Buying guide

French Property Buyer’s guide

Here at Property Chic we realise the importance of investing wisely and it is with this in mind that we have developed the following guide for those who are interested in buying property in France.

When you decide to invest in a property, Property Chic will guide you every step of the way. This guide however, should give you a good idea of what steps lay ahead of you. Everything is transparent, clear and precise to suit your property criteria’s.

But first, some tips.

  • Location, location, location – the most important part of your decision. Take into consideration what the locale may look like in 10 years time and make your choice wisely by speaking to other individuals who may have bought property in the area.
  • Decide on a property type – would you like your new property to be modern and newly built or of a more traditional style, apartment block, house, villa, detached etc.? There are a multitude of property types to choose from, if you are unsure give us a call and we can go through your options with you in detail.
  • Budget – look at your budget realistically and stick to it! We can provide you with transparent cash flows to show you all the costs involved.
  • Funds – if you are relying on the sale of another property to secure payment on your investment, we would advise you to have the sale completed before you start the buying process.
  • Be aware that fees to purchase a new build property will be around 4% and an existing property 8% of the purchase price incl of VAT.

If you’ve decided to purchase your property with a French mortgage it’s wise to first get pre-qualified by a French Mortgage Broker to ensure that you qualify for the amount you want to borrow. Most people make the mistake of placing their deposit down too quickly before actually crunching the numbers and making sure the bank will lend them the money. The French banks don’t calculate your mortgage eligibility in the same format as the UK and Irish banks do, so this exercise cuts out a lot of time and frustration. Property Chic will assist you to ensure you first qualify for the amount you need, and secondly your down payment and monthly shortfall repayments are affordable.

With the assistance of Property Chic you will have located your ideal property in no time, after that come these steps, which we will assist you with

Step 1:Speak with our in house French Mortgage Broker to find out exactly how much can you borrow from the French Banks.

Step2: We will propose the properties that are within your budget range and provide you with a cash flow that is completely transparent shown you exactly how much you need as a down payment to cover deposits and purchasing costs. The monthly shortfall if any will also be indicated on the cash flow. You know from the start exactly how much your investment will costs you from the beginning and any additional charges relating to your property.

Step3: Place your deposit to secure your property by transferring 5% or 10% deposit to your French Notary. All funds are held within your French notary until completion of the property and contracts are signed. Your deposit is completely re-fund able if you cannot obtain a french mortgage.

Step4: You will receive your reservation contracts with the full terms and conditions of the property that you’re purchasing. This contract will have to be signed and initialled on each page and sent back to propertychic so we can check that there no missing information before sending it to the developer for counter signature. Once all parties have signed the reservation contract it’s sent to the notary office. You will also need to provide a copy of your passport, marriage certificate along to the notaries office.

Step 5: French Mortgages can take up to 3-4 months to get approval, once an approval is given the Notary office is happy to send out your title deeds or “Acte de Vente”, by ensuring everything is in order. The Notary is nominated by the vendor but they act without discrimination for both parties and their part of the state.

Step6: We will assist you in signing for your title deeds to ensure everything is in place. A breakdown of cost is provided with your purchase from the notary shown all the fees involved and your stage payments.

Step7: A certain % of the first stage payment will be required to be transferred to the Notaire, along with title deeds completed signed, Life insurance, Mortgage offer in Place.

Here are a breakdown of the taxes and fees associated with purchasing a property in France:

  • Purchasing costs: Notary Fees, (Stamp Duty, land registration tax, mortgage registration tax) 4% of the purchase price for New builds, and 8% for existing buildings which is calculated based on the VAT incl price with a mortgage, if purchasing without a mortgage then 3% for New builds, and 7% for existing buildings of the Vat incl price.
  • 19.6% VAT is always pre-financed for French Leaseback properties especially within the large developers so you are exempt from paying this fee.

Annual costs for French Leaseback properties

  • Property tax: This depends on the area, on average property tax is €10 per sqm
  • Accountant fees: €350