The Dream Of Buying French Property
Protect your dream when you buy a French property
Buying French property is a very safe thing to do if you remember to take all the precautions you would when buying a property in the U.K. and if you remember that you are dealing with a different legal system, a different language and currency.
There are so many wonderful French properties for sale partially because traditionally French family homes were nearly always passed down through the family ending up with most French families owning more than one house. With finances becoming tougher for most people many of these ‘surplus’ houses have come onto the market over recent years providing a wonderful selection for anyone looking at buying French property, Most are rural properties, often old French farmhouses or cottages. Some, bought over the past 10 years or so have been fully renovated properties and are now being sold by vendors wishing to, or needing to sell them. Others remain to be renovated or at least to be a little updated.
The choice of French homes is amazing and the prices are exceedingly tempting. With a budget of less than €100,000 you can own a lovely house in France. Check our web site to view the selection of little rural cottages, village houses, farmhouses and barns, all just waiting for some tender loving care.
The legal process when you buy a French property
When you are buying French property the legalities will all be conducted under French law which is very different from U.K. law. The contract work will be supervised by a local Notaire, who is a government employee and responsible for doing various searches and checks required under French law. They do not raise all the questions that a U.K. solicitor raises with the vendor. Luckily there are many more building checks required under French law so it is wise to make yourself aware of what these are.
If you are buying French property through the services of a French estate agent you will be pleased to know that such agents are more highly qualified than U.K. agents and will assist with much of the work that would normally be done by a U.K. solicitor. They will be invaluable to a first time buyer of French property and will act for both the vendor and the purchaser and maintain contact with the Notaire.
It is the French agent who will normally draw up the first contract to buy a French property and it is likely that you will be asked to make the 10% deposit direct into the agent’s client account. The agent will transfer the contract and deposit to the Notaire who will then start on the legal work. The purchase process usually takes about four months from the time that the agent has helped you to sort out any questions and conditions that you need met to allow you to proceed with the purchase and you have agreed the price.
Read our Guide to your French property purchase
Fix your currency when you are buying French property
With Brexit deliberations ongoing and political and economic uncertainties the exchange rate is currently fluctuating by up to 1-3% from week to week. Having decided on your budget to buy a French property you really don’t want to suddenly find that you are 3% short of the required purchase price. (Although finding you are better off by 3% could be useful).
The best way to ensure the security of your buying pot of money is to fix an exchange rate before you even head out to France to view French property for sale. Discussions with a reliable currency broker will show you many different ways in which you can protect your funds. Exchange rates can significantly impact the cost of buying your home in France.
Healey Fox are French Property experts and partner with the leading currency brokers who offer a fast, friendly and professional service offering not only their best exchange rates but also the opportunity to fix an exchange rate to safeguard your purchase. Your advisor in the company will be able to talk to you about what is happening with exchange rates and more importantly, what is likely to influence exchange rates going forward. Working with your advisor you can decide whether to fix the rate of your currency exchange to protect your purchase of a property in France.