Med In Heaven
Buying property in France
Buying property in France is a safe and straightforward process thanks to the scores of English-speaking banks, notaires and property managers there to help you along the way.Unlike other property hot spots, every step of the buying process in France is strictly regulated by the legal system.
Through our numerous contacts and multi-lingual team who have been through this procedure a countless number of times, Med In Heaven will walk you through every step of the way.
The following terms are useful when buying property in France
compromis de vente – the first draft of the final sales contract.Basically, it sets out the details of the purchase (what you are buying) and those involved in it (the seller and the buyer) as well as showing how much you are paying (including the fees).
notaire/notary fees – A notaire is the English equivalent of a solicitor, however he is employed directly by the French government. He is the only person who can legally transfer the deeds of a property. He will hold in trust any deposit paid on the flat and will ensure all legal requirements are fulfilled before the buyer and seller sign the final deed of sale. He is also responsible for clearing all paper work with the town hall and the transfer of the deeds. A notaire also takes care of the sales tax on the property of which you can expect to add around 7-8% on top of the agreed purchase price.
Our three-step buyer’s guide will give you an overview of the different stages involved in the purchase of your new property.
Step One: Sign a Compromis de Vente
Once you have selected the property that is right for you, Med In Heaven will negotiate the best possible price. Unlike other agencies, we represent you, the buyer. Once agreement has been reached on the price, you sign a “Compromis de Vente”, which immediately locks in the seller to selling at the agreed price. For the buyer this acts as a reservation. Once you have signed this, you have a 7 day reflection period during which time you can withdraw from the sale without penalty.
Step Two: Pay the 10% deposit
A 10% deposit is required by the end of the 7 day reflection period. This deposit is held in trust by the Notaire, who will safeguard it until the transaction has been successfully completed. If you apply for a French mortgage but are refused, then this 10% deposit is returned to you without penalty.
Step Three: Pay the balance
The Notaire will send a breakdown of the balance to be paid, including government taxes. This is all you have to pay, there are no hidden extra taxes or fees. Book a plane ticket for between a month and two later, ensure the funds are transferred and/or mortgage is arranged adequately in advance, and turn up to sign for the property and pick up the keys. We will take care of everything you need, such as insurance, water and electricity.
From this point, there are two ongoing costs:
- the co-proprietry charges
- the “taxe fonciere” (council tax).
Now comes the fun part, giving the new home your personal touch. In nearby Toulon you will find the familiarity of Ikea. It is easy to get lost in the winding streets surrounding the Port of Nice, bursting with small shops specialising in antiques and art. Around the Zone Pietonne in the centre of Nice you will find high-end designer shops, and a half hour drive to the Italian border will supply you with some of the best designer furnishings in Europe.
Locally, Med In Heaven will provide you with the basics such as English speaking locksmiths, plumbers and builders.