Thinking of a new home in France and a French mortgage?

Planning to buy a home, second house or holiday property in France means being on the lookout for a great French mortgage deal – but there are also a raft of checks and tasks that prospective purchasers need to work through.

It is important to be realistic about buying a French property. Don’t expect the process to be simple – but if your heart is set on a dream home, there’s no need to be put off by any apparent complications. All can be worked through.

Budgeting for a French property

It is important to do the maths. Prices of French property dropped during last year with further falls forecast. That said, the euro currency is currently strong against the British pound which means property buyers in the UK are not able to find many low cost homes.

However, it is possible to avoid converting sterling at this time. This would be by taking out a French euro mortgage. Borrowing up to 85% of a property’s value – which Conti allows – means there is a requirement to convert only the 15% remainder.

A recovery in the pound would lead to a decrease in repayments. However, it has to be pointed out that if there are further falls in sterling, mortgage repayments would have to increase.

Other key issues to watch for buying in France

Nothing should be signed unless it has been translated first. Employing a translator is essential unless you speak French.

Also, it is advisable to deal only with agents that are members of the French estate agents association – the FNAIM. Be aware too that different estate agents may be trying to sell the same property at different prices so check with other agents.

Keep an eye on costs because they can escalate as high as 15% of the property sale price, depending on various factors including the property’s age and whether bought via an estate agent.

Interestingly, France has inheritance laws that can mean blood-related family could benefit in the event of a property owner’s death. It is recommended advice is taken over this issue.

Important too to think ahead to a period when it is time to sell up. Will the property be saleable? What might have been a dream home for the ex-pat Brit may not appeal to many buyers when put on to the open market a few years in the future.

Choosing a French mortgage

Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist, prepared this brief page of tips to help buyers start thinking about the purchase process.

For more guidance and advice about French mortgage deals, as well as the property-buying process in France, feel free to call us now on 01273 772811 or simply complete our online enquiry form and we’ll get right back to you.

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