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FRANCE

Buying a property in France

Buying a property in France has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly with UK nationals.

There is something very rewarding about owning your own second home in another country and many find that this arrangement is more preferable to seeking a different destination for each holiday. Since the advent of low cost air flights and the arrival of the Eurotunnel, the French property buying business has become huge.

There are an increasing number of property exhibitions that aim to persuade you to purchase brand new or nearly new properties in France. Sales staff are skilled in using highly seductive marketing methods to sell as many as possible. Like all other salespeople, they know that if a customer has time to go away and think about a purchase, then a sale is lost as is their commission! You should not however feel pressured into ‘signing on the dotted line’ there and then.

You should always seek expert advice when buying your first Investment Property in France. However this article aims to provide a basic insight into points to remember or consider when you embark on buying property in France.

You must bear in mind that buying a property in France is not the same process as buying in the UK. Depending on the type of property you intend to buy and possibly the area, the laws on buying and selling property in France can vary somewhat.

Be careful with the capital gains tax as this is chargeable on all second home sales owned for less than two years. at a rate of 33% with a sliding reduction on profit percentages over a 20 years period.

French property transactions involve a french ‘notary’ – a legally qualified public servant who represents both the seller and the purchaser. There is no such equivalent person involved in UK property transactions. All of the notary’s costs (ranging from 8 – 14% of the purchase price) are payable by the purchaser.

You should be prepared that most notaries will not speak English. If you do not speak the language fluently, you should make sure that you take someone with you who does!

If making your purchase with cash, the process will take up to two months – this can be extended by another month if paying by mortgage. If you need a mortgage, things become a bit more complicated. A French bank will issue a mortgage as long as you can show regular income. By French law the total of all of your mortgage payments worldwide cannot be more than 30% of your total income. You must also have mortgage insurance for a large mortgage and a physical examination at the bank’s expense.

When buying property in France, a preliminary sales contact (binding on both parties) is negotiated once an agreement on price is reached between purchaser and seller. If the purchaser intends to finance the property by mortgage, it is necessary for this to be declared at the time of the agreement and a substantive clause would protect the purchaser's interests in the event that a loan is not made available.

The property would be withdrawn from the market and the legal system would commence its checks etc

A 10% (minimum) deposit is then payable by the purchaser and is held in a secure account until completion of the purchase and the property is taken off the market. If the purchase is abandoned because the purchaser has a change of heart, the deposit is lost. If however, clauses in the intial agreement are not met, the deposit would be refundable. Similarly, In the event of the discovery of a `planned nuisance' through the searches, the buyer can withdraw and the deposit is returned.

Surveys of the condition of the property you intend to purchase by professional surveyors or 'experts' are unusual in France. It is more usual to request local artisans to give an opinion as to the condition of say the roof, or the walls and for them to give quotations for the work.

It is advisbale when buying a property in France to make a French Will as inheritance laws vary in France to those in the UK. French succession law does not allow you to leave your share of the property to whom you wish - even if you have an existing Will. The Government of France has very specific inheritance laws. By law, on your death your property is divided equally between your spouse and your surviving children. There are some steps you can take to ensure that the surviving spouse can continue to live in the house or flat. Speak with a lawyer about this before you buy the property.

Once you own your property in France, you will be liable for local property tax, occupancy taxes (where applicable) as well as French tax when you sell the property. You will also need to pay tax on any income you receive from letting out your property.

You will need to open a French bank account to pay for all utilities to your property.

The final contract is signed at the notary’s office and the property passes to the purchaser who must pay the balance of the purchase price to the notary forward onward transmission to the vendor. (The balance must be in the notary’s possession before the contract is signed.)

Prior to completion, it will also be necessary to provide to the notary with a copy of the purchaser’s birth certificate translated into French and, if applicable, a copy of a Marriage Certificate also in French.

From the signing of the Contract the purchaser is responsible for the insurance of all the buildings on the property.

December 2005

Public Holidays in France

French organisations and businesses close on public holidays and although some shopping centres and grocers open for part of the day, the majority of shops are closed.

Public holidays in France are 1st January (New Year's Day), 1st May (Fête du Travail) , 8th May (Fête de la Victoire de 1945) , 14th July (Bastille Day - France's National holiday), 15th August (Assumption), 1st November (All Saints Day), 11th November (Armistice de 1918 -Armistice Day) , 25th December, Easter Monday, Ascension and Whit Monday.

Public holiday closures do not affect police stations and hospitals.

France

The second largest country in Europe and the most visited country in the world, France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain.

With a landscape ranging from high mountains to lush farmland, the French way of life is deemde to be one of the most civilised you can get. With a population of around 60 million, it can see almost 80 million visitors per year.

There is always a new place to visit in France. Travelling around is very easy and public transport extremely reasonable and reliable. Paris of course is an outstanding cultural centre – packed with historic buildings and no shortage of culture and history. Other popular tourist areas in France include Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille and Bordeaux. On the northern Atlantic coast, Normandy has a rich heritage of cathedrals, beaches and battlefields. Brittany however, lies to the west and is renowned for its Celtic links, beuatiful coastline and seafood.

Skiing in France is popular, with the Alps attracting thousands of enthusiastic skiers each year.

FRANCE - 48 examples from our database

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VACATION RENTAL: Luxury gite near Cognac in France with pool, gardens, BBQ and gamesroom.
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Prices from EUR475

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VACATION RENTAL: Luxury gite near Cognac in France with pool, gardens, BBQ and gamesroom
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Prices from EUR550

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VACATION RENTAL: Luxury gite near Cognac in France with pool, gardens, BBQ and gamesroom
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2 Bedrooms

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VACATION RENTAL: Château and 5 luxurious gîtes in monumental park with 2 heated pools
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Prices from EUR410

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VACATION RENTAL: 19th-century house in Cévennes, a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean plain.
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Prices from EUR500

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VACATION RENTAL: 19th-century house in Cévennes, a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean plain.
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Prices from EUR300

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VACATION RENTAL: 19th-century cottage in Cévennes, a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean plain.
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Prices from EUR170

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VACATION RENTAL: Small Holiday Resort - 12 luxury cottages, pool, tennis - Bergerac, Cahors, Agen
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Prices from EUR290

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VACATION RENTAL: La Bergerie -a well equipped and modern 3 bedroom self catering gite in SW Franc
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Prices from EUR495

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VACATION RENTAL: 6 Berth Mobile Home, 4* Site, Domaine De Kerlann, Pont Aven, Brittany
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Prices from GBP225

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VACATION RENTAL: L'Ecurie -a well equipped and modern 3 bedroom self catering gite
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Prices from EUR595

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VACATION RENTAL: Le Clozet - well appointed and modern B&B bedrooms in SW France
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Prices from EUR455

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VACATION RENTAL: We have modern mobile homes for hire on superb campsite in Benodet.
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Prices from GBP175

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VACATION RENTAL: River Cottage is located on the banks of the River Vige in 10 acres of woodland
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Prices from GBP250

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VACATION RENTAL: Gites la Colline in the Correze, beautiful view, near Brive and Dordogne
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Prices from EUR310

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VACATION RENTAL: Belle Vue Gite. Single storey stone gite with private garden, sleeps 6. pool
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Prices from EUR300

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VACATION RENTAL: Renovated Farmhouse Domaine Roujoux with Stunning Views, Swimming pool & Golf
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Prices from EUR644

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VACATION RENTAL: Relax in our comfortable family Holiday Gite in rural Brittany (sleeps 6)
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Prices from GBP200

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VACATION RENTAL: Self-catering holiday accommodation in French Pyrenees
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Prices from EUR275

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VACATION RENTAL: Gite near Cahors in SW France
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Prices from EUR250

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VACATION RENTAL: Villa in south-west France, sleeps up to 10, in the countryside
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Prices from EUR895

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VACATION RENTAL: This apartment only a few steps away from the Eiffel Tower
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Prices from EUR830

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VACATION RENTAL: A large and comfortable three bedroomed gite with a private pool
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Prices from GBP420

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VACATION RENTAL: Large Character Farmhouse in Chambon, Loire Valley, France.
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Prices from EUR450

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VACATION RENTAL: Comfortable old farm, sleeps up to 8, private pool, walled courtyard, SWFrance
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Prices from GBP680

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VACATION RENTAL: Beautifully renovated farm, sleeps 15, private pool, walled courtyard, SWFrance
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Prices from GBP880

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VACATION RENTAL: Large tranquil village house close to Carcassonne & Canal du Midi - plunge pool
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Prices from GBP395

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VACATION RENTAL: Charming chalet situated on the edge of a 1 acre course fishing lake.
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Prices from EUR300

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VACATION RENTAL: Beautifully renovated farmhouse set in wonderfully secluded grounds.
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Prices from GBP1,200

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VACATION RENTAL: Three bedroom Villa with Private Pool near Carcassonne
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Prices from GBP600

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VACATION RENTAL: L'Hotel du Poulet. Charming studio for 2
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Prices from EUR200

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VACATION RENTAL: Luxury Gite sleeping 2-8 with open plan lounge diner with exposed roof timbers
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Prices from EUR750

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VACATION RENTAL: La Pêche at Les Prinquieres one of four luxurious gîtes designed for couples
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Prices from GBP190

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VACATION RENTAL: Rural cottage with swimming pool in Southern Brittany
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Prices from EUR380

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VACATION RENTAL: Rural cottage with swimming pool in Southern Brittany
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Prices from EUR380

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VACATION RENTAL: Gite au bord du Canal du Midi, près de Carcassonne
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Prices from EUR500

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VACATION RENTAL: Beautiful Holiday accommodation for self-catering groups - in the heart of rural
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Prices from EUR1,000

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VACATION RENTAL: Lovely two bedroomed farmhouse Gite. Fully equipped for that feeling of home.
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Prices from GBP195

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VACATION RENTAL: Ski-In, Ski-Out Self-Catering French Alps Apartment Portes du Soleil
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Prices from GBP175

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VACATION RENTAL: This apartment is fully equipped with modern appliances
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Prices from EUR650

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VACATION RENTAL: Fully equipped with modern appliances, antiques and comfortable furniture.
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Prices from EUR700

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VACATION RENTAL: Le Mas d'Henriette, a large traditional French Farm house in Provence.
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Prices from EUR2,500

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VACATION RENTAL: Luxury 3 bed gite sleeping 2-6 with 11x7m heated pool
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Prices from EUR600

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VACATION RENTAL: La Châtaigne one of four luxurious one bedroom gîtes designed for couples
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Prices from GBP180

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VACATION RENTAL: Holiday gite in a peaceful location, but 10min walk to local town and 5km to sea
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Prices from EUR250

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VACATION RENTAL: Family mansion with pool for 10/14 people in the SE France - 25 km Mediterranean
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Prices from EUR1,630

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VACATION RENTAL: Artist's cottage in busy market village with 'commerces' & restaurants nr Cahors
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Prices from EUR335

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VACATION RENTAL: Large Villa with 5 en-suite bedrooms.Heated pool. 2 acres private woodlands
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Prices from GBP1,950

Popular Towns/Cities for adverts within France

FALAISE HOLIDAY RENTALS - CALVADOS   FALAISE HOLIDAY RENTALS 5 adverts present in our database with 1 Barn/Farm Building Listing, 4 Gites

MONTMARTRE HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   MONTMARTRE HOLIDAY RENTALS 5 adverts present in our database with 5 Apartments

LAUNAY HOLIDAY RENTALS - COTES-D'AMOR   LAUNAY HOLIDAY RENTALS 5 adverts present in our database with 5 Gites

CANNES HOLIDAY RENTALS - ALPES-MARITIMES   CANNES HOLIDAY RENTALS 4 adverts present in our database with 4 Apartments

CAMBOUNET-SUR-LE-SOR HOLIDAY RENTALS - TARN   CAMBOUNET-SUR-LE-SOR HOLIDAY RENTALS 4 adverts present in our database with 4 Apartments

GOURDON HOLIDAY RENTALS - DORDOGNE   GOURDON HOLIDAY RENTALS 4 adverts present in our database with 4 Gites

ARRONDISSEMENT 9 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 9 HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Apartments

FAYENCE HOLIDAY RENTALS - VAR   FAYENCE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 1 Villa Listing, 2 Apartments

VERNOUX-EN-GATINE HOLIDAY RENTALS - CHARENTE   VERNOUX-EN-GATINE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Cottages

SEGONZAC HOLIDAY RENTALS - CHARENTE   SEGONZAC HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Gites

PLASSAC-ROUFFIAC HOLIDAY RENTALS - CHARENTE   PLASSAC-ROUFFIAC HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Gites

MELLE HOLIDAY RENTALS - ILLE-ET-VILAINE   MELLE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Cottages

REDON HOLIDAY RENTALS - ILLE-ET-VILAINE   REDON HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Gites

PRIZIAC HOLIDAY RENTALS - MORBIHAN   PRIZIAC HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing, 2 Apartments

VERNOIL HOLIDAY RENTALS - MAINE-ET-LOIRE   VERNOIL HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 1 Chateaux/Castle Listing, 2 Cottages

SAINT-BONNET DE SALENDRINQUE HOLIDAY RENTALS - GARD   SAINT-BONNET DE SALENDRINQUE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites, 1 Cottage Listing

POUY ROQUELAURE HOLIDAY RENTALS - GERS   POUY ROQUELAURE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 1 Hotel/Guest House Listing, 2 Gites

MIRANDE HOLIDAY RENTALS - GERS   MIRANDE HOLIDAY RENTALS 3 adverts present in our database with 3 Gites

ARRONDISSEMENT 15 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 15 HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Apartments

ARRONDISSEMENT 5 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 5 HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Apartments

CHATEAUNEUF HOLIDAY RENTALS - ALPES-MARITIMES   CHATEAUNEUF HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Villa Listing, 1 Apartment Listing

NICE HOLIDAY RENTALS - ALPES-MARITIMES   NICE HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

PORT-GRIMAUD HOLIDAY RENTALS - VAR   PORT-GRIMAUD HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Mobile Homes

MAUSSANE HOLIDAY RENTALS - BOUCHES-DU-RHONE   MAUSSANE HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing, 1 Hotel/Guest House Listing

CASSIS HOLIDAY RENTALS - BOUCHES-DU-RHONE   CASSIS HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Villa Listing, 1 Apartment Listing

CHEF-BOUTONNE HOLIDAY RENTALS - DEUX-SEVRES   CHEF-BOUTONNE HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites

TEILLAY HOLIDAY RENTALS - ILLE-ET-VILAINE   TEILLAY HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites

BENODET HOLIDAY RENTALS - FINISTERE   BENODET HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Mobile Homes

AMBILLOU-CHATEAU HOLIDAY RENTALS - MAINE-ET-LOIRE   AMBILLOU-CHATEAU HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Semi Detached Home Listing, 1 Gite Listing

GUEMENE-PENFAO HOLIDAY RENTALS - LOIRE-ATLANTIQUE   GUEMENE-PENFAO HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites

GRUISSAN HOLIDAY RENTALS - AUDE   GRUISSAN HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

CARCASSONNE HOLIDAY RENTALS - AUDE   CARCASSONNE HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites

CONSTANS HOLIDAY RENTALS - LOT   CONSTANS HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Barn/Farm Buildings

EYMET HOLIDAY RENTALS - DORDOGNE   EYMET HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Detached Homes

BERGERAC HOLIDAY RENTALS - DORDOGNE   BERGERAC HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing, 1 Villa Listing

SARLAT-LA-CANEDA HOLIDAY RENTALS - DORDOGNE   SARLAT-LA-CANEDA HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing, 1 Cottage Listing

SAINT-PAUL-DE-SERRE HOLIDAY RENTALS - DORDOGNE   SAINT-PAUL-DE-SERRE HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Barn/Farm Buildings

MONT-DE-MARSAN HOLIDAY RENTALS - LANDES   MONT-DE-MARSAN HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Gites

DAX HOLIDAY RENTALS - LANDES   DAX HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 1 Villa Listing, 1 Chalet Listing

DIJON HOLIDAY RENTALS - COTE-D'OR   DIJON HOLIDAY RENTALS 2 adverts present in our database with 2 Apartments

LES BIARDS HOLIDAY RENTALS - MANCHE   LES BIARDS HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing

BARENTON HOLIDAY RENTALS - MANCHE   BARENTON HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Detached Home Listing

SAINTENY HOLIDAY RENTALS - MANCHE   SAINTENY HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Gite Listing

HONFLEUR HOLIDAY RENTALS - CALVADOS   HONFLEUR HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

NONZA HOLIDAY RENTALS - HAUTE-CORSE   NONZA HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Semi Detached Home Listing

ARRONDISSEMENT 8 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 8 HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

ARRONDISSEMENT 17 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 17 HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

ARRONDISSEMENT 2 HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   ARRONDISSEMENT 2 HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

CHAMPS-ELYSEES AND INVALIDES HOLIDAY RENTALS - PARIS   CHAMPS-ELYSEES AND INVALIDES HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Apartment Listing

JUAN-LES-PINS HOLIDAY RENTALS - ALPES-MARITIMES   JUAN-LES-PINS HOLIDAY RENTALS 1 adverts present in our database with 1 Villa Listing

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