Process & Guidance

1. The Application Process

Once you have found a property, ideally you would then speak to a French Mortgage advisor in order to understand the process of applying for a mortgage and to discover how much you can borrow and at what cost. The French lending criteria differs from other countries so it is important to understand how much the purchase will cost you. We can advise you of likely scenarios well in advance of finalising your purchase.

2. Signing the Sales agreement – Compromis de vente

It is very important when signing this sales agreement to have a Mortgage Clause, this is called a ‘Clause Suspensive’ so this means if for whatever reason your loan is refused you are able to get back your deposit for the property. Once a sales agreement is signed you have around 45 days to make your loan request here in France. Also a preliminary signature date is fixed usually 2-3 months later for the definitive signature at the notary.

3. Speaking to a French Mortgage Broker

It is important to understand the process, here at French Riviera Mortgages we will be able to give you a breakdown of the costs involved, how much you will be able to borrow, and the sort of rates that you may be able to obtain. Based on your personal financial situation we will be able to tell you exactly what documents will be required by the relevant French banks for your application. We will provide you with a simulation of the process and the documentation list that will be required for you to move forward.

4. Placing the file with the Banks

Once we have received your application and the required documentation, we calculate for you the exact debt ratio and feasibility of the file, which will enable us to advise you as to which bank will best suit your requirements. We personally take your file to the bank in order for it to be analysed for acceptance. This process usually takes around 7 days.

5. Getting Life Insurance

Once we have an acceptance from the bank for your mortgage, the next step is to get the relevant life insurance in place to cover the loan. What will be required will depend on your age and the size of the loan, as well as the insurance cover required. French Riviera Mortgages can provide you with English translations of all of the insurance questionnaires and medical requirements.

6. Opening a French Bank Account

Once the life insurance policy is in place, you will be ready to open a French bank account. The account will either set up by the lending bank, or, if they are a specialised lending house then we can organise the opening of a bank account on your behalf with a bank of your choosing.

7. Loan Acceptance

Once the Life insurance is agreed and the bank account is open, then the bank can print off the loan offers. In France there is a legal delay between reception and acceptance of the mortgage offer of 11 days. So if you receive them on the 1st you have to wait until the 12th to return them. Any mistakes here can void the application, but in our hands the accuracy of the process is assured.

8. Signing at The Notary

Once the bank has received the signed loan offers the next step is to sign at the Notary in order for the Title deeds to be transferred to you and for the banks guarantee on the property to be arranged. The majority of our customers come to the Notary office where you sign, and ownership is transferred to you as the new owner.

French Riviera can also arrange for the signatures to be concluded by giving the notary power of signature or ’Pouvoir’ to sign on your behalf if the client is unable to come to France for the required date. If the client is not able to make it for the signature then this must be set up prior to the signature.

The entire process of finding a property to the day you sign at the notary in general takes between 2-3 months.