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Traditional vs modern property sales in Languedoc Roussillon, South France



Languedoc Property Sales


When it comes to Languedoc property sales, are you dithering over whether to buy a traditional or modern property? Or could you swing both ways? Well, you need to make up your mind, as there’s one helluva of a difference. I had a friend once who wasn’t quite sure if he was Arthur or Martha (if you get my drift). So he batted for both sides for a bit, while he worked out which he preferred. And the funny thing is, you can too, property-wise, thanks to long-term lets. In other words, if you have any doubt about the benefits of traditional vs modern property in France, try renting before you buy (if you want to go down this road, check out The other thing to do is read on for an overview of the pros and cons of older vs modern Languedoc property sales.


Modern: PROS


New property


You make your payments in stages. You’re buying off-plan, so you make payments towards the cost of your property as the building progresses (e.g. 10 per cent once the foundations are complete, another 10 per cent once the walls are up). This allows the cost of Languedoc property sales to be spread out over a longer period, which can make it easier for buyers.


You pay a smaller deposit for these types of Languedoc property sales. In most cases, you only have to put down a five per cent deposit for a new-build home, compared to the customary ten per cent required for an older property.


You pay lower notaire’s fees (typically, around three per cent on new-build, as opposed to seven per cent or more on resale property).


Buy a new-build Languedoc property and you’ll have none of the costs or problems typically associated with renovating or modernising a character property.


Modern property is built to comply with current regulations and has a ten-year guarantee (similar to the National House Builders guarantee in the UK).


New-build property sales in Languedoc have good insulation and thus, tend to have low upkeep costs. Built with modern materials and using latest techniques, they usually require little maintenance.


Newer homes have that “turn-up-and-go” factor (also known as “lock-up-and-leave”). They don’t need too much maintenance, so they’re ideal as holiday homes.


New buildings used as main or second homes are exempt from property tax (taxe d’habitation) for two years from January 1st following the completion date.


Traditional: PROS


New property


You can take possession of resale property sales in Languedoc more quickly. Buying an older (i.e. existing as opposed to new-build) home usually takes 12 - 16 weeks from signing the preliminary sales agreement to completion.


Traditional Languedoc property sales tend to have oodles of charm and character (and frankly, new-build properties just… don’t. I’m sorry, but they don’t).


You get to make your mark on a traditional French home (buy a new-build property and it’s all done for you, to someone else’s taste).


Older homes tend to have better letting and sales potential. A charming, traditional Languedoc property with picture-postcard looks always goes down well with holidaymakers, particularly Brits and Americans.


Modern: CONS


It takes longer to take possession of a new-build property sale in Languedoc. In most cases, you’ll be buying off-plan (purchasing from drawings); the property doesn’t exist when you decide to buy it. Only once the building is delivered will your property become available, and it usually takes 12-18 months before you have a French home you can actually go to.  


You’ll need to use your imagination and feel confident about buying something that doesn’t exist (yet). Sure, you can view the site and situation of your property, but visualising the finished product can be a challenge when you’re looking at a plot of land. 


You have to pay VAT on all Languedoc property sales that are new-builds; it’s calculated at 19.6 per cent, and is included in the purchase price of new-build properties.


You’ll have less choice in terms of location. New-build property sales in Languedoc tend to pop up in major cities, near the coast, or in other popular spots a little further inland. They are rarer than hen’s teeth in rural France.


Character comes with age, and it’s something that new build homes just don’t tend to have. Similarly, it takes time for a new home to “settle” into its grounds, and for those trees, plants, grass and shrubs to really grow. Bald is not a good look on men, or gardens.


New homes tend to be smaller than older properties (land costs money, and the more homes a developer can fit onto a plot in Languedoc, the more sales they stand to make).

Prices for new-build developments are non-negotiable: no haggling, please!


Traditional: CONS


Poor insulation. Draughty rooms. Large heating bills. And often, lots of repairs and maintenance (well, more than new-build homes, that’s for sure). Costlier to run. I think you get the picture…


These types of Languedoc property sales get no exemption from property tax (see New Build Pros)

No ten-year guarantee (see New Build Pros)

And none of the other points listed under New Build Pros, obviously…




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