France is renowned for its bureaucracy and for good reason. If you don’t speak fluent French and are looking to buy building land in France, then we’d therefore recommend using a translator rather than trying to make your way with semi-decent French and risking missing some vital information.
English speaking building firms who can undertake jobs of the complexity required to build a whole house are also in higher demand and you may find you save yourself money and have better options in the long run working with a French translator than muddling through yourself.
A building plot in French is called a ‘terrain a bâtir’ and while obtaining planning permission is easier in France than the UK, the simplest way to find land to build a house on is to obtain one that already has planning permission.
Obvious places to buy land include local agents, websites and newspapers, however plots of land are also available at the local mayor’s office (‘mairie’) and you might pick up a piece of building land here for a bargain price. Having a good relationship with your mairie can make the whole process go a lot smooth, so this is highly recommended (another reason to use a translator!)