Buying property in France as a foreigner | Guide for expats

26 June 2024
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Buy property in France as a foreigner
Buy property in France as a foreigner

 

Yes, foreigners, including non-residents, can buy property in France. There are no restrictions on the type or size of the property, whether it’s a chalet, apartment, hotel, etc. You can buy property in your own name, with your partner or children, or even in the name of a company.

Deposits: You can make a deposit from a foreign account. You will need a valid ID and to set up a French bank account. Your real estate agent can guide you through this process and assist with after-sale services.

Reasons to Buy Property in France

  • Luxury escape
  • Future retirement
  • Change of scene
  • Investment
  • Family home for holidays

Contact an experienced real estate agent like Vendome International Property to help you navigate the process smoothly.

List of Cities in France and Their Market Values

Paris

  • Economic Hub: A blend of historical charm and modern innovation.
  • Real Estate Market: Competitive prices compared to London and Frankfurt, with diverse properties (new buildings, Haussmannian architecture, etc.).
  • Attractions: Major political, economic, and cultural center with the 2nd largest airport in Europe (Roissy).
  • Investment: High international influence ensures continuous demand and good investment opportunities.

Lake Geneva

  • Location: Haute-Savoie, at the foot of the French and Swiss Alps.
  • Activities: Skiing, snowboarding, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, cycling, and more.
  • Convenience: Close to Geneva, with its international airport and train station.
  • Real Estate Market: Booming, with high demand for housing in the Lac Léman area. Offers luxury villas, apartments, and townhouses.

French Riviera

  • Attractions: Golden beaches and beautiful villages, 310-330 days of sunshine per year.
  • Activities: Golf, sailing, cultural visits, excellent dining, and more.
  • Real Estate Market: Desirable for overseas buyers. Properties here hold or increase in value. Offers both luxury villas and affordable apartments.
  • Convenience: Nice international airport connects to 100 destinations. High rental potential and capital growth.

How to Find a Property in France and Avoid Scams

  1. Understand Your Requirements: Determine if the investment is for personal use, pure investment, or both.
  2. Decide on Location: Choose a region based on your preferences.
  3. Set a Realistic Budget: Compare similar properties in the chosen region.
  4. Approach a Professional Agent: A reputable real estate agent can guide you through the process.
  5. Review the Property: Ensure it matches your criteria.
  6. Proceed Quickly: Good properties do not stay on the market for long.

Use a Notaire: All property purchases in France must go through a notaire, ensuring the transaction’s legality and authenticity.

Types of Properties and Return on Investment (ROI)

Classic Freehold

  • Ownership: You own the property outright.
  • Usage: Personal use or rental.
  • Flexibility: Full control over the property.

Leaseback Developments

  • Concept: Buy a property and lease it back to a management company for 9-11 years.
  • Benefits: 20% VAT rebate, guaranteed rental income (4-5%), prime locations, hassle-free investment.

DIY Leaseback

  • Concept: Buy a new “classic freehold” property and lease it commercially to benefit from a 20% VAT rebate.
  • Requirements: Rent for a minimum period each year, cannot occupy the property for more than 182 days per year.
  • Flexibility: Potentially higher returns with some commitment to renting.

How Do I Get a Bank Loan/Mortgage?

  1. Apply for Mortgage: You have 45 days to apply after signing the reservation contract and one month for initial approval.
  2. If Mortgage is Declined: The contract is canceled, and you can claim back the deposit or continue as a ‘cash buyer’.
  3. Loan Conditions: French banks lend up to 80% of the purchase price for classic freeholds and 70% for leasebacks. Usually, you need to hold 20% of the purchase price in a savings account with the bank.
  4. Loan Duration and Rates: Loans typically last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Interest rates are currently low, making long-term fixed rates attractive.

Conclusion

With its regulated property market and attractive investment opportunities, France is an excellent place to buy property. Whether you’re looking for a luxury villa on the French Riviera, a charming apartment in Paris, or a serene lakeside home by Lake Geneva, France offers diverse and lucrative real estate options. Working with a professional real estate agent and understanding the types of properties and financing options can ensure a smooth and successful property purchase in France.

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In the heart of portes du soleil
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In praise of the poet
BUY PROPERTY IN FRANCE

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