Find your New Build

Why buy with us?
  • Registered estate agent under French law with prior experience in property development
  • Regular on-site visits
  • Based in South of France where you plan to buy
  • Specialist in new build French property with insider knowledge
  • Focus on South of France and in-depth local knowledge
  • Careful selection of property portfolio thanks to former experience in development
  • A one-stop-service based in France: no need to ‘hand you over’ to someone else
  • Bilingual independent and free purchasing help and after sales service
of new  build
  • Financial advantages : no estate agent fee
  • Financial advantages : reduced land taxes
  • Financial advantages : refundable deposit
  • Financial advantages : no uncertain & extra costs of renovation
  • Peace of mind : no renovation hassle
  • A personalised home in a wide choice of properties : an extensive choice of property style, type and size
  • Financial advantages : better resale & letting potential
  • Financial advantages : stage payments
  • Guaranteed quality : easier to let property
  • Guaranteed quality : lower energy costs
  • Peace of mind : secure and regulated buying procedure
  • Guaranteed quality : latest building regulations
  • Peace of mind : a ready-to-move-in property
  • Peace of mind : financial guarantee of completion
  • Financial advantages : low maintenance and running costs
  • Guaranteed quality : modern comfort and safety in well-designed home
  • Financial advantages : lower notary fees
  • A personalised home in a wide choice of properties

Before buying

Finding a proper building plot

The very first step is of course to find a building plot for your French new home. You can start your search from the UK by visiting different websites and contact the seller or estate agent. Sunny French Property can help you too in the search. If you want to search by yourself, the following information is important to look for:

Is the building plot in the immediate vicinity of services such as water, electricity, main drains?
Does the building plot come with an outline planning permission (Certificat d’Urbanisme in French)? If so, ask to receive a copy since it is just valid for 18 months. If there is no outline planning permission then you should ask for one. An outline planning permission is to be obtained for free at the local “mairie” (town hall). Ask for a detailed outline planning permission which will indicate if your project of new build house is feasible on this land. The document called Certificat d’Urbanisme Opérationnel will state rights of way, the legal easements or other constraints attached to the land and that might restrict your use and enjoyments, the existing or foreseen public equipments and taxes.

To obtain this “certificat” you must fill in an official form which you can download from the internet. Just type: Cerfa n°13410*01 in your search engine and you will be directed on the correct file to which you will have to add a description of your project precising the destination, nature and habitable area of the foreseen building, a plan of the land and a situation map of the land in the area. All this documents have to be sent in 4 copies (or 6 if you are in a protected area) to the local town hall. The local authorities must answer within 2 months.

You may also wish to consult at the local city hall, the Zoning Plan called Plan Local d’Urbanisme (PLU) and formerly known as POS (Plan d’Occupation des Sols) which shows how the town area is divided. Each zone has a special set of rules that you can also consult as this can give additional information to those in the Certificat d’Urbanisme.

You can obtain an up to date registered plan of the property (“plan cadastral”) showing its extent and boundaries. “Le cadastre” can be consulted on and with the address of the plot you can print out free extracts. Yet “Plan cadastral” has no value with regards to property and if one wants to be absolutely sure about the boundaries and hence the area of the plot it is best to buy a property where a boundaries and surface survey (“bornage et arpentage”) have been carried out by a “géomètre-expert”.

Then there are other aspects than administrative constructability to be taken into account when buying a building plot. A flat land with a simple geometric form will be easier and cheaper for a builder to manage. Orientation of your future house may have a significant impact on your energy costs: autumn and winter sun entering your house may delay the use of central heating by a few weeks. The nature and quality of soil will influence the building process and therefore its cost. You may ask an expert for a soil survey. The seller must inform you whether the land was formerly used for industrial or mining purposes. You may also want to consult the “Plan de Prévention des Risques” (risks prevention plan) which is attached to the Zoning Plan of each town. It states and describes the natural and technological risks in each town. You can also download from the internet on

Unless you buy inside a housing estate (“lotissement”) you will have to take into account the connection to services. Normally services are available on the plot boundaries but not automatically. It might not be the case if the local authorities have classified the area as constructible before bringing in the services and public equipment, or if the land is far from the services network, or if the land is steep and will require special equipment. In any case your budget should take into account the connection between your house and the networks located on your land boundaries.

When buying inside a housing estate, all these matters will have been dealt with by the company (“lotisseur”). Nevertheless you will have to check that your project is compatible with the estate communal rules and you should check if there are any easements and rights of way on your plot.

How to avoid all this paperwork?


We have selected a French builder operating in Dordogne around Sarlat and who can help you in the whole process of finding a building plot. Thanks to their local knowledge and experience in building new houses, they will be able to help you to find an appropriate building land for your project of French villa.

It does not mean that you won't have your homework to do but things will seem easier once advised by a local professional.