10 Things You Should Know Before Buying A French Property

15 June 2023

10 things you should know before buying a French property

Buying A French Property Is A Dream Many Of Us Hold! It Is Both An Exciting And Enjoyable Experience.

However, Buying A Home In A Foreign Country Can Be Difficult, Especially If You Don’t Speak The Language And Are Unfamiliar With The Process.

Let Us Summarize The Following Points For You To Consider Before Purchasing Your Dream Home Or Apartment In France:

1- Taxes

It Is Important To Give Consideration To The Local Taxes As Well As Inheritance Taxes Both In France And The Country Of Your Residence. Local Taxes That You Will Have To Pay As The Owner And Occupier Of A Property Are Property Tax (Taxe Foncière) And Residential Tax (Tax Habitation).

The Owner Is Responsible For Paying The Property Tax On January 1st Of The Year Of Purchase. It Is Set To Last The Entire Year.

The Person Residing On The Property Is Responsible For Paying The Residential Tax On January 1st Of Each Year.So, If You Rent Out Your Property, You Are Exempt Because The ‘Occupier’ Pays The Tax.

The Inheritance Tax Is Another Significant Tax. Many Buyers Seek Legal Advice Before Purchasing A French Property In This Area.

The Other Important Tax Is The Inheritance Tax. This Is One Area Where Many Buyers Seek Legal Advice Prior To Buying A French Property.

2- Insurance

When Buying A French Property. You Should Ensure It As Soon As You Become The Owner. You Can Simply Take Over The Previous Owner’s Insurance, But It Might Be Best To Take Out Insurance Tailored To Your Own Needs. 

3- Mortgage:

There Is A Possibility To Get Finance (Mortgage) From French Banks, Even If You Are Not A French Citizen Or Resident. Once You Sign The Reservation Contract, You Have 45 Days To Apply For A Mortgage, And One Month To Get The Initial Approval.

If The Mortgage Is Not Approved, The Contract Is Cancelled And The Buyer Claims Back The Deposit

(The Suspensive Condition Must Be Specified In The Preliminary Contracts.)

French Banks Will Lend Up To 80% Of The Purchase Price For A Classic Freehold, And 70% For A Leaseback. The Banks Are Able To Offer Both Fixed And Variable Rates Mortgages. The Duration Of The Loan Is Usually 5, 10, 15 And 20 Years.

4- Legal Or Notary Fees

The Legal Cost Or Most Commonly Known As Notary Fees Has To Be Transferred To The Public Notary’s Escrow Account Prior To The Signature Of The Title Deed Of Sale. It Is About 2.5% To 3% If The Property Is Off-Plan And Paid With The 2nd Instalment Towards The Property.  For Resale Property, It Is About 7% To 8% Of The Price And Is Paid With The Final Instalment.

5- Conveyancing

A Notaire Handles The Conveyancing Process, Which Usually Takes Two To Three Months.It Is Followed By The Signing (By Buyer And Seller) Of The Act De Vente (Deed Of Sale, Usually In The Notaire’s Office). Alternatively, The Buyer Can Provide A Power Of Attorney In His/Her Country Of Residence, Legalised. The Buyer Then Sends Legalised Power Of Attorney To The Notary Office To Permit Him To Exchange The Contracts.

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6- Cooling Off Period

The Buyer Then Has A 10-Day Period During Which They Can Cancel For Any Reason And Not Lose Their Deposit.

7- Deposit And Initial Contracts:

Once You Have Decided On A Property And Have Mutually Agreed Upon The Price, You As A Buyer And The Developer/Seller Will Sign A Document Known As A Reservation Contract (In 3 Copies). This Is The Legally Binding Document Which Confirms That The Developer/Seller Must Sell The Property To The Buyer. At The Same Time, You Put Down Your Deposit Into The Escrow Account Of The Notaire Public. The Deposit Is Usually Between 2% To 5% For An Off-Plan Property And For Resale, It Is 10%.

The Notary Keep The Deposit Until The Signature Of ‘Definitive Contract’ For Transfer Of Title Deed (Which Is The Next Step) And Then The Deposit Is Transferred To The Developer.

The Paid Deposit Will Be Deducted From The Price Of The Property.

8- French Notaire

In France, All Purchases Have To Be Done Through The Notaire Public.

A Notaire Is A Legal Specialist With A Public Authority Mission Who Draws Up Authenticated Contracts On Behalf Of His Clients.

A Notaire Is A Public Officer Who Operates In Every Area Of Law Including Family, Property Inheritance, Asset, Company Law, Countryside Law, Local Authorities, Etc.

He Represents The State And Is Appointed By The Minister Of Justice, And The Fact That An Instrument Is Drawn Up By A Notaire Ensures Its Legality And Authenticity.

All This Means That The Notaires Are Vested With Prerogatives Of Official Authority Which They Receive From The State.

Furthermore, The Notaire Holds An Escrow Account To Receive The Funds From The Buyer.

9- Location 

France Is One Of The Most Beautiful Countries In Europe, If Not The Most Beautiful.

With The Most Diverse Landscape: From Historic Cities To Spectacular Countryside For Nature Lovers To Mountains And Beaches On The Mediterranean And Atlantic, And The Most Scenic Lakes Surrounded By Greenery.

The Options Will Overwhelm You. So Think Carefully About Where You Want To Buy.

10- Motive – Why Investing In A French Property ?

You Can Start Searching Your French Property In Our Website,Make A List Of Your Property, Location, And Neighborhood Requirements To Help You Find The Right Place. If You Know Exactly What You Want, You Will Undoubtedly Be Able To Find It. France Has Always Been A Great Place To Invest Due To Its Highly Regulated Real Estate Market. Vacationing Is A Profitable Business, And Purchasing A Second Home Is A Wise And Secure Way To Invest Your Money. In France, There Are Three Types Of Property. Traditional Freehold, Leasehold, And DIY Leaseback.

VENDOME INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY Will Help You Find Your French Property

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You May Find Your  French Property Here Also You Can Find A Useful Article In This Link: Buy A House In France – Amazing Facts