Investing in property overseas as a means to split your time equally between sunny skies abroad and rain clouds at home requires a lot of preparation.

Indeed, choosing a location, deciding on a villa with or without a pool and securing second home insurance are all key aspects to take into consideration, and one expert believes language is also particularly important if you're planning to integrate with your new neighbours.

Jennifer Stevens, executive editor at InternationalLiving.com, said: "If you are going to a place where they speak another language, one of the best things you can do to get integrated easily and quickly is to spend a little time getting to learn that language ahead of the move."

While learning a new language is not the sort of process that occurs overnight, paying attention to the basics and getting acquainted with common phrases could be a good start, and people often tend to pick things up as they go along once they have spent more time in their new surroundings.

Ms Stevens also recommends carrying out a 'test drive' of the lifestyle that you're planning on living. This would involve going abroad for a number of weeks to the destination that you're thinking about moving to, getting to know the local area and deciding whether or not it is suitable for your needs.

As well as these aspects, property prices and mortgage availability also have to be taken into account as these can ultimately be deciding factors when it comes to the type of apartment you can afford.

One expert in French mortgages for Brits believes that France currently offers a vast range of good financial opportunities to potential buyers of property in the country.

"The French mortgage market is one of the most active in the world with some of the best conditions for non-residents and also expats," John-Luke Busby told The Telegraph.