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Advise on Buying Property in France

Frech Alps Chalet

Whether you intend to buy for investment or are simply looking for the ideal second home, there has never been a better time to buy in France and especially in our recommended areas of Haute-Savoie & Savoie, ( Alpine and Lakes Properties ), and Provence/Cote d'Azur..

It's not only a perfect place to holiday but also excellent for capital appreciation.
It is generally not difficult to obtain a mortgage to buy your property in France and our mortgage advisor will assist you through the all borrowing process. The first thing you will notice in France is how strict the law is relating to a property purchase, this is done purely to protect you as a consumer.
Property prices are always in Euro and all property contracts must be undertaken in the French language. You are entitled by French law and at no extra legal costs, to appoint your own Solicitor in France that will act only on your behalf, preferably fluent in English, this only if your French is not so good. You can also appoint a Solicitor here in England, that specialise in French property purchases, to help with the translation of Contracts, this will be at extra cost to you, ask us for further information.

Once the sale price has been agreed, you will have to sign an agreement, called the "Compromis de Vente".
You will be asked to provide your personal details, in order for the French Notaire (Solicitor) to prepare this contract, which will also be signed by the vendor.
At this point a deposit of 5% is required and is payable to the Notaire's account, using a euro cheque or a Bank transfer. According to French law, you have 7 days to cancel the contract without give any reason and without losing your deposit. This 7 day period will begin from the day you and the vendor sign the contract, the date of the last signature will apply. The contract will always includes the clause or condition for the mortgage approval, only if you need one, which means that in the event that your application for the mortgage is declined, the sale is cancelled and your deposit of 5% will be returned to you without any penalties.
Your mortgage approval will normally take 4 to 6 weeks.

You will sign the Final Acte (Completion) about 2-3months after the signature of the Compromis. You can sign this final contract at the Notaire's office or by proxy. At this point you will have to organise the transfer of the balance of money to the Notaire's account.

Legal Costs

It is the legal duty of the "Notaire" (Solicitor) to ensure a legal transfer of the property and collect any stamp duty and other taxes due to the French Government. It is therefore perfectly normal for the same "Notaire" to work for both parties but you also have the right to appoint a second Notaire in France if you wish as mentioned above.

The Legal fees and stamp duty amount to: Between 1.5% and 2.5% for new properties and between 6% and 7% for re-sold properties.