Things to know

Purchasing a property in France can be very different to buying one in your own country, so here is a list of useful information that may help you.

Where can we finance

We tend to specialise in the south of France due to our office location, but we can finance anywhere in France, whether it be in the French Alpes, Paris, or the Bordeaux, so do not hesitate to contact us for a French Mortgage in France.

We can also finance in Monaco through our panel of Monaco Private Banks, so if you are looking for a property in Monaco then please get in touch.

Notary fees

A notaire is a government official, and when you buy a property in France you have to go through a registered French notary to sign for the property. The Notary fees change depending on whether the property is a New build or an Existing property. For new builds the fee is 2.5% and for an existing property the fee is 6.5%. When you take a mortgage the notary fee is around 1% more, as they must put in place banks charge on the property. So the Notary fees can be an important part of your budget that must not be overlooked.

Estate Agent fees

Most likely when purchasing a property in France you will need to go through an Estate Agent, the fees for the agent are usually included in the advertised price and these can vary depending on the price of the property, but they are generally around 5-6% of the purchase price.

Compromis de Vente and Leaving a Deposit for the property

When you sign a compromise de vente (the sales agreement) for the purchase of a French property, you have a 7 day reflection period, where either the purchaser or the seller can decide to withdraw from the sale or purchase. Once this period has elapsed, the buyer must send a deposit to the notary account, which tends to be between 5-10% of the purchase price.

If you are looking to obtain a mortgage for the purchase it is very important to have a ‘Suspensive Clause for Obtaining a Mortgage’ (Clause Suspensive), which means that if for any reason your mortgage application is refused, you will able to get back in full your deposit. If you do not have this clause included in the sales agreement and you cannot complete the purchase on the stipulated date you can risk losing your deposit in its entirety

French Wealth Tax (ISF) replaced with Real Estate Wealth Tax (IFI)

The wealth tax has now been replaced and renamed since the first of January 2018 in order to cover only real estate assets, so what was previously know as the l’impôt sur la fortune (ISF – tax on wealth) has now become l’impôt sur la fortune immobilière (IFI – tax on property values).
So now the new taxable base is based on the following:

– All properties and real estate

– Parts or shares of companies or organisations (established in France or abroad) held by the taxable person, for the fraction of their value representing property or real estate rights held directly or indirectly by the entity.

French tax residents will now be liable for the tax on all of their assets or real estate held in France or abroad. The important point for For non-residents is that the wealth tax will only cover their fixed real estate assets in France. All other assets are no longer subject to the French Wealth tax. The main aim of this reform is to try and encourage people to invest in the national economy.

The part of the tax concerning the main residence still allows for a 30% reduction on the market value of the main home.

The five year exemption for property held outside France for new French residents will still apply.

The IFI has the same threshold and tax rates as the former wealth tax.

If you would like further information regarding taking a mortgage in France please do not hesitate to contact us.

Multi Risque Habitation MRH – House Insurance

When you own a property in France, it is very important that you have home insurance, this is sometimes provided by the banks, but we also work with a number of Insurers so we can help you set this up based on your personal requirements. The price varies depending on where the property is, size of the property and amounts to be insured.

Buying your property through an SCI Company in France

An SCI is a Private Company that is set up in France for the purchase and shared ownership of a property in France. An SCI enables a number of individuals to buy a property together usually with the intention of a buy to let or so it can be made contractually available for the other members of the SCI. The company SCI is set up usually by a Notaire and requires a minimum of 2 shareholders.