Buying in France is pretty straight forward and a buy-to-let property can give you the perfect opportunity to have a holiday home in the sun and a profitable investment.
Finding the property: Once we put you in touch with our property partners and you tell them your wish list, they will search throughout 100’s of properties to find you the best investment and your dream home in the sun. In France all agent fees are included in the listing price.
Once you have found that special place, we start the negotiations. Our property partners love this part and are eager to get you the right property, at the right price. A written offer, required by French law, is then made. Negotiations usually start below the asking price. But, in the case of a hot deal, if the asking price is offered, the property is yours and it is immediately taken off the market.
Now, the serious stuff… A ‘compromis’ is a signed sales contract between the buyer and seller. It is drawn up by the property sales agent or the notaire (French lawyer). You receive a copy of the diagnostic (please see the useful word tab above). Once the seller signs the compromis, he is obligated to sell the property to you. However, you have a 7-day reflection period. During this period, you need to transfer a 10% deposit to the notaire’s account. If you are getting a mortgage, there is a condition in the compromis that protects your deposit in case it is not accepted. Once your mortgage is accepted, sit back and relax and let the notaire do the rest.
Phew, almost there. Once the notaire has done all his due diligence, 8-12 weeks after the signing of compromis, a final signing date can be fixed. The notaire sends you a breakdown of the fees and you send the remaining sum to the notaire’s account. France has a very protected buying regime and for that reason the final signing can be a lengthy process--normally 1-2 hours. In case you can't make the final signing, a power of attorney (procuration) can be given to the notaire. Et voilà (as the French say)! You get the keys and leave the rest to us!
contact us now to start the process of owning your own little piece of the sun, here on the French Riviera!
The French language is full of useful words. Here are a few that might help you when looking for a property in France. Please contact us (form that pops up) and we can have our property partners go through the process with you from A to Zed.
The Notaire, is similar to a lawyer, however, he is a French government official. They ensure that all aspects of a real estate transaction are completed in a legal and efficient manner. There can be two notaires involved in the sale and either the buyers or sellers have the right to choose their own notaire. Our property partners can put you in touch with a reliable English-speaking notaire.
This is the initial sales contract that outlines the terms of the transaction. It contains information such as the price, buyer, seller, property, and expected completion date. This contract is drawn up by the agent or notaire.
A local council tax, the Tax Fonciere, is paid in advance each year. This means that when you purchase your French property, you must compensate the owner for the proportion of this tax he has already paid for you, if any. Compared to council tax in the UK, French rates are very low.
These are compulsory surveys required by law. They are paid by the seller and are given to the buyer at the time of the compromis. The diagnostics include a report on Certificate of Surface Area (Loi Carrez), Termites, Asbestos (Amiante), Lead (Plomb), Gas (Gaz), Electricity (Electricité), and Natural Risks (Etat des Risques Naturels et Technologiques--ERNT)
The notaire fees cover all costs, including taxes involved in buying a property. For a new build property, the notaire fees are 3.5 – 4% of the purchase price; for all other properties they are 7.5-8% of the purchase price.
The tax fonciere is a local council tax. It is paid in advance each year. It starts at 300€ for a studio apartment and can go up to 3000€+ for villas.
The Taxe d’habitation is paid by the person living in the property on the 1st of January each year--owner or tenant. If the property is vacant, it is paid by the owner. In the case of short-term rentals, it is paid by the owner. It is roughly the same amount as the Tax fonciere.
These are building management charges and are only relevant for apartments and villas in gated communities. These cover the building insurance, upkeep and electricity of communal areas, communal pool maintenance, shared gardens, etc. In some buildings, they may include heating and hot water. The charges start at €60/month and can go up to €300+/month for luxury residences.
Please contact us today to find out more!