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What should I know before buying a property in France?

 being one of the most stunning countries in the world, France is a place where a lot of people dream to live in

With a rich culture and history of several centuries which contributes to the undeniable charm of each city.

All that and more assets and advantages drive people more and more to consider the thought of moving to France and buying a French property.

If you are one of those people and you are planning to live in France and buy your first home soon! This is a crucial moment in your life and a very important decision!

The time has come to make one of the most important decisions of your life: becoming a homeowner in France.

We all know that buying a house or an apartment is not the same as buying a car or new television.

Actually, it is a huge investment. A little negotiation can save you so much money and prevent you from any future surprises that may ruin your experience of property purchase.

Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions and check many things in order to understand certain notions in the home buying process.

For that purpose, in this blog we present you many things to know and check before buying a house in France:

What are your property criteria?

The first thing to know in the purchase process, you can’t make any move forward with that decision of buying a home in France if you don’t firstly identify your criteria.

You must know what you are truly looking for, what do you want and what do you need?

That will help your real estate agent to suggest you the best property offers that suit your criteria 

The main criteria represent, in a hierarchical manner, the different elements that are crucial to your life,

Only you have the ability to determine these criteria such as the area, the nature of the property, the surface, the number of rooms, a city or a village house, etc.

All the properties presented by the agency, most of the time, will not be able to meet all your criteria, so you have to carefully determine your criteria list.

Thus, the more concise and precise your wish list is, the more likely you will find the most suitable property for sale for you.

Also, while you are identifying your criteria,  you will have to work within your budget.

 what is your budget?

Next, you need to know the budget you have for your property. Generally, it is made up of savings and a loan that you will have to take out with a bank.

Before taking any steps, you must ask yourself about the financial aspect. You must know your budget.

To do this, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your banker to determine how much money you can borrow.

Your banker and your real estate agent will propose to you the best solutions adapted to your future purchase with the appropriate property prices and will accompany you in these steps.

They will be able to recommend you, in view of your project, the adequate real estate credits and the complements of credits if necessary.

They will also be able to advise you on a tax exemption scheme in force such as the Pinel scheme if your intention is to invest in rental property.

Your financial envelope will allow the real estate agency to frame its proposals and to submit the properties corresponding to your research.

To know! You must be transparent with the agent about the nature and amount of your personal contribution in order to be as accurate as possible about the remaining amount to be financed.

Consider other costs besides the property price:

If you are buying an apartment or a house, there are additional costs to think about.

That’s why it is advised when you are considering your budget and the cost of the property that you can actually afford…

It is better if you take into account the related costs: building evaluation, transfer duties, Notaire’s fees, etc.

You will have to hire a notary who will record that you are the owner of the property.

In addition to the notary’s fees, you should also think that there are always small (or larger) jobs to be done.

For instance, it may be necessary to change a window, redo the floor of a room, or even knock down a partition to create a large room.

There will also be furnishing costs: furniture, appliances, etc.

Finally, you should know that it will cost you more to live in the house than when you were renting, among other things because the insurance and heating costs will be higher.

Not to mention the cost of maintaining the building.

Check everything while visiting the selected house:

During the visit of the selected property, it is important to check everything, 

Meaning, to check if all the equipment is working well and look carefully at the general state of the construction (walls, roof, frame, floor). 

This type of work that might be affecting  the structure of the building can generally imply significant costs which can make the property cost heavily unaffordable 

Therefore, it is not something to be neglected.

And because diagnostics are mandatory for the sale of an apartment or a house, it is preferable to contact the building’s syndic to find out more about the building.

 also, the real estate agent will be able to inform you about all aspects (energy, technical, geographical).

Concerning energy consumption, the former owner can provide the agency with old bills.

During the visit, you must know if some work has already been done on the premises or if there is work to be done. 

Thus, you must know if work is taking place or if work must be done later. If work has already been voted on, the former owner must pay for it.

If work is being considered and voted on at a later date, when you become owners, it will be your responsibility to pay.

Act de Vente (deed of sale)

After checking up the selected house and ensure that everything is good and it’s worth your investment…

You have a cooling-off period of up to 14 days that the seller must offer you if you want to change your mind 

After the day colling-off period, you have to frame your agreement with the seller.  

This paper agreement allows you to define a legal framework. It establishes a climate of trust and quickly leads to a purchase price agreement.

The buyer and the seller must be clear and fully agreed about the conditional clauses in their purchase agreement which is basically a conditional contract

The wishes of both parties are subordinate to certain legal requirements, and the need to frame the negotiations and keep a chronological record of the agreements in good faith.

You must verify by yourself all the sale conditions in the contract for the purchase of a French property besides the presence of your real estate agent.

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