The process of profitable purchase of a real estate in France: how to choose your optimal property?


Buying real estate in France is a wonderful experience and a profitable opportunity. Of course, you can invest in new or old real estate. Buying property in France: new or old property, what should you consider and buy? One of the most common questions when investing in real estate in France is new or old property. The key dilemma is not only the price, the expectations of future buyers, lifestyle, and many other important factors that can influence the decision to purchase real estate. A new house offers not only a functional and modern living space but also many reliable guarantees to deal with surprises that may arise after purchasing real estate on the secondary market because a new apartment for sale in Les Gets, France allows buyers to get various, effective advantages, in particular, full compliance with current modern standards. Unlike some old houses, new houses are mostly built in full compliance with modern safety standards, so they offer a high level of comfort. Building companies in France comply with all regulations regarding heat and sound insulation, as well as plumbing, electricity, ventilation, heating, accessibility for people with limited mobility, etc. A key advantage of buying a property in a new development that was not ready for construction is that the living plans can be changed to suit your tastes and needs. Many key aspects of everyday life have a direct and significant impact on your future quality of life.


A reliable level of confidence

Buying new real estate offers several legal guarantees. When you get the keys to your new home, you’ll receive two years of builder’s liability insurance as part of your new home purchase warranty. This protection applies to all types of repairs, including those related to equipment that is not an integral part of the building. In addition to this first layer of protection, the famous “10-year warranty” is provided. The developer gives a guarantee for the following ten years against defects that may affect the stability of the building (for example, cracks, and various problems with the sealing of the walls or roof).

Effective stimulation of the French real estate market

When investing in a new home, you can take advantage of the many assistance programs available. For example, a “0+ interest loan” is an interest-free loan for financing the construction or purchase of new houses, it is an economically advantageous option for buyers to purchase housing in a new house because the process of buying real estate in France consists of many important points that should be considered before, how to purchase the desired real estate. For example, buying real estate in a new building entails less financial costs and taxes. The prices of apartments in new buildings are more expensive than the prices of apartments in old buildings, but new buildings are cheaper. Why does this happen? You spend less money on renovations if you buy real estate in a new house and you have to pay fewer taxes when buying real estate. For the first two years after the completion of construction work, real estate buyers are exempt from paying real estate tax. The new building standards are expected to significantly increase long-term purchasing power through savings on utility bills. The price per square meter in new houses is 15-20% higher than in old houses, which is enough to scare away many potential buyers. Buying a new property requires patience. However, you can significantly save your money by buying real estate in a house that has just begun to be built, but it is important to trust the construction project manager, regularly monitor the progress of work on the house yourself, and wait for the completion of the construction project.

Buying real estate in France in old buildings

With a large inventory of houses and plots of land, the secondary real estate market in Francia actively offers potential buyers more choices, therefore more negotiation opportunities and a greater selection of affordable prices. Many properties on the secondary market in France are available immediately for purchase. Given the number of properties available for sale, the market offers enough choices to find the perfect apartment or house at the price you want and in the right location. The large area, the excellent geographical position, and the prestige of the old buildings belonging to the traditional values. The process of buying real estate on the secondary market is also much faster and easier. The average time between the signing of a valid legal contract of sale and the date of moving is less than three months. A quite affordable price segment, which is represented in France on the secondary real estate market. 

The modern market of the so-called “old” real estate is characterized by an increasing number of sellers. This is beneficial only to potential buyers who are not ashamed of their choice and can often change the significant price of real estate purchase in the direction of its reduction. However, when buying real estate on the secondary market, it is worth considering notary fees and some repairs that will be needed in the new home that you have purchased. When you plan to resell a property profitably over the next four to five years, there is no key reason not to expect significant capital appreciation in that property. Real estate in the secondary market is bought as it is, with its quality and flaws. However, before buying such real estate, it is important to carry out various mandatory diagnostics for the presence of various defects in the house. You pay full property tax, but you can get a two-year exemption from it if you buy a property in a new house in France. Older properties have higher local and national transfer taxes and don’t forget notary fees, which can add up to 7-8% of the total sales price. Unlike new buyers, former owners pay all property taxes after the deal closes.

What houses can you buy in France?

French law does not prohibit foreigners from buying real estate. Real estate can be purchased for profitable investment purposes, residential and commercial properties, construction sites and apartments under construction can be purchased in all corners of France. The purchase process is carried out on behalf of individuals or legal entities at the expense of property or collateral funds of a French bank. You can also buy French real estate remotely by issuing a power of attorney to your real estate agent with whom you work. The types of property that can be purchased in France include:

  • Small one-room apartment;
  • Multi-room apartments;
  • Private country houses;
  • Mansions and estates;
  • Historical palaces and castles.

The price of real estate in France depends on the total area and location of the apartment. You can buy a comfortable apartment in the city center for an average of €120,000-150,000. French law provides for dual citizenship. Buying or renting real estate simplifies the process of obtaining a residence permit. Buying a private house gives hope of obtaining a residence permit and gives confidence in the future. Everything related to real estate management and operations in this area is regulated by the legislation in force in France since 1965, foreigners are not prohibited from buying real estate. Foreigners and French people need to know that Tracfin, a private anti-money laundering agency under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, operates in the country. According to this requirement, the recipient must confirm the origin of the funds. Otherwise, your transaction may be blocked.

When is the best time to buy property in France?

Plan your off-season property search trip in France. In the spring, fall, and winter, you get a lot of attention from real estate agents. In the summer, the market is full of people who decide to combine recreation and the process of researching the current state of the real estate market. Real estate market experts note that prices are even cheaper in the off-season. Special attention should be paid to this point. As with most countries, it is best to find a property to buy in France through a professional estate agent. An important step is choosing a company that will guide you in the process of conducting active negotiations. 

You can contact a French representative directly or find the contact of a representative in your country: there are representatives of French/international companies or companies with partners in France. By law, real estate agents are not parties to a valid legal contract, but they can arrange everything themselves. In this way, you save on brokerage fees and pay only the notary. In practice, it will be difficult for foreigners who do not know local laws and market features. For example, when you buy real estate, you may discover things like noisy roads and restaurants that no one warned you about near the property you bought. Your chosen real estate agent in France assumes all significant risks, such as negotiating with the seller and preparing the necessary documents. Also, pay attention to the price. Sellers can raise prices, an experienced real estate agent is perfectly aware of the prices on the French real estate market at the current moment in time, and can reduce the price by objectively evaluating the property being sold, identifying significant defects in it that the new owner will have to eliminate. 

When communicating with a real estate agent, it is very important to make sure that the professional has a state license. It must indicate the right to provide such services. It is not easy to get such a permit in France. This, in turn, becomes a guarantee of authority. The price of real estate services varies from 1% to 7% depending on the value of the real estate.

The right way to buy property in France

Notaries represent the interests of the state and guarantee the rights of all participants, including the seller’s right to sell, resolve all issues related to the registration of property rights, and also register real estate. A notary public is responsible for verifying documents, determining ownership and responsibility, collecting fees, and filing government documents. For this, the notary has the right to request additional documents, for example, confirmation of the origin of funds. Notaries bear legal, criminal, and disciplinary liability when drawing up valid legal contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate in France. Legal responsibility arises especially in case of negligence of the notary when drawing up the document. Finally, violation of the code of ethics entails the disciplinary responsibility of notaries.

When the buyer determines the purpose of the purchase, a contract is concluded for the value of the property. After that, the notary receives information about the data of the foreign passport, place of birth, residence, and if the man is married. Based on these documents, a preliminary legal contract will be prepared within a few days. This document sets out the price, terms of the purchase (such as credit information), and the duration of the legal contract. Accordingly, the buyer pays 10% of the real estate value as a deposit. This money is deposited into a special bank account, which is legally certified by a notary public. All other payments are also made from this account following the current contract.

According to the law, after concluding a preliminary legal contract, the buyer can within 10 days cancel the additional termination agreement (reflection period) and return the deposit (other termination conditions may be specified in the contract, unless otherwise specified). No refunds will be made after this date. The same obligation is borne by the seller. Therefore, if the seller refuses the sale, the buyer pays the buyer an amount equal to the deposit. However, if at least one of the specified conditions is not fulfilled, for example, the bank refuses to grant a loan or the municipality refuses to issue a permit, the contract is terminated without a financial loss for both parties.

Buyers should be prepared for the fact that the preparation for concluding a contract for the purchase of a real estate in France can take up to three months. During this time, the necessary valuable documents are being prepared, which are required for the purchase of the desired real estate. During this period, the buyer has time to take a loan from the bank or sell the existing property, the seller has time to obtain all the necessary documents and identify the real estate object.

When signing a legal contract, it is necessary to transfer the entire required amount to the notary’s account. After signing, ownership of the property passes to the buyer, the new owner receives a key and a certificate, which is the main proof of ownership. Then the notary transfers the money to the seller’s account. When signing the contract of sale, the buyer pays for the services of a notary. After signing the contract of sale, the notary must, within a few days, enter the new owner in the private register, which contains the record of all real estate sales. After completing the signing of all the necessary documents, the new owner will receive a document confirming his ownership of the property he purchased. Legal documents are signed by a notary in the presence of a translator. By the date specified in the contract, the entire amount specified in the contract must be in the notary’s account. On this day, the buyer becomes the owner of the property and receives the keys. On the day of purchase, the notary will issue a confirmation in the name of the new owner that he already owns the property and that this document is sufficient for all related transactions. The notary is the only obligatory intermediary during the implementation of a legal agreement. He must check the legal purity of the document and the technical condition of the object, as he is the guarantor of its legality. All payments are made through the notary’s bank account. It also calculates all taxes and other fees associated with transactions.


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