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Buying property in France

Buying property in France

Old Mar 9th 2016, 2:12 am
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Default Buying property in France

I thought that there would be a FAQ for this but I can't see one. Apologies if I missed it.

I made an offer on flat in Hendaye yesterday which was accepted. What is the usual time it takes to complete a sale? (There's no mortgage involved). I need to work out when to give notice on my flat in Brussels and how much time I have to empty it.

Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Congratulations TH!
Several months minimum, usually. As I recall mine took just over 3 months and that was with the seller pushing hard, although I wasn't too bothered; he was a chap who didn't seem shy of chasing people up and the notaire was very efficient and "reactive" as they say, so I doubt it can be done much quicker
Best discuss it at an early stage with the seller and the notaire and see if you can all agree on a realistic timescale - obviously it's important to try and sort out a date for the acte de vente that is going to suit everybody.
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 3:05 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by TextualHealing
I thought that there would be a FAQ for this but I can't see one. Apologies if I missed it.
No, there isn't one (yet)! Things haven't changed much since we bought our house (as ET says, count at least 3 months between signing the Promesse de Vente and the final Deed), but I've no idea how expats go about the financial side of things. Hence the reason why I haven't started a FAQ thread!
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 3:24 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Have a look at this site in the menu at the top right.
Notaires de France
Normally your marriage regime is written into the Acte de Vente.
A UK marriage would normally be considered to be "separation de biens" with the other choice being "communauté de biens".
You can choose to declare a french marriage regime with the notaire and this can be written into the Acte de Vente.
Alternatively, you can add a clause Tontine into the contract.
You should discuss your options with the notaire especially if you are not married or are in a second marriage.
You can either use the same notaire as the seller or consult a different notaire. If you use a different notaire then the transaction fees are split between the two notaires.
Good luck with the purchase.
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 3:26 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

There is the logistics and the finance. For the logistics I am using Andre de Vries and Michael Street 'Buying a House in France' Crimson Publishing, 2010 (it was the most recent i could find) £12.99. For the finance I guess everyone has their own opportunities and constraints. Maybe you could start 2 FAQS. One for each.

Last edited by TextualHealing; Mar 9th 2016 at 3:27 am. Reason: typos
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Thanks Cyrian.
Originally Posted by cyrian
Normally your marriage regime is written into the Acte de Vente.
A UK marriage would normally be considered to be "separation de biens" with the other choice being "communauté de biens".
Alternatively, you can add a clause Tontine into the contract.
You should discuss your options with the notaire especially if you are not married or are in a second marriage.
Indeed I am a celibataire so am not sure how this affects proceedings

Originally Posted by cyrian
You can either use the same notaire as the seller or consult a different notaire. If you use a different notaire then the transaction fees are split between the two notaires.
I am aware of that possibility but am not sure of the benefits of splitting between two notaires. Thet are supposed to be an independent third party, not your 'brief', so what are the benefits of splitting?
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 6:26 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by TextualHealing
so what are the benefits of splitting?
None, some folk may have a better relationship with one than the other but thats about it.
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Old Mar 9th 2016, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by TextualHealing
Indeed I am a celibataire so am not sure how this affects proceedings
If your notaire is being thorough, (s)he will raise the inheritance issue and might delicately point out that if you have a partner in the frame, there are many advantages in getting pacs'd or married.
Obviously if you don't have a partner lined up, you're probably not going to get very far with forming any kind of succession plan. But it is part of the notaire's function when handling property sales to advise the purchaser on inheritance issues, if required, so the subject will probably be broached.
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Old Mar 10th 2016, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

The point about leading the OP to the notaires site and discussing succession is simply to point them in the right direction and to ensure that they have a meaningful discussion with the notaire.
We used a separate notaire who was the son of a friend because we were arranging other things prior to the purchase and we had both notaires present at the signing of the A de V.
To be honest it was a bit of UK mentality.
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by dmu
No, there isn't one (yet)! Things haven't changed much since we bought our house (as ET says, count at least 3 months between signing the Promesse de Vente and the final Deed), but I've no idea how expats go about the financial side of things. Hence the reason why I haven't started a FAQ thread!
I don't know how others do it but we used a line of credit secured against about 20% of the equity in our primary residence which was at the time in Canada.

As far as the French were concerned it was a cash transaction.

Others may find this helpful?
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Received the Compromis de Vente today and am scratching my head over how to get it translated. I could ask a friend or visit a local notaire (I've been recommended one) cost vs convenience.....
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by cyrian
The point about leading the OP to the notaires site and discussing succession i
The OP? Another unfamiliar French acronym......
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 8:21 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by TextualHealing
The OP? Another unfamiliar French acronym......
Nope, English. It's Original Poster, i.e. referring to the person who started the thread.

As for French acronyms, you may find the following useful, although by no means an exhaustive listing.
French Acronyms and Abbreviations - Acronymes et sigles français

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Old Mar 16th 2016, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by TextualHealing
Received the Compromis de Vente today and am scratching my head over how to get it translated. I could ask a friend or visit a local notaire (I've been recommended one) cost vs convenience.....
I personally, if I needed a translation of this nature, would get it done by a professional in the field. The cost could be worth its weight in gold. Or in other words, how fluent is your friend, & how much does s/he know about property transactions in France?
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Old Mar 16th 2016, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Buying property in France

Originally Posted by Shirtback
I personally, if I needed a translation of this nature, would get it done by a professional in the field. The cost could be worth its weight in gold. Or in other words, how fluent is your friend, & how much does s/he know about property transactions in France?
Wise words indeed. I have been told it is a 'standard contract' and therefore copies must available on-line in French and English but I have been unable to find them. Am relucant to pay a (sworn) translator for several thousand words that (s)he can probably retrieve at the click of a button. If I could do that I would then search for all (any) clauses that were non standard.
Friend is a liberal professional and fluent.

Am networking like crazy over this one!
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