Property in France

France and its capital city Paris became a symbol of romance around the world. At the same time there are many people, who want to buy a flat or a house in France. In the German-French border region property prices are often significantly lower than in Germany. Therefore, France is an ideal country to purchase property. Almost every French village has houses, bought by foreigners during their travels. Demand from abroad for real estate in France causes the rise in prices, which, of course, do not please many local residents. As for the French property near the sea, prices for apartments and houses there are much higher than elsewhere in France. But real estate in these areas is considered to be luxury. In some areas of France property can be bought almost for nothing, but again everything depends on the region. You may be offered to buy great parcels just at a great price. Although, when buying property, you still need to pay attention to the cost of repairs and maintenance.

Before you buy property in France, you should familiarize with some information. French laws differ from laws of other countries, so if you decide to purchase property in France, you should be especially careful not to fall into a legal trap.

If you are interested in purchasing real estate in France, then you should know that there exists a well-developed system of consumer rights, in particular in acquisition of property. The preliminary contract of sale is a common thing. In most cases is signed the so-called "compromis de vente" (mutual contractual obligation for the sale). According to the contract between buyer and seller, buyer agrees to pay 10% of the cost of housing to the seller if the buyer decided not to acquire this property. However, the buyer may also refuse to acquire property within 7 days. At the same time, this period is strictly observed. Otherwise, the contract is considered closed with the explicit intention to buy property. Having signed a preliminary agreement for the sale of real estate, negotiate with the seller about the fine, which should be paid to you as a buyer, if the seller changes his mind to sell you the property or sell it to someone else.

Signing a preliminary contract, you should agree in advance on suspending conditions ("conditions suspensives"). Such conditions are very important to be discussed in advance and to be precisely formulated. And if the suspending factors emerged, the sales contract cannot be signed until these factors are eliminated. Typically, these include the issuance of building permits or financing agreement.

Only after all suspending conditions are fulfilled, the sale contract for real estate is certified by a French notary. The notary is obliged to check whether all conditions have been fulfilled and whether the property has any debts or mortgages. Once the money is transferred to the seller, the property passes to the buyer without recording in the land book. Nevertheless, it's worth to register the purchased real estate in the land book, to be sure that it will not be offered to someone else.

As for taxes, then you will have to pay 4.9% income tax. In addition, about 3% you will pay for a notary and registration in the land book. In addition, if you bought property that was built less than 5 years ago, or you have acquired the land, then you will have to pay an additional 20% value-added tax. In addition, the owner each year must pay 1.1%land tax.

When buying property in France remember that there is hard to complete a purchase through the foreign banks. French mortgage banks operate on the mandatory directives of the loaning to finance construction. In France, you do not need to repay the loan ahead, when suddenly your plans changed or you want to sell the cottage soon.

Our partner - Le Catalan, will be able to answer all your questions regarding the financing of real estate in France. It is headquartered in southern France. Here you may also be assisted in buying property in France. Either way: in France you can also ask for help real estate agents. We are talking about a broker, a civil servant with special education, who will offer you compulsory insurance, in order not to lose the amount paid for the object. In France brokers are highly skilled people with a strictly regulated education. French notaries can also act as a mediator between buyer and seller. Another feature of France – it is land marketers ("marchand de biens"), who operate without a broker license. They buy property and sell it on their own. Broker's fee is approximately 5 - 8%, but this amount is unspecified by law, so you can bargain. Remuneration is usually paid to the broker by the buyer.

Inheritance law is also differs in France. Under French succession law the heirs begins with a spouse. French inheritance rules are also valid for foreign real estate owners in France.

But if you decide to buy a house in France, it is once again recommended to consult on the forthcoming purchase.