Property Search

Search and Relocation Criteria - a factsheet from John West of Charente Gems sarl.

When choosing an Agent to act for you in your Property Search and Relocation it is essential to choose an experienced professional who knows the local market and is sensitive to the needs of his clients.

John West (diploma in Architecture, Oxford UK) of French Property Specialists sarl Charente Gems advises clients to look for industry professionals with the following three key attributes;

Enthusiasm - Knowledge - Local Experience



John’s passion is for quality buildings and creating beautiful living environments. He has been involved in the renovation of character property for over thirty years, both in the UK and overseas. John brings his enthusiasm to his clients own needs and requirements to achieve a successful outcome within the budgets and criteria agreed by each client. On his appointment, you can expect John to give you total commitment to achieving your own goals.


A successful Search Agent must have an in-depth knowledge, not just of the property market but also of the fabric and construction detailing of the properties themselves. As a Trained Architect, John has the knowledge to point clients in the right direction as regards any alterations or renovations that would be necessary after purchase. A property may look satisfactory at a preliminary glance but may hold hidden problems for an unwary purchaser. “Knowledge” is also “Power” and a good pre-purchase report highlighting potential defects can often enable the purchaser to negotiate substantial reductions in the asking price. John can be commissioned to provide such a report, in French where necessary, to assist in price negotiations. John also has a wide range of contacts within the construction industry that can be made available to clients with whom he would be working to produce reliable estimates of the costs of any renovations.

Local Experience

John has been active in the Property Market in SW France since 2002, speaks fluent French and lives in the Area. On a personal level, in the past three years he has himself negotiated contracts and bought renovated and re-sold property worth over 750,000 Euros in his own right. As Managing Director of sarl Charente Gems he has also advised numerous clients on their search and subsequent property purchases and has successfully obtained building permits by design drawings submitted on their behalf to local Mairies. In the case of a recent client, John advised on the purchase contract documents, acted as translator at the legal signing, obtained permits for a Gite Complex in the Barns and produced the design drawings necessary for their approvals. The client is now selling the renovated properties and is looking at a capital gain of over 120,000 Euros in under 16 months.

for more information - visit the Charente Gems Website

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