When you invest money and time in your own Charente property, management and care of your home are really important. Whether you’re going to be away for a few weeks or several months, you’ll want to be sure that your property is going to be well looked after. And wouldn’t it be nice if when you come back your home in the Charente is as cosy and welcoming as when you left...
What sort of qualities would you look for in someone to look after your home?
At Home in the Charente Property Management, we regularly check with our clients to make sure we’re providing the service they want and expect and what qualities they see in us.
Here’s their Top 5:
1. Trustworthy: Our clients know that they can trust us with their property and possessions and rely on us to do everything we promise. In some cases we have been left with cash to pay third party trades-people. In others we look after their cheque book. And we even have instances where we are given Power of Attorney. This gives our clients great peace of mind.
2. Experienced: Having lived in the Charente since 1991 (and managed properties for most of that time), there are not many situations we have not dealt with successfully. This means that we can solve potential problems swiftly and efficiently – saving clients time, money and headaches.
3. Great value: Our clients regularly tell us that we don’t charge enough for everything that we do. But we enjoy what we do, so we share our enjoyment. We also keep our fees simple: just £30 per month for each property and £15 per hour for any work we do
4. Friendly: Even those clients who have sold up and returned home stay in regular contact with us and visit whenever they pass through. Maybe it’s not us; maybe we just have very friendly clients! But for whatever reason, we’ve never lost a client except when they have moved away. That must say something about the relationships we build.
5. Good Communicators: We stay in regular contact with our clients and keep them informed of everything that affects their property. We even set up their own private pages on the Home in the Charente website, where we post pictures of their property and let them know what’s going on locally. So they feel like they’re here - even when they can’t be.
Managing a Property in the Charente
How can we help you with your home?
We can be as involved as much or as little as you want us to be. From when you first find your property; or to just keeping an eye on things for a month or so; and everything in between.
When you first find your property
When you have found the property that’s just right for you we can help you to negotiate – either with the owner directly, or with the estate agent, depending on how you found the property. This is where our local knowledge can help you to secure your property for the right price.
We can also help with finding a French mortgage should you want one.
If you need one of us to act as an interpreter for your discussions with the vendors, agents, Notaires, banks, insurance companies, or local Mairie, we’ll be there for you.
Take a look at our Property Finding Service page to see more about how we can help with buying a home in the Charente.
If you need us to, we will arrange for: water, electricity, telephone and Internet accounts to be set up for you. We can help you open a bank account; transfer funds from UK to France - saving you a lot of time and hassle – (and money, because we get extremely competitive rates through contacts in the money markets).
When you first move into your new home
So, now you’ve moved in. Boxes everywhere. You’re thinking, “We’ve actually done it!”. Everything’s different, which is part of the fun, but there are still some basic, everyday things that have to be sorted out. Many of the answers to your questions can be found in the pages of this website. But, if there's any hands-on help you require, e.g. with finding French lessons; registering with doctors, dentists, hospitals; organising furniture deliveries; airport and train station collections; sorting out the swimming pool; etc. please just ask. Some of these may incur expenses which we will agree with you beforehand.
When you have to leave your second home for a while
It can be a wrench. You’ve adjusted to the slower pace of life. The house and garden are looking just how you like them. And then you have to leave. Knowing full well that when you come back you will have to spend the first part of your precious, all-too-short, time here getting everything back into shape.
Then there are those nagging doubts. You know the sort. You were under time pressure because you had a plane or a boat to catch. You’re sure you shut all the shutters, but did you lock the back door? Or “Did I turn the water off?”; “Did I leave the hot water turned on?”...
Not to mention those perennial concerns like whether the roof tiles will withstand the winter storms; or if a severe frost will burst the pipes; or some other damage leaves your home vulnerable.
All this could take some of the shine and enjoyment out of owning your home in the Charente. But not if you’re one of our clients. You will arrive to a clean house, with hot water in the taps and cold wine and beer in the fridge and a freshly stocked food cupboard. Crisp, fresh linen on your beds and a garden ready for you to relax in. And you will have had the peace of mind of knowing that your home has been well cared for whilst you were away.
When there is work to be done
From time to time you will probably want (or need) to have work done on your property, but you would prefer to have it done whilst you are not trying to enjoy a well-earned break. We can source local artisans and skilled craftsmen to carry out any projects for you. We’ll also keep a watching brief on progress and costs to make sure you don’t have any nasty surprises when you get back.
When you are looking for services as unique and individual as your home
Clients are frequently surprised by the range of services the Home in the Charente team provide. And just when we think we have an exhaustive list, someone will ask us to do something else and we extend the list.
Currently the range includes:
· Key holding
· Property inspection
· House maintenance
· Garden maintenance
· Pool maintenance
· Laundry and cleaning services
· Contacting and organising utilities and other suppliers
· Dealing with banks, money transfer, insurance companies
· Dealing with local authorities and national government
· Vehicle registration and maintenance
· Airport and train station runs
· Guest welcoming and liaison
· Domestic equipment maintenance and replacement
· Hornet and wasp extermination
· Bee-hive removal and relocation
· PC & Internet maintenance
In short, there are not many things we will refuse to look at. And if we can’t do something ourselves, we have a network of trusted, reliable experts that we can get on the case for you.
If you would like us to look after your home in the Charente, simply get in touch with us here for a free, no-obligation, chat.