View of Port de Nice in French Riviera

The French Riviera is a dream destination for many people. It has a breathtaking coastline, attractive towns, and a luxurious lifestyle. There is a lot to think about before purchasing a home in the French Riviera.

You should be aware of the costs involved, your intention for buying, the location, the best times to buy, and how to handle maintenance from afar. Our guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make a smart, informed decision and turn your dream of owning a home on the French Riviera into a reality.

What will you use your second home for?

When considering a second home on the French Riviera, it’s important to think about what you will be using your second home for. Understanding the primary use of your second home will guide your choices in location, size, and amenities. If it’s a family getaway, proximity to beaches and kid-friendly activities might be key. If you’re looking for a more permanent move, you might look for a property in a quieter area with access to parks, good schools, and family-friendly restaurants.

For entertaining, you might prioritise luxurious features and accessibility to a vibrant nightlife. If rental income is a goal, you’ll need to think about what appeals to tourists, such as convenience and local attractions. Clarifying who you’re buying for will help ensure your investment meets your needs and expectations.


You may want to use or rent out your secondary home. Either way, having your secondary home in a good location means you can solve both concerns. If you seek the buzz of city life, areas like Nice, Cannes, and Monaco are ideal, offering upscale shopping, fine dining, and vibrant nightlife. Saint Tropez also offers the ultimate luxurious lifestyle, along with stunning beaches and a top-class marina.

For a more relaxed, picturesque setting, consider charming towns like Antibes, Menton, or Saint-Raphaël, known for their stunning beaches, quaint markets, and historic sites. Saint-Paul de Vence is also a more serene environment known for its cobblestone streets, architecture, and art galleries. Our property in Saint-Paul de Vence is also a 23km or 35-minute drive from Mougins International British School. Proximity to schools is also important, especially for longer stays or if you plan to rent the property to those moving into the area. 

If you are looking to get away for a quick weekend, being close to an airport is also very important. Nice city centre is roughly 7 km or a 15-minute drive from the Nice Côte d’Azur airport. Cannes is roughly 17km from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.

You should also consider the views and the atmosphere—whether you prefer a beachfront property, a villa with panoramic views, or a home in a quiet village. Thoroughly researching and visiting potential areas will help you find the perfect location that aligns with your lifestyle and investment goals on the French Riviera.

Saint Tropez, French Riviera

Can I afford it?

It’s important to find out if you can afford a second home on the French Riviera, before attempting to purchase. This involves more than just the initial purchase price; you need to consider property taxes, maintenance costs, insurance, solicitor fees and any potential renovations or upgrades. You should also remember the fluctuating exchange rates if you’re buying from abroad, as this can impact your overall budget.

Financing options may differ, so it’s wise to explore mortgages available to non-residents and consult with a financial advisor familiar with French property laws. Don’t forget to account for ongoing expenses such as utilities, property management fees, and travel costs for visits. A thorough financial evaluation will help ensure that your dream of owning a second home on the French Riviera is both achievable and sustainable.

Activities and lifestyle

The region’s stunning Mediterranean coastline offers endless opportunities for water sports, including sailing, jet skiing, and scuba diving in crystal-clear waters. Inland, you’ll find picturesque hiking and cycling trails that wind through charming villages and scenic landscapes. 

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy world-class courses with views such as the La Grande Bastide Golf Club. Culture lovers will relish the Riviera’s vibrant arts scene, featuring renowned museums, galleries, and annual festivals like the Cannes Film Festival.

Culinary aficionados can indulge in exquisite dining experiences, from Michelin-starred restaurants to bistros serving Provençal cuisine. The mild climate allows for year-round outdoor activities and alfresco dining. 

Home expenses 

Owning a second home on the French Riviera involves more than just the purchase price; you should factor in ongoing home expenses to ensure a realistic budget. Maintenance costs can vary depending on the property type and size, encompassing everything from regular upkeep and gardening to repairs and renovations.

When purchasing a second home in France, property taxes must be considered. Property taxes in France, known as “taxe foncière” (property tax) and “taxe d’habitation,” (residence tax) will also contribute to your annual expenses.

Utilities, including electricity, water, gas, and internet, must be accounted for, along with home insurance to protect your investment. If you’re considering renting out your home, property management fees will be an additional cost. There is also the potential need for security services and travel expenses for frequent visits, so keep that in mind.

Legal considerations

French property laws can be complex, especially for non-residents, so it’s important to understand the legal requirements before buying a second home in France. This includes the role of the notaire, a public official who oversees the transaction to ensure its legality, as well as understanding property taxes, zoning laws, and any restrictions that may apply to foreign buyers.

Thorough due diligence is vital, including verifying property titles, checking for encumbrances, and ensuring compliance with local regulations. If you plan to renovate or rent out the property, additional permits and legal considerations may be necessary. Consult with us at Mansion Properties to help you navigate the complex process of purchasing a second home in France.

Our role at Mansion Properties

At Mansion Properties, our mission is to turn your real estate aspirations into reality, whether you’re looking to buy your perfect home, invest in real estate opportunities, or sell your property. With a deep understanding of the French Riviera market, our dedicated team of experts offers personalised guidance through every step of the process.

We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive services, from finding exquisite properties that match your desires to navigating complex local regulations and negotiations. For investors, we identify prime opportunities to maximise returns, while our sellers benefit from our strategic marketing and vast network to achieve the best possible outcomes. Contact us to be your partner in making informed, successful real estate decisions when purchasing a second home in France, on the French Riviera.