Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter


Buying, Selling, Letting and Renting, Building.

St Cezaire sur Siagne, bastide

Homes and Houses: Newly built bastide in St Cezaire sur Siagne

Riviera Reporter | Oct 04, 2016
Inland from Nice, in the foothills surrounding Grasse, are some of the best and most entrancing views in this magical part of the world. Long considered the perfume capital of the world, Grasse is just 15km from Cannes, with its yachts and all the…
Sillans-la-Cascade bastide

Homes and Houses: Narnia-like Provençal bastide in Sillans-la-Cascade

Riviera Reporter | Jul 25, 2016
Just an hour from Sainte Maxime and the Côte d’Azur, in the heart of old Provence, sits the enchanting village of Sillans-la-Cascade in Central Var. Its name alone entrances ... famed for wonderful waterfalls just a few minutes’ walk from the…
Sunrise on village

House prices on the rise, despite a possible Brexit

Tim Clark | Jun 17, 2016
So here we are, nearly half way through the year, and what’s that I hear, a collective gasp of “What, already?” Okay, so what has the housing market been like to date. It’s not all bad news, folks, the notaires’ society of France recently “called”…
Sunset on beach

How might Brexit affect owning a property in France?

Tim Clark | May 19, 2016
Brexit! There, I said it. I am sure the Editor is going to have kittens at yet another Brexit story (see Brexit Report), but here it goes. Clearly, this story is dominating the English-speaking press at the moment and the claims and counterclaims by…
Savings and Mortgage road signs

10 steps to getting your French mortgage

Riviera Reporter | Apr 27, 2016
Step 1: Sort out your finances You’re looking to buy so you’ll need to get an idea of the amount you can borrow when the time comes. Otherwise, as Tim Clark has pointed out several times in his property column, your dream home could quickly slip…
Villa La Ponche, view from window

Villa La Ponche: Going once, going twice … to auction

Riviera Reporter | Apr 19, 2016
If you have a couple of million euro lying around, you may want to note a few sale dates in May. A first in France, a private auction for a luxury property that will be auctioned off on May 5th, 2016. The Villa La Ponche – a 4-storey, 120m² with 3…
La Grande Lauzade, terrace

Homes and Houses: La Grande Lauzade in St Luc

Riviera Reporter | Apr 01, 2016
The golden stone of Provence seems to reflect and glow even during winter – its warmth is incandescent. It offers welcome and the promise of joys to follow throughout the year: springtime – when mimosa-clad hills near the coast waft gentle perfume –…
Mortgage application form

An American in France goes house-hunting: Home sweet home, finally

PJ Heslin | Mar 16, 2016
I’m sure readers have been waiting with bated breath, wondering whether we were able to move into our new apartment for Christmas (see An American in France goes house-hunting: how different is it from in the US?). After submitting all of the…
Village with narrow streets

House-hunting for your dream property in France

Tim Clark | Feb 18, 2016
“I’ll know it when I see it!” Seven words that strike fear into the heart of the most hardened estate agent. In fact, I’m thinking of beginning a mind-reading course for estate agents, as it is often assumed we can find your dream home by osmosis.…
Housing market road sign

The state of the property market in 2015 on the French Riviera

Tim Clark | Dec 28, 2015
Well, another year draws to a close and what a period of ups and downs it has been. I feel privileged to live and work in this region of France and often have to pinch myself when I commute into Cannes, Nice or St Tropez, all the while staring at…
Own or rent chalkboard

An American in France goes house-hunting: how different is it from in the US?

PJ Heslin | Dec 03, 2015
Over the last few years, my wife and I have been weighing the pros and cons of buying versus renting in France and going over the financial metrics, taking into consideration also that we are mid-lifers. So I was rather intrigued by a New York Times
Toilet paper

Rules and regulations when selling a property that has a septic tank

Tim Clark | Nov 12, 2015
There is an old English saying, “Where there’s muck, there’s brass.” Nothing is truer when talking about … septic tanks. Okay, I hear a collective groan of “here he goes again” (or is it just the thought of wastewater as you sip your morning…
Euro and Dollar Notes

Bursting your property bubble

Tim Clark | Oct 22, 2015
If you haven’t noticed, the euro has been taking a bit of a kicking from a number of currencies, not least the sterling and US dollar. This has led to an incredible increase in demand from potential buyers from the UK and the States, not to mention…
Restored property in Ampus

Homes and Houses: Restoring the spirits in Ampus near the Gorges du Verdon

Riviera Reporter | Oct 14, 2015
Here’s a special property that’s been beautifully restored using recycled materials and lashings of tender loving care. The owners aimed to create a home that as well as being easy on the eye has a very special vibe to it that promotes a deep sense…
Antibes Coastline

Buying your French home, the final steps

Tim Clark | Aug 19, 2015
Previously, we looked at defining your search for your dream property in France and how to make an offer. We now walk you through those final steps of becoming a home owner. Once your offer has been accepted, the agency, in coordination with the…
Ziva's Villa

Homes and Houses: Mougins villa of artist Ziva

Riviera Reporter | Jul 25, 2015
She is a true artist, and hides behind the exotic name of Ziva. After eight creative and rewarding years living in a stunning Mougins villa, this international woman of mystery is ready to move on, and her home is for sale. Her fantasy-like…
French Properties

Buying your French home, one step at a time

Tim Clark | Jun 29, 2015
Here at Leggett Immobilier, we’ve helped thousands of overseas clients to purchase property in France over the past two decades and know that the different buying process, language and laws can be confusing. Our free buyer’s guide gives an overall…
Pointe Croisette in Cannes

Homes and Houses: The Pointe Croisette, pointing to the calmer Cannes

Riviera Reporter | May 26, 2015
It's clearly part of Cannes, but only up to a point. The Pointe Croisette area is in fact a “principality” in its own right, the land of the quartier owned by the residents themselves rather than by the Cannes authorities. For practical reasons, the…

Renting in France: Things to check before you sign

Riviera Reporter | Apr 25, 2015
In light of the current weakness of the euro against some other currencies, particularly the strong British pound, expats in France might be tempted to buy property here. However, if you prefer to concentrate on finding your feet in France first,…
Warm cookies

Tips for selling your house in winter

Tim Clark | Mar 12, 2015
We all know our houses can look less than inviting during the winter months and even on the French Riviera it can get cold and damp, so what to do if you are trying to sell your home? Do you even consider taking it off the market until spring? Well,…
La Canabiere

Homes and Houses: La Canabière, Mons

Tim Clark | Feb 20, 2015
In property parlance there is away-from-it-all, and then there is La Canabière. The location of this outstanding eight-bedroom bastide in the commune of Mons – designated a World Heritage Site – is simply outstanding. Owner Molly Holt discovered it…
Property Reality

The reality of the Riviera property market

Tim Clark | Dec 29, 2014
Well what a year that was. As 2014 draws to a close I would like to reflect on how things have gone in the real estate business on the Côte d’Azur during these relatively tough times. The year started quite positively with some excellent business…
Moulin de Vaissel

Homes and Houses: The Moulin de Vaissel, La Garde Freinet

Riviera Reporter | Dec 19, 2014
The mayor of La Garde Freinet was looking grim as his gaze swept the council chamber. He had summoned 31 family heads to an emergency meeting. It was the second of April, 1775, and the hour was grave. There were gasps from the assembly as he…
Property for sale

Sales of French property to UK buyers on the up

Tim Clark | Nov 13, 2014
As PACA Area Manager of Leggett Immobilier, I can tell you that our half-year figures are in and it’s clear that UK buyers are back in force. The first six months of 2014 show an overall increase in sales of 35% and our pipeline of “offers accepted”…
David Wilkie Pool

Homes and Houses: In the steps of an Olympian at David Wilkie's Villa

Riviera Reporter | Nov 03, 2014
Here’s a chance to splash out on a property that’s been the happy summer home of Britain’s finest swimmer. David Wilkie was a toddler when he took to the water for the first time in Sri Lanka, where his Scottish parents had been posted. At boarding…
Couple happy about new agency fees

Agency fees for renters finally capped

Riviera Reporter | Oct 22, 2014
Since September 15th, 2014, those costly “agency fees” that renters in France have to pay when they go through a real estate agency are now set according to the size of the apartment and where it’s located. This is thanks to the rental access and…
Le Pavillion

Homes and Houses: The secret appeal of a “mas” market gem, Le Pavillon

Riviera Reporter | Oct 06, 2014
Ronald van der Meij carefully put down the bottle of wine he had just selected and, straining his ears, tried to make out the sound that was filtering through the cellar wall. “I was sure I could make out the sound of running water,” says the…
Days of the week

Daze of the week in the life of an estate agent

Tim Clark | Sep 19, 2014
The role of an Estate Agent is often maligned with the assumption that we spend all day flouncing around in our Ferraris while looking for ways to fleece old people and ruin the lives of unsuspecting house buyers. So let me try and set the record…
Expensive Property

In a fix over price, essential tips to get your property sold

Tim Clark | Aug 11, 2014
Almost daily I’m asked the question: “Why hasn’t my house sold?” Often the answer is fairly simple. We've previously covered preparation and presentation, two fundamental points to ensure you get the best price and attract the best buyers. There are…

Homes and Houses: From historic to modern glass

Antonia Owen | Aug 02, 2014
This is a tale of two homes that were built centuries apart. At first glance, there seems no similarity whatsoever between an historic 17th-century mansion apartment in the heart of Aix-en-Provence and a concrete and glass post-modernist marvel just…
French Dream

Selling the French dream, preparing a property for sale

Tim Clark | Jul 07, 2014
We’ve all seen those TV programmes where an irritating American woman or a chirpy Cockney tells us how to style a house in order to sell it. The problem is that while a lot of us watch these shows, most of us ignore everything we’re told. There’s an…
La Mortola, Sea View

Homes and Houses: La Mortola, the tower and the glory

Riviera Reporter | Jun 01, 2014
The sweet sound of the church bells of La Mortola drift up to the sun-kissed terrace where Carlo Maria Maggia is sipping his espresso. The view is breathtaking, taking in the coast from Capo Nero on the far side of Bordighera to Cap Martin past…
Rented Property

Renting property in France

InterNations | Apr 04, 2014
In light of the current weakness of the Euro against some other currencies, particularly the strong British pound, expats in France might be tempted to buy property there. However, if you prefer to concentrate on finding your feet in France first…
House in hand

Stop a house sale falling down

Tim Clark | Feb 26, 2014
Since I began selling property full-time in France in 2005, I have seen a strong market turn into a very tough market. However, one thing that has remained a constant over the years is the main reason for a house sale to fall through. Given the…
Frejus House Front

Homes and Houses: The tale of a house built on history in Fréjus

Riviera Reporter | Feb 15, 2014
Dun-Roman! There are houses with history, and then there is the villa on the Butte St-Antoine at Fréjus. Among the previous list of propriétaires you’ll find the Roman naval commander for the region. The stone-built villa was constructed 150 years…
Alexandra Palace, Menton

Homes and Houses: Inside the other Ally Pally

Nick Kent | Jan 06, 2014
From that azure day at the end of the 1800s when the Alexandra Palace in Menton first rolled out the red carpet for its carefully-chosen guests, it looked as if all would be well with this exclusive hotel. A few short years later they had just one…
Villa Rose

Homes and Houses: The villa in the Rue des Roses

Nick Kent | Nov 28, 2013
Her engaging smile lights up the elegant salon in which we are sitting. Martine Legrand has started talking about the love of her life, the villa in the rue des Roses. It all started thirty years ago when Martine came to Grasse to work with the…
House Heat Loss

The man who sees through walls, with thermal imaging

Nick Kent | Jan 13, 2013
If you really want to know what’s going on in your home, then Stefan Mayer is the guy for you. While qualifying as a yacht surveyor, the 38-year-old South African became fascinated by the possible uses of thermal imaging – heat-sensitive photography…

Dreaming of a really great summer holiday? Rent out your home

Cressida van Zyl-Pithey | Jan 10, 2012
It doesn’t need to stay a dream. Cressida van Zyl-Pithey explains If you’re living in a house or apartment on the Côte d’Azur then you’re sitting on a goldmine. Well, let’s not exaggerate but you’ve certainly got an asset that could help you turn…

The Viager System

Phil Heinlein | Jan 10, 2012
The story of Me Jean-François Affray and Jeanne Calment (in her 120th year) is uniquely French ... and you couldn’t make it up. One day in 1965 Affray, a notaire in the southern city of Arles, approached Calment, then aged ninety and frail looking,…

If it looks like grass and it feels like grass... it's Royal Grass

Riviera Reporter | Jan 10, 2012
Then It Must Be Grass, Right? Nope! Keeping an impeccable lawn is never easy and on the Riviera it's made even more difficult by lack of water in the summer and the fact that many part-time residents aren't here year-round to tend their turf. Enter…
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