How to successfully buy property in France

If you’re thinking of buying a property in France over the next few months, here are the resources you’ll need to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

View of properties on a typical french street in the coutryside
A summery scene in France that could be your new home

The French property market seems to have pulled itself by its finger tips out of the sales doldrums. The latest report by the Notaires de France (the professional body that oversees all property sales) notes, “The steady rise in sales since February 2015 shows that the market, buoyed up by buyers (who, it would appear, have not adopted a pre-election wait-and-see attitude), has achieved cruising speed in terms of volumes.”

The Notaires’ French Property Analysis also infers that low mortgage rates are “stimulating” the market, (even though they may be creeping up), along with tax breaks offered to some buyers.

Read the interactive PDF of the French property market report N°35 – April 2017

Street sign for a french notary (notaire)
The all-powerful local Notaire – find out who he or she is and ask someone to formally introduce you

Any formal transaction in a country that you’re not completely familiar with is pretty daunting. And buying a property has to rank as one of the most stressful (yet happy) experiences too. Combine the two and it could make a shaky start to a new life in France.

To help you avoid the shakes – except for the earthquake kind which we can’t help you with – (little ones do occur in France!), Angloinfo France has plotted out the entire property buying process in France from the compromise de vente (sales contract) through to the cooling off period and completion day. You’ll also find detailed information about purchasing fees, taxes and charges, diagnostic surveys, and the Leaseback system.

Two young men pouring bucket of freezing water over their heads
You have time to “cool off” after making an offer

Exchange rate ups and downs

The fluctuating value of the dollar, pound and euro make it essential to understand when to pick your moment to make a currency transfer to purchase an overseas property. For a clear and authoritative overview of the week’s currency movement and what they mean for expats, head to Rewan Tremethwick’s blog, ‘Currency and Foreign Exchange Markets’.