With its stunning cities and villages, spectacular beaches, magnificent cuisine, art and culture, amazing skiing and agreeable weather there is no surprise that other Europeans have been looking at properties for sale in France for many years.
For anyone looking to purchase a French property, the first thing of note is the huge array of choice, be it styles of French properties available as well as diverse pricing. Property for sale in France can take the form of traditional or modern, new-build or re-sale and encompass either country or town properties. Styles of property include chateaux’s, castles, farmhouses, lakeside properties, barns, coastal properties, ski properties, building plots and investment properties such as catered chalets, gites, B&B’s and French leaseback properties.
With thousands of properties for sale in France, it is thus important to first understand if you want a detached stand-alone property or whether you prefer the more communal living of an apartment. Would you prefer something already built (re-sale) or on paper (off plan) and where do you want to be, both in the area of France and within that area?
For those looking to purchase an off plan French property and therefore wait for your property to be built, this is a safe and straightforward purchase thanks to it being strictly regulated. It provides maximum protection for the purchaser as developers have to ensure they have the relevant bank guarantees in place for the specific residential project.
With all purchase contracts drawn up by the Notaire in accordance with the very tight French building codes, the other advantages of off plan include 10 year guarantee, stage payments, modern and efficient systems providing low maintenance costs and no need to have to carry out any renovations as you might in a re-sale purchase.
Investment and off plan properties for sale in France have increased significantly in recent years, with buyers looking at better capital appreciation and guaranteed rental returns in their French purchase than what they can achieve in their home countries.
Leaseback properties for sale in France are particularly a good way to achieve good rental income returns if you think you will only want to use your French property for one or two weeks a year. Some leaseback developers also allow owners to swap their weeks for use in other residences in other resorts, ensuring variety of choice in the owner’s holiday plans.
As few as 2 in 100 clients visit these types of property purchases, the majority being investors simply looking for the rental return on their investment. As a freehold owner of the pre furnished property, the leaseback term is usually 9 – 11 years which can be extended. Owners receive a fixed annual income anywhere up to around 4.5 – 5%, whether the property is rented or not with no extra costs incurred.
Leaseback purchases also allow owner’s to recover the VAT on the property which provides a major saving of 19.6% on the actual cost of the property. To recover the full amount of VAT, you have to rent the property for 20 years. However if you decide to only do a shorter term leaseback of 9 or 11 years, you repay the VAT owing which is calculated as a percentage. For example a 9 year leaseback you repay 11/20 ths of the Vat or on a 11 year leaseback you repay 9/20 ths.
The other alternative to the Leaseback property is to buy a classic freehold French property. Here you are not dictated by the number of weeks you have to rent the property and can use it as much as you wish.
Once you have found your property in France, mortgages are available subject to circumstances and can be often up to 80%, with typical lending terms over 15 years. French Law however dictates, French lenders are not allowed to offer mortgages where the purchaser’s repayments total more than 30% of their monthly income. This 30% must also include any existing mortgage you possibly have in your home country. We work with a number of UK and French Banks specialising in Mortgages for property purchase in France and would be very pleased to provide you with a list of contacts to assist you in this process, once you have decided on the property you wish to purchase.
As with all countries, there are fees involved in the purchase of your French property. If the property is off plan, the legal costs (a combination of Notary fees and taxes), typically amount to approximately 3% of the purchase price. For re-sale French properties the fee is approximately 7%. Occasionally this will sometimes be reduced if the seller wants to sell quickly. No commission is paid by the buyer. The agency commission is included in the sales price. The buyer is however responsible for paying the Notary fees. For more information on the buying process in France, please refer to our Guide to Buying a Property in the French Alps.
Alpine Property Investments are pleased to offer a wide range of French ski chalets and apartments for sale in the ski resorts of the French Alps. Please feel free to browse our Search facility to see what is currently listed. This offers just a small selection of French Alps ski properties for sale that we have and we would be happy to assist your search further. Please contact us with what you are seeking and we would be delighted to help.
[ Back to top ]