Newsletter No. 24

PRIME FRENCH PROPERTIES and before that Willow French Properties have been established for many years, although I was selling French properties several years before that. You may or may not have noticed that we have not sent out a newsletter for a few months and this in part has been due to my spending some weeks in America with my family to celebrate a significant birthday. (4 score!)

There has been considerable uncertainty amongst British buyers about life after ‘Brexit’ as well as a rather low exchange rate concentrating the mind regarding buying.  This has understandably impacted on our business.

Having thought about ‘getting older’ (NOT OLD!), I have decided to close my existing web site on 21st September and have just a small site with general information. It may be a short while before the new site is up and running. I continue to have my licensed estate agency contacts around France, some of whom I have known for many years, and I will still be able to search for properties in line with your requirements.

I intend to continue sending out occasional newsletters, hopefully with useful information and not just about property.


If you are thinking about moving to and having a business in France, we can help you find through our specialist agency partners: farms, equestrian properties, gîtes, chambres d’hôtes, vineyards, hotels, camp sites, sporting estates / lakes and angling, shops etc.


The new Data Protection Act comes into force next year and for your information I have on the database no more than is necessary to select properties for you or introduce you to my licensed French estate agents. The maximum information I hold could include: name, address and telephone number, your area of interest, type of property being sought and budget, as well as travel details to view properties. I keep no personal financial information and I do not give your details to any other parties without your permission.

If France is no longer of interest or you do not wish to receive further newsletters please would you be good enough to reply with ‘Unsubscribe’ in the subject line.  (I will not be offended!)

Many thanks.

William Pearson                 Prime French Properties.


French presidential 2017 candidates views on real estate.

Real Estate: what are the proposals of the candidates on the right for the elections of 2017? Firstly all promise to change the loi Alur when they come to power. The vast majority want to favour buyers and investors by revising existing aid packages. Here are the main ideas: Nicolas Sarkozy replace the loan at zero percent by a system of guarantee for first-time buyers, reduce CGT to 15 years… Alain Juppé: favour social housing, diminish restrictions on letting properties… Bruno Le Maire: lower notary fees on purchases of principal residences, lower VAT on first–time buyers for new housing …Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet: boost property purchases by increasing the scope of zero percent loans, encourage renovation projects… Jean-François Copé: fix VAT at 10% for first-time buyers, put a ceiling on income from property to 33%… Jean-Frédéric Poisson: suppress all the aids for purchasing but reduce the taxes on all property purchases.



The decision has been made and negotiations have yet to start, but here is my view of the possible effects on British French Property buyers and owners following the referendum.

France, as well as Spain and Italy, have been very popular with British home buyers for many years, and certainly before the Common Market came into being. We have voted to leave so we might be in the same situation as the Americans and Australians who have been buying in France for many years – and live there very happily!  If my friends and business associates in France are anything to go by, the British will continue to be very welcome.

Will there be any possibility of the British losing the ownership of their properties if we leave? Definitely not!

Would we need to apply for a visa to visit France and other EU countries if we vote to leave? In my view this is unlikely as there would probably be a reciprocal arrangement with all the EU countries.

It is possible that the British may need to apply for a fixed term ‘carte de sejour’ / permit to live in France and reapply before each expiry date. They may have to prove that they have enough wealth so as not to be a burden on French social security. They may even have to take a language test – but if living in any overseas country a basic knowledge of the language is essential.

With regard to healthcare the current reciprocal arrangements may be terminated, although members of the European Economic Area have reciprocal arrangements with the EEC countries. Of course, there are insurance companies specialising in this field – so I do not see a problem.

The state pension situation for British people residing in France and other EU countries will have to be agreed. There is some doubt as to whether or not state pension payments to the British residents in France will be protected by the ‘triple lock’. We can only hope that the government will not be vindictive and that the current situation will continue.

Mortgages when buying in the EU may be a problem in that interest rates may be higher for British or other ‘foreign’ buyers and higher deposits may be necessary. Banks work across borders and I feel sure that any problems will not be too onerous.

There may be increased social charges and / or capital gains tax when selling.

With regard to personal taxation, there should be little or no effect as Britain and France have a dual tax treaty.

It was inevitable that in the event of a vote to leave the EU there would be turmoil in the financial markets. However, steps have been taken which we hope will stabilise the market.

On balance I do not see any serious problems for French property owners and buyers. Property prices remain very low in most areas, and even with the current exchange rate it’s not a bad time to take advantage and buy!


Holiday homes abroad aren’t always bathed in endless sunshine. When the rain falls it often comes in torrents, finding its way inside, to wreck decorations and the contents of the home. Waterproofing  walls and balconies can  in most cases be done using easy to use products.
Waterproofing walls that are of unpainted natural brick or stone can be treated with a siloxane based water repellent which will prevent further water penetration, whilst allowing the walls to “breathe” and residual moisture to escape as vapour.
Waterproofing previously painted walls is easily done using Acrylic Clear Penetrating Sealant. Acrylics are extremely tough, penetrating and sealing small cracks and fissures. Acrylic Sealants have been used on properties from Spain to Bulgaria ( see testimonials ) and has resisted both extremes of high and low temperatures.
Whichever waterproofing solution you choose, they can be easily applied with a low pressure garden sprayer.
Waterproofing balconies can often be easily done without having to remove existing tiles etc. Some acrylic sealants are transparent, and penetrate cracks or holes to prevent further water penetration. As with waterproofing walls, a low pressure sprayer is ideal for this type of application.
Properties are sometimes built into the side of hills, often resulting in water penetration into semi-basement rooms. These rooms are often designed as garages, and utility rooms. Whatever the use, water penetration results in damp, mould growth, and degradation of the things stored in the room. Cement based slurry systems for waterproofing walls and floors are easy to use, and resist water penetration even when it is under pressure.
These  products are generally non-flammable and non-hazardous, and are therefore safe to ship from the UK, and for DIY use. Many customers choose to have the product delivered to a friend or relation in the UK for subsequent collection when they next visit :
Freephone: 0800 083 3289 (Mon – Fri 09.00am – 06.00pm)
Telephone: 01323 479578 (24 hours – Emergencies only)