Buying a House in Provence: The first few steps… - Only Provence
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Buying a House in Provence: The first few steps…

The first few steps…Buying a House in Provence


Perhaps you have been renting a villa in Provence for years, or maybe all it took was one week of its earthly magic to take hold… either way, you can’t seem to shake the idea of having a place to call your own in this idyllic region.  Where do you begin?  It can be intimidating for a foreigner to navigate the ins and outs of the administrative process of buying a property in Provence. France is known for its fantastic wine and cheese, yet also for its maze of paperwork, complex rules, and tax regulations.

What could feel like a daunting process becomes a pleasure when working with the knowledgeable staff in the Real Estate Division of Only Provence, all of whom have first-hand knowledge and experience buying, renovating and renting properties in the region.


If you are thinking of purchasing in Provence, here are a few helpful criteria to consider at the outset of your search:

  • What type of property are you looking for?  farmhouse/ country house, village house or newer construction?
  • Do you hope to be walking distance to a village or town?
  • What type of village appeals to you— more active all year round, or quiet and quaint?
  • Are you in need of International schools?
  • Are you prepared to renovate?
  • Will you be considering villa rental for once you have purchased?

When to house-hunt?

Many of Provence’s fabulous properties are rented during the peak summer weeks between May and September, or are occupied by the owners themselves.  We suggest carving out a few dedicated days in the low season, either in April or October, when the houses are easily viewed and we can take our time exploring all of the available options for sale with you.  Since many of the properties also function as income producing vacation rentals in Provence, options to stay in the home offer an invaluable opportunity to experience a property first-hand prior to buying.

Matching you with the perfect location

It’s helpful to have an understanding the general lay of the land and the most notable corners of the region.  Inland Provence, excluding the Riviera,  can typically be divided into four main areas

Aix-en-Provence and surrounding areas

The Luberon Moutains

The Alpilles region

Avignon and surrounding areas

Each area within this highly sought after region of France will logically have its own unique spirit and personality.  With decades of combined experience working, living and managing properties in Provence, we can help guide you narrow down your criteria, identifying the right blend of country or village setting with proximity to what it most important to you, be it the quieter lifestyle found near Lourmarin or Goult, or a more lively one near the popular town of Saint Remy.

Are you prepared to renovate?

For many, the dream of owning in Provence involves experiencing some of what Peter Mayle describes with such candor as moves into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the Luberon.  It can be viewed almost as a right of passage when purchasing in Provence.  But for others, the priorities involve bypassing the time and patience required to navigate renovation to get on with the beauty of simply living there.

Whatever the visions are for owning your own slice of heaven in Provence, Only Provence is happy to guide you to your home.

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Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon,, and Amazon.Fr.