Property in France

Buying and selling property in France is a very different system than buying or selling a property here in Ireland. 

When buying or selling a property there will not be two sets of Solicitors, acting on behalf of the seller and the purchaser, instead there is a Notraie, who acts on behalf of the French Government to make sure that all the paperwork is carried out correctly and the fees necessary have been paid.

There are various types of homes on the market in France, from homes in the country side, to hamlets, small villages, large villages, small towns, large towns or Cities.  Likewise there is a vast variety of types and styles of houses available.

A consideration when buying in France has to be why are you buying and how are you going to use the property.  Is it near good infrastructure with a view to public transport, rail or road, ferryport or airport.  Are there flights all year round or just during the summer months.  If the property is to be used for holidays throughout the year and flights are only available in high season then it might be best to consider a different location.

A point that should be given careful consideration when buying in France, you find a property, you make an offer, your offer is accepted and you have some paperwork to sign – an Acte De Vente and you handover your deposit.  But BEWARE, if you subsequently decide that you no longer wish to follow through and complete the purchase, then you will lose your deposit – which is normally 10%.  If however the seller decides that they don’t wish to follow through and complete the sale then they must repay you the deposit of 10% plus an additional 10%, this is based on the assumption that you have lost valuable time and other property may have increased in the meantime.  This is a fair system, as you need to be sure before you commit to either buying or selling.

Another point to remember is once you have put in an offer, which is accepted even if this is below the asking price then the property is removed from the market until the paperwork is completed – this does away with gazumping.

Leasebacks.                                                                                                                                                                                                             There was a large number of leasebacks in France sold during the last ten years or so in Ireland, but what happens when things don’t work out according to plan.  

This case study is of a two bedroom townhouse on a leaseback scheme outside of Perpignan it was bought in 2003 for the sum of €90,000 the lease was signed for nine years.  The leaseback scheme was operated on the basis that all the properties in the scheme are run by a management company who rent them for short term as holiday lets, this is the basis on which planning permission is obtained.  In this case the developer not only sold under the leaseback scheme but also sold properties to homeowners who used these properties as their main residences. This in turn caused some problems and the builder and Management Company eventually ceased to trade. The income from the leaseback was paid only once and covered a three month period only.  The owners then placed the property with an agent and did some long term lets and a number of short term lets.  The property was placed on the market in 2004 and eventually sold in 2008 for €89,000.

There is a forum dedicated to French Leasebacks with a lot of valuable information contained on it the link is          

Post April 2011 Spring in France

Spring is in the air in France, many holiday home owners take the opportunity to visit their homes in the next few weeks and take care of essential jobs like cutting the grass.

If you are the owner of a ride on lawn mower in France you need to have insurance in place for the use of this machinery, even for use only on your own land. The French code of insurance “Article L221.1″ states that vehicles with an engine are obliged to have Public Liability Insurance cover.

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