The house buying process in France

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The house buying process in France


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Old 23rd August 2019, 10:52 AM
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Default The house buying process in France

Hello all. We will need to sell our house before we have the funds to buy a house in France. So, not having any experience of selling or buying a house, I wonder if you have any info and advice to share from your experience or knowledge of the system.
Just another rooky question.
Time is passing and there are a few properties that we'd like to see in Limousin. I am thinking about the buying process. I can see that there is consideration given re waiting for a mortgage to come through in order to purchase the French house. I wonder would the same tolerance of delay be likely, if one is putting one's house up for sale to achieve the funds necessary to buy- there is obviously likely to be a delay?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 23rd August 2019, 11:32 AM
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IMHO if you are thinking of moving to France it might be a good idea to rent, rather than buy, until you have an idea of where you want to live and also if life in France is what you expect it to be.
Are you retired or hoping to find work ?
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Old 23rd August 2019, 01:23 PM
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It usually takes at least 3 months to complete a sale. You can pretty much include whatever condition suspensive you like in the offre d'achat, including subject to sale of a property within a given timeframe and at a given price, though that would be a good reason for the seller not to accept the offer, especially if the property to be sold is not in France. It also introduces the problem of you having to prove that you have made to sell the home. TBH I doubt very much such an offer would be accepted.

Perhaps you should have a look at these sites (in French, there are of course others)

https://www.notaires.fr/fr/immobilie...romis-de-vente
https://www.legalplace.fr/contrats/offre-achat/?msclkid=50fe05e48ea114b2dd9c58bb6b01966c&utm_sour ce=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=%5BActe%5D%20O ffre%20d'achat&utm_term=%2Boffre%20%2Bachat&utm_co ntent=Offre%20d'achat

I totally agree with suein56 that it would be best to rent first and be prepared to do so for as long as 12 months, more so because you are not sure where you want to live.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by suein56 View Post
IMHO if you are thinking of moving to France it might be a good idea to rent, rather than buy, until you have an idea of where you want to live and also if life in France is what you expect it to be.
Are you retired or hoping to find work ?
Thank you. Renting doesn't work for us; My husband would be running his audio electronics business from the house and would need workshop, storing facilities, large dry storage/ barns...once you've moved all that equipment and stacks of components, you don't want to move it all again.. like a warehouse
Renting would cause a difficulty if we rented our house- there wouldnt be a point in selling it if we were ostensibly trying out life in FRance to see if we like it-- if we sold it we would not be able to come back to UK anyway.

So in the case of renting in France, we'd need to sell our house in uk without actually being in it; so then having to ask tenants/give notice to leave so we can sell it...live in it . Then....make house all nice again, like it is now, ready to sell...etc...hang around in UK with no work and all the business going on in France. After selling the house, we would have no where to go in FRance.

That is why Moving to FRance clean break to live...- just when is the question. I am working as a tutor in UK making good money, but that is changing as the economy is starting to sink and will likely go worse...In FRance, I'll be painting and writing and as a retired teacher, maybe tuition for older students, English essay writing etc... Life has changed in UK since Brexit. My husband is Polish always an anglophile, but has had so much bad treatment from people as soon as they hear his accent, it has broken his heart I think;( you know the " Why don't you go back where you come from?"- I was astonished when he reported this back to me; first time was in a queue in the bank...now it tends to be that people go frosty and attitude stiffens when they hear he is a 'foreigner'; it's a hostile environment, for me too. My husband speaks perfect English, just with an accent that many find inflammatory. He is ready to leave after leaving his homeland 15years ago making UK his home and paying his taxes for 15 years.

There are two areas we like, Morbihan and the area near Rochechouart. WE will put our house for sale soon, planning FEbruary... I just saw a house I really like with all we need in the national park near Rochechouart and got excited...trying to join the dots...it is hard not to want to jump Before BRexit deadline though, there's that pressure.. it's like a countdown here...but thinking about it and planning helps..


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Old 23rd August 2019, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by EverHopeful View Post
It usually takes at least 3 months to complete a sale. You can pretty much include whatever condition suspensive you like in the offre d'achat, including subject to sale of a property within a given timeframe and at a given price, though that would be a good reason for the seller not to accept the offer, especially if the property to be sold is not in France. It also introduces the problem of you having to prove that you have made to sell the home. TBH I doubt very much such an offer would be accepted.

Perhaps you should have a look at these sites (in French, there are of course others)

https://www.notaires.fr/fr/immobilie...romis-de-vente
https://www.legalplace.fr/contrats/offre-achat/?msclkid=50fe05e48ea114b2dd9c58bb6b01966c&utm_sour ce=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=%5BActe%5D%20O ffre%20d'achat&utm_term=%2Boffre%20%2Bachat&utm_co ntent=Offre%20d'achat

I totally agree with suein56 that it would be best to rent first and be prepared to do so for as long as 12 months, more so because you are not sure where you want to live.
Thank you

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Old 23rd August 2019, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by manuka View Post
Hello all. We will need to sell our house before we have the funds to buy a house in France. So, not having any experience of selling or buying a house, I wonder if you have any info and advice to share from your experience or knowledge of the system.
Just another rooky question.
Time is passing and there are a few properties that we'd like to see in Limousin. I am thinking about the buying process. I can see that there is consideration given re waiting for a mortgage to come through in order to purchase the French house. I wonder would the same tolerance of delay be likely, if one is putting one's house up for sale to achieve the funds necessary to buy- there is obviously likely to be a delay?

Thanks in advance.
Here is our recent experience:

We saw the house on 12th June 2019, made an offer which was accepted. We then had 10 days to change our minds, during which time I negotiated a bridging loan on our house in the UK. We are moving to Chabanais in 16.

The owner is responsible for providing the diagnostics (electricity, drainage etc) and if you are concerned by the results you can make a revised offer or require the owner to correct any defect. This is likely to be unsuccessful as our notaire said "you buy as it is the diagnostics are for information only". I wish that was true here in the UK as a 'jobs-worth' surveyor just cost me £2000 by reporting something that wasn't a problem. Almost no-one bothers with surveys in France. Caveat emptor.

Next is the signing of the Compromis (promise to buy) and we gave the Notaire a proxy to sign for us. There follows another 10 days to back out after which we own it. Interestingly they send the notification to our address in the UK and give the 10 days starting from it's arrival. So I get 10 days, next they sent another notice giving 10 days to my partner so we got over 20 days.

Since then we have sold the house in the UK (sold within 24 hours) and sold our boat (also in 24 hours). We have a completion date here in the UK and will be leaving on 11th September,

The final signing of the Acte de Vente is on September 13th and our removers will arrive on the 17th. So three months is the average and there is almost no way to shorten it.

The advice to rent if you can is good, possibly to act as a back-up should Brexit go pear shaped but also to get to know the place and go house -hunting. You can probably find a holiday let on a longer term rental but finding a a typical 3-years (with 1-2 month notice periods) will be hard if you do not have a French bank account and other proofs of residency

Bonne chance
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Old 23rd August 2019, 02:36 PM
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Haven't been through the house buying process here, so I can't really help with that. However, given that your husband is Polish, you aren't up against anything like the same "Brexit deadlines" that many folks here are.

If you don't manage to close the sale or make your move before November 1st, the main concern will be for your husband to get set up with his audio electronics business in some form during your first three months in France so that he can get established with a "statut" whereby he is registered with the social insurance agencies. Once that happens, you'll be entitled to receive a carte de séjour (residence permit) as the spouse of an EU national.

There are a few "tips and tricks" to how you would time a bridge rental (and whether you'd rent something in the UK or in France). But it would give you a bit of flexibility while you see what the timing will be on the property and establishing the French business.
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Old 23rd August 2019, 03:10 PM
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It is also worth exploring whether a vendor would be prepared to rent to you until your home is sold - it does happen and owners of rentals that are unfurnished have to offer the property to the renter and cannot formally accept an offer to buy without offering to sell at that price to the renter. It might work with a vacant property that is not selling quickly.
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Old 24th August 2019, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by manuka View Post
Thank you. Renting doesn't work for us; My husband would be running his audio electronics business from the house and would need workshop, storing facilities, large dry storage/ barns...once you've moved all that equipment and stacks of components, you don't want to move it all again.. like a warehouse
Renting would cause a difficulty if we rented our house- there wouldnt be a point in selling it if we were ostensibly trying out life in FRance to see if we like it-- if we sold it we would not be able to come back to UK anyway.

So in the case of renting in France, we'd need to sell our house in uk without actually being in it; so then having to ask tenants/give notice to leave so we can sell it...live in it . Then....make house all nice again, like it is now, ready to sell...etc...hang around in UK with no work and all the business going on in France. After selling the house, we would have no where to go in FRance.

That is why Moving to FRance clean break to live...- just when is the question. I am working as a tutor in UK making good money, but that is changing as the economy is starting to sink and will likely go worse...In FRance, I'll be painting and writing and as a retired teacher, maybe tuition for older students, English essay writing etc... Life has changed in UK since Brexit. My husband is Polish always an anglophile, but has had so much bad treatment from people as soon as they hear his accent, it has broken his heart I think;( you know the " Why don't you go back where you come from?"- I was astonished when he reported this back to me; first time was in a queue in the bank...now it tends to be that people go frosty and attitude stiffens when they hear he is a 'foreigner'; it's a hostile environment, for me too. My husband speaks perfect English, just with an accent that many find inflammatory. He is ready to leave after leaving his homeland 15years ago making UK his home and paying his taxes for 15 years.

There are two areas we like, Morbihan and the area near Rochechouart. WE will put our house for sale soon, planning FEbruary... I just saw a house I really like with all we need in the national park near Rochechouart and got excited...trying to join the dots...it is hard not to want to jump Before BRexit deadline though, there's that pressure.. it's like a countdown here...but thinking about it and planning helps..
If you move to Rochechouart you will literally be Ryn2it neighbour. They are moving to Chabanais which must be 20 km's away.

The point is, that whole area is 'Brit world'..... in France . You are talking thousands of British living in and around that area. All being 'British' in France. Fish and chips, jellied eels and watching sky all day.

Now consider what you have written above that I have highlighted. Do you want to move to the UK in France ?

There is animosity between the British and French in some highly populated 'British' areas of France. There is also animosity between the British and British in these areas.

Smeg's advice is to stay clear of Rochecouart and such areas. Unless of course living in a British area of France is what you want.

Another point, it takes 3 months to buy a house in France. However, in the 'Brit' areas of France it can take years to sell. After Brexit, you may never be able to sell.

These are low demand areas for the French. That is why the property prices are so low. Most people want to live 'in town'/'in-city'. And to be fair, that is where you should be looking. If you move rural, you will have to move again. You will move again !!

Remember, doctors and medical specialists don't want to move to these areas neither

Now consider climate. It is been a nightmare summer in terms of heat. Even today it is forecasted to be 35 degrees. That sounds lovely. But it is not.

You can't do anything in that heat including sleeping. Also, houses across France are failing apart with the heat. Major, major problem.

Smeg's advice, think Brittany . It will become a property hotspot in the next 10 years.

And don't move rural !!!


Last edited by Smeg; 24th August 2019 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 24th August 2019, 05:49 AM
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Smeg's advice, think Brittany . It will become a property hotspot in the next 10 years.

And don't move rural !!!
Brittany already is a property hotspot .. well large parts of it, especially within a 30 km radius of where we live.
The only parts that are stagnating are the really rural areas .. though some of them are becoming 'satellites' to ever-growing towns.

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