How to Buy Property in France

The 12 Steps to the Buying Process

  1. Confirm how much you can borrow, by talking to one of our mortgage advisers
  2. Open an account with a reputable Foreign Exchange Dealer (ask about our panel of FX Dealers)
  3. Agree the Price of the Property
  4. Pay a deposit to the Notaire (via the FX Dealers)
  5. Sign a Preliminary Purchase Agreement
  6. Arrange a Mortgage
  7. Arrange Life Insurance to cover the Mortgage
  8. Open a French bank account
  9. Arrange Building Insurance (existing property only, not off-plan)
  10. Transfer the balance of the deposit, as well as the legal fees & purchase taxes to the Notaire, in advance of completion. (via FX Dealers)
  11. Sign the Sales Agreement (Acte de Vente)
  12. Complete – Congratulations !!

Paying your deposit
Depending on if you are buying a new build or existing property, the deposit can range from 2% to 10% and can be paid to an estate agent or the Notaire. At Worldwide Property Company we always encourage our clients to pay the deposit to the Notaire, and not to an estate agent. This avoids any conflict of interest if you have to withdraw from the purchase for any reason.

Preliminary Purchase Agreements
If buying a new build you will be asked to sign a Reservation Agreement, if an existing property, then you will sign a Compromise de Vente. Both agreements outline all the details of the property, as well as the details of the seller and buyer. If you are buying with finance, it’s very important to include specific details of your mortgage within the agreement.

What type of property can I get a mortgage on? We can arrange mortgages for individuals or companies to buy…

  • Main homes
  • Second or Holiday Homes
  • Rental or Investment Properties (See Para-Hotelier)
  • Leaseback Properties
  • Off-plan / New Build Properties
  • Commercial Properties
  • Equity Release mortgages are available
  • Bridging Finance is also available

What currency will my mortgage be in?
Although it is possible to arrange mortgages in all major currencies, it’s normal for a mortgage secured against a French property to be in Euros.

What is the maximum loan amount (LTV%)?
Depending on the valuation of the property, or purchase price, non-residents can borrow up to 85%.

What is the minimum loan amount?
The minimum mortgage available for non-residents is €100,000

How long is the term of the mortgage?
The mortgage term can be from 5 – 25 years.

Do I need life assurance for a mortgage?
Life Insurance is mandatory in France, although it is possible for exceptions to be made

Completion – Acte de Vente
After your mortgage has been arranged, and the Notaire has completed the necessary checks, the final stage is to sign the Sales Agreement, known as the Acte de Vente. You can sign this agreement in person at the Notaire’s office, or grant a Power of Attorney for the Notaire to sign on your behalf.