and since they first bought it, its value has risen by 3%.

Ian already has experience of buying in France – along with friends he has a private apartment in the French ski resort of Morzine. While the property has been great as an investment, doubling in value over the past five years, the amount of time spent dealing with plumbing and other problems is frustrating.

‘I know from experience that it is better to have a place managed for you so when things go wrong there is someone there to sort everything out,’ says Ian. ‘When you’re busy at work and have a young family, you don’t want to spend huge amounts of time having to administer a holiday property. Buying leaseback means everything is taken care of, the bills are paid, and we just have to arrive with our suitcases for a holiday. And we know what we’re getting – there’s no hit or miss.’

Domaine Les Forges: contact Savills on 0207 016 3748; www.boissenis.com
October 2006

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