Ten steps on How to buy an apartment or house on the French Rivera France

Beautiful French Village Home Window Image

Buying a home in the French Riviera or any area of France is a complicated process when you don’t know how it works. You can make your purchase of a French home less stressful by reading over the following guidelines. Then contact us with any questions.



Location of your French property

Reduce your stress as you search for your property in France by deciding on the location that suits your needs best. If you are buying a French vacation property you need to consider carefully the location so you have easy access and less travel time (and more time to relax). Some areas are more isolated that they may first appear on a map. In essence, the first step is for you to decide which of the 22 regions in France you wish to buy in. Is it the French Riviera? Do you like the Sun or do you prefer a cooler climate? Will you be driving or flying to where your new French home is located? Think of the location of airports or the auto route for access. Are there shops and restaurants close by? Need more information sent us a request.



Finance for your French property

To buy a home in France with a mortgage you will need to find out if you can borrow money to make the purchase in your home country or do you qualify to borrow in France through a French bank. This is a crucial step so make sure you take this step before you start to visit properties. You can contact us for a selection of mortgage brokers who work with local and international buyers. Once you know what is your buying power and the cost to you the process will be less frustrating. Nothing is worse than finding, then visiting a French property, having an offer accepted and then  finding out you lost the purchase due to the lack of financing you could obtain for an international purchase or the cost was more than anticipated.



Payment for your French property

When you have got your financing organized for your dream home purchase in France you will often need to have a special currency account to bring your money into the country. You can use your own bank or you can potentially save a lot of money by using a non-bank foreign currency exchange provider who is very competitive with their rates. You can even have an agreement to purchase euros at a set rate for the future.  Ask us for more details.



Contact an agent who lives and works in France

If you already know an English speaking agent in the area of your choice contact them to get as much information as you can before a visit. One hour call from your home country can save you days when you arrive. If you don’t know an agent who can help you contact us for a selection of English speaking agents in the area of your choice.



Plan your Visits to French Property

On the French Riviera, for example, many agencies are not open on Sundays and may only be open by request on Saturdays. In addition, many are closed by 6 pm and  during lunch time from 12 to 2 pm. So if you think you can just show up and go to agencies to find out details on properties you will have to time your visits. You also need to be aware that properties may be with multiple agencies at different prices so you may have difficulty researching a property. To solve this problem we recommend you learn more about how real estate is marketed in France. A conversation with one of our experts can save you lots of time and money. We guaranteed you will have great value from a consultation or you get your money back. Connect with us today.



Available French Properties

Once you have located your English speaking agent on site you can ask them to preview French properties for you and report back to let you know if the property suits your needs before you drive or fly to the location. Preview visits are an invaluable extra service available at no charge contact us to find out how this works. Also, with the right agent you will find out about properties just entering the market.



Visit your French property with a Camera and Note Pad

A lot of times agents selling properties for sale in France will not show all the pictures of the property to avoid other agents identifying the property and approaching the owner direct. So when you make a visit you will want to take pictures of the outside of the French property (and maybe some extra ones from inside) In addition, a notepad to write down all the things you like and dislike about the property is very helpful. We have a special checklist which will help remind you to note the special details like ‘Taxe Foncière’ and ‘Taxe de Habitation’. Click here to find out how to get your checklist.  



Make or Making an Offer on your French property

When you have found the right new French property for you get ready to make an offer. Your offer is best made in writing but can often start out verbally in regards to the price.  Then once you have an agreed on price in general you make an appointment with the notary to create a purchase contract called ‘compromis de vente’ in French. It is advisable to have your accepted price and included equipment agreed to in writing by the seller to help the notary create the contract.  Contact one of our Native English speaking French real estate agents how to make this offer process work to your advantage.


Negotiating the Best Price

How the negotiating process works in France is often seen as very different from a buyers or sellers experience in other countries like Canada and the US. The process can be days or weeks and not hours and as a buyer you can lose your advantage of being the first buyer. Unless you have the assistance of an experienced English speaking agent.



Compromis de Vente and your French property

In general, the notary will create a draft of the compromise de vente called the Projet which will form the foundation of the contract. The buyers and sellers review this to make any changes and then once the draft is amended the compromis de vente is signed as the first formal and legally binding stage in the property purchase process. The compromis de vente includes several steps including deposit of funds, a retraction period, suspensive clauses etc. It is best you speak with a English speaking French notary to get details on the process or ask your experienced Native English speaking French real estate agent for an over view of the process. It is complicated and you need to know your responsibilities and rights to avoid any stress and challenges.

Click here to contact us. We are available to direct you to the right people so you can learn more about the Compromis de Vente.