Home Hunts has made a name for itself in luxury property circles, both locally and globally, in the short number of years since its establishment.
Back in 2005 when Tim Swannie and Francois-Xavier de Vial (both pictured below) founded Home Hunts, a luxury buyer’s agent, they could not have predicted the European financial crisis that was to start two years later – and the impact it would have on the property market.
But, despite this, Home Hunts has thrived – and the company, which started off selling properties on the Riviera and Monaco, also now has a substantial presence throughout France as well as New York, Geneva and London.
With New York, London and Paris rated by Knight Frank’s 2013 Wealth Report as the top three cities that matter the most to high net worth individuals, Tim and Francois have established themselves as market leaders in the most sought-after, safe haven cities in the world.
But as a fully-registered French immobilier with its own carte professionnelle, it is still France – the world’s most popular tourist destination with around 80 million visitors each year – that remains the company’s biggest market.
“The last few years have been fantastic for us and we have never been busier,” said Tim. “The French housing market is very stable and because the lending criteria are strict, people cannot overstretch themselves. As a result there hasn’t been a huge sub-prime lending problem here, like in so many other countries.”
Home Hunts works with the best-selling agents in France so that the team can search the whole market for their clients and suggest the most suitable properties. With more than 30 trained property specialists across the country – on the Riviera, and in Provence, Brittany, Languedoc-Roussillon, south-west France, the Alps and Paris – Home Hunts is able to present the best properties that each area has to offer, as well as keep up with the demand for French property.
“All our consultants are trained and experts in their own areas, so we really do have a detailed and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the different regions and the French market,” said Tim. “The Riviera is still one of our most popular locations for investors, and, as I’m based on the Côte d’Azur, I can often meet clients personally who are looking to buy in this area.”
Within France, Home Hunts sells properties that start at €600,000 (minimum price is €1,000,000 on the Riviera) – and the sky’s the limit at the top end of the scale. “Whether clients are looking for a renovated farmhouse in the French countryside, a ski chalet in the Alps, a vineyard in Bordeaux or a luxurious villa with a sea-view in Monaco, we are able to show them the very best of what is available,” said Tim.
While searching Home Hunts’ website is the best place to start when looking for properties, buyers should also bear in mind that, as discretion plays a major part in the service that Home Hunts offers, not all available properties are listed online.
“Often the team is aware of properties that can perfectly match a client’s needs, but because many sellers wish to keep their business private and confidential, we could only suggest them to our customers once we know exactly what they are looking for,” said Tim.
He added: “The fact that we’re a buyer’s agent means that we work for the client – not the estate agent or the seller of the property – and this guarantees buyers a completely personalised and independent service. We can also recommend excellent mortgage, tax and financial partners – and all this at no additional cost to the client.”
Visit the Home Hunts website to start searching for the most luxurious properties for sale in France, or call +33 (0)970 44 66 43 to speak directly with a member of the Home Hunts team.
All images courtesy Home Hunts