How to Buy Property in France: Expert Advice for Expats

24 June 2024
How to buy property in France as an expat or foreigner
How to buy property in France as an expat or foreigner
Buy property in France with Vendome international property

Buying property in another country is an adventure, and France, with its culture, cuisine, and stunning landscapes, is a particularly appealing choice for expats. From the vineyards of Bordeaux to the bustling streets of Paris, France has much to offer. Whether you’re seeking a permanent residence or a holiday home, navigating the French property market is key. Here’s your expert guide on How to buy Property by making the process smooth and successful.

1. Understanding How to Buy Property In France

1.1. Market Trends

  • Regional Price Differences: Property prices vary widely. Central Paris is expensive, while regions like Dordogne, Evian are more affordable.
  • Recent Market Fluctuations: Prices have been rising, driven by low interest rates.
  • Future Market Predictions: The market is expected to stay strong, making now a good time to buy.

1.2. Types of Properties

  • Typical French Homes: Choose from Provencal farmhouses, Parisian apartments, and Côte d’Azur villas.
  • Pros and Cons: Farmhouses offer space and privacy, while city apartments are convenient and have higher rental yields.
  • Popular Locations: Urban areas provide culture and infrastructure, while rural areas offer tranquility and larger properties.

1.3. Considerations for Foreign Buyers

  • Legal Rights: No restrictions on foreign property ownership in France.
  • Property Taxes and Policies: Be aware of local taxes and national fiscal policies, like the wealth tax.
  • Cultural Nuances: The French market values precise documentation; make sure everything is in order.

2. Preparing for Purchase

2.1. Financial Planning

  • Budgeting: Account for notary fees, agency fees, and taxes beyond the purchase price.
  • Financing Options: French mortgages are available to non-residents with competitive rates.
  • Currency Exchange: Currency fluctuations can affect the final cost; consider using a Forex expert.

2.2. Assembling Your Support Team

  • Real Estate Agent: Choose Vendome property experts.
  • English-speaking Notary: Essential for navigating the legalities only at Vendome property
  • Financial Advisors and Legal Consultants: They help with tax regulations and legal issues.

2.3. Essential Documentation

  • Required Paperwork: Includes proof of identity, income, and more.
  • Obtaining and Verifying Documents: Your agent and notary will assist.
  • Processing Timelines: Expect a few months from offer to completion.

3. Navigating the Legal Landscape

3.1. French Legal System and Property Law

  • Legal Structure: France uses civil law with codified property laws.
  • Key Laws for Buyers: Understand property ownership, taxes, and inheritance laws.
  • Comparative Laws: French law is often more favorable to tenant rights than in other countries.

3.2. The Role of the Notaire

  • Responsibilities: The notary ensures compliance with French law and manages the transaction.
  • Fees and Obligations: Notary fees are a percentage of the property price but we offer discounts on notary fees as well!
  • Effective Collaboration: Keep communication open and understand all advice.

3.3. Understanding the Compromis de Vente (preliminary contract)

  • What It Is: A preliminary, legally binding contract.
  • Buyer Protections: Include conditions like obtaining a mortgage.
  • Steps to Final Agreement: A 10-day cooling-off period follows signing.

4. The Buying Process

4.1. Finding Your Ideal Property with Vendome property

  • Searching Strategies: Visit our website or contact us on whatsapp to know better on How to Buy Property in France
  • Communicating with Agents: Clearly state your needs and budget.
  • Evaluating Properties: Visit multiple times at different times of the day.

4.2. The Negotiation Phase

  • Price and Terms: Know the local market to make reasonable offers.
  • Cultural Practices: French negotiations can be formal; patience is key.
  • Common Pitfalls: Don’t rush decisions; ensure thorough due diligence.

4.3. Closing the Deal

  • Final Checks: Ensure all conditions are met and paperwork is complete.
  • Signing Process: Done at the notary’s office, transferring ownership.
  • Post-Purchase Tasks: Register with local authorities and set up utilities.

5. After the Purchase

5.1. Managing Your New Property with Vendome property

  • Maintenance and Upkeep: Regular maintenance is crucial.
  • Local Services: Find recommended local services for maintenance.
  • Community Rules: Understand local bylaws and cultural norms.

5.2. Taxation and Financial Management

  • Property Taxes: Vary by location and property size.
  • Rental Income: Consider tax implications and rental laws if renting out.
  • Long-term Planning: Prepare for future expenses and property value changes.

5.3. Reselling Your Property with Vendome property

  • Best Practices: Keep the property well-maintained and documented.
  • Timing the Market: Monitor trends to choose a good time to sell.
  • Legal Steps: A notary is needed again for the sale process.


Buying property in France as an expat has become very easy with Vendome properties, as it answers all your queries related to How to Buy Property in France. Understanding the legal framework, financial planning, and managing your new home are all crucial steps. With the proper approach and support, you can enjoy your slice of French life. Bonne chance!


What are the additional costs involved in buying property in France?

  • Notary fees, agency fees, and various taxes. Contact us now to know about FREE Notary fees Scheme.

How long does the typical property buying process take in France?

  • Typically a few months up to six months.

Can foreigners get a mortgage from French banks?

  • Yes, with proper documentation.

What are the responsibilities of a notary in the property buying process?

  • Ensuring legal compliance, drafting and recording the deed, managing payments.

What should I do if I encounter legal issues during or after the purchase?

  • Consult your notary or a legal advisor specializing in French property law.
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