In many European countries, it is normal to have a property survey. Often there are two surveys ; the first variety is for the lender and is restricted to establishing the value for any future re-possession, the second is a more detailled survey for the future owner. The contents of the second survey will often form the basis of negotiations with the vendor.
The majority of property transactions in France take place without an independent survey. Vendors are bound to disclose known problems. Newer properties will have a 10 year guarantee. Older properties, therefore, are generally bought on trust.
Conventional French wisdom is to visit with a builder or architect if there is an obvious problem.
Even the fluent French speaking overseas buyer has the disadvantage of not knowing local construction methods and materials.
Surveyors advice on buying property in France.