Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I found some houses I am interested to go look at. If I decide to buy any of them how do i evaluate what it's actually worth?
Are there any web sites where I can look at zip code and basic parameters (number of bedrooms, square footage etc.?)

And a few more questions.

Also, who pays for house inspection? Will the seller provide all documents before I make an offer? Or purchase is a subject to positive reports after the offer is made?

And... how do I find a good lawyer to look over the contract? Are they territory specific here in France? Or can anybody recommend a lawyer to work with remotely, but a very good one at decent / affordable price?

And, do i have an opportunity to withdraw my offer, if for some reason some red flag is triggered, of any kind... Will i have to pay any expenses in this case?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,902 Posts
I suggest you buy one of the (many) books on Amazon about living and buying a house in France. Your wording suggests that you are from the US. French house purchase in not like that in the US, or UK ,or......

DejW
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,839 Posts
I can recommend the title Buying a House in France by David Hampshire, which will at least give you the basics of house purchase in France.

As Dej said, it's very different from the US or UK. Unlike in the US, you don't get a lawyer involved (under normal circumstances). Property purchases go through a notaire, which is nothing at all like a notary public in the US, but is rather a specialized property lawyer who represents both sides in the transaction. (S/he is actually representing the French government and its laws.)

And houses don't change hands quite as frequently here as they do in the US, so there isn't nearly the same notion of an objective "property value" determined based on size and recent sales. The town hall may have a per square meter valuation they use to calculate the two forms of property tax, but that's based on a "rental value" rather than the sales value of the place.

There are a number of inspections that have to be done as part of a sale - and AFAIK these are done by the seller, often as a function of putting the house onto the market. For some of them, any flaws discovered in the inspections have to be corrected before the sale can go through. And it is possible to put clauses into the offer to buy that allow you to opt out if you can't obtain a suitable mortgage or have other unanticipated circumstances (say, getting transferred on short notice).

Oh yeah, that reminds me. Buying a house takes a whole lot longer here than you may be used to. Once your offer is accepted by the seller, expect to wait at least 3 months or so for all the necessary preparations for the deal to be finalized (what you call the "close").

But probably best to get the Hampshire book (or one of the others listed on Amazon or elsewhere). At least to get you started.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Are you using an immobilier or direct with the owner? In addition to the site Smeg recommends, I used the following site: http://www.meilleursagents.com/prix-immobilier/

However, as others mention, it's a pretty inexact process. Given your apparent naiveté, I don't expect you'll get a great deal anywhere. For the foreign buyer, I was happy to get a place we liked, where we wanted, for a price we thought reasonable. And believe me, anyone that shows your their property will realize straight off, that you're a foreigner, because to the French I've spoken with, they perceive any foreigner with the ability to buy a property in France, as rich, with the ability to pay their asking price. Bon Chance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,902 Posts
i'm sorry to say, T, that you are probably quite right.

DejW

Are you using an immobilier or direct with the owner? In addition to the site Smeg recommends, I used the following site: Prix immobilier : le prix du m2 pour toutes les villes de France

However, as others mention, it's a pretty inexact process. Given your apparent naiveté, I don't expect you'll get a great deal anywhere. For the foreign buyer, I was happy to get a place we liked, where we wanted, for a price we thought reasonable. And believe me, anyone that shows your their property will realize straight off, that you're a foreigner, because to the French I've spoken with, they perceive any foreigner with the ability to buy a property in France, as rich, with the ability to pay their asking price. Bon Chance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
EH,
I didn't mean to infer she/he shouldn't negotiate, but more to the effect that it'll be much harder to get a "great" deal. Because there is a learning curve, and "local knowledge" isn't easy to come by when purchasing property here. Because, as anyone who's lived here knows, unless you see the immobilier's sign in the window or in the yard, it's extremely difficult to tell where the property's located, down to a street address. When we bought, it was only 2 streets over from where we were renting, and we asked 3 of our French friends to come over and give us their thoughts, on price, on neighborhood, and potential problems that won't show up in the inspection report.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top