The procedure for purchasing property in France

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Foreign citizens may freely acquire real estate in France, whether residential or commercial property, as well as land. Buying and can perform both physical and a legal entity.

The purchase process begins with a preliminary acquaintance with the objects. This can be done via the Internet, specialized publications, thematic exhibitions. An important step - select a company that will accompany the buyer during the transaction. You can contact the agency directly in France, or Russia's representative company, or firm in Russia is a partner of the French company - the seller of real estate.

If desired, the transaction can commit its own, thus avoiding the cost of the fee real estate agent. But then, in case of any problems the buyer will be difficult to present a claim to the seller, while the agency takes full responsibility for the transaction. The best solution would be to contact the reputable agency with many years of practice. You can also find out whether the agency belongs to the National Federation of Real Estate Agents France (FNAIM). This organization requires its members to strict adherence to laws.


To a potential buyer can familiarize themselves with objects, many companies offer an orientation tour of Russia. It is understood that for such services firms will have to pay extra. However, many companies still do not charge for conducting an inspection tour - all costs are included in the commission of the purchase. Orientation tour includes the selection and inspection of facilities, provision of legal information, etc. The cost of airfares and accommodation are not compensated. Of course, there is a risk that the buyer did not decide to purchase. However, this depends on the professionalism of specialists of the company - how they take into account the wishes and possibilities of the client and advance to provide complete information about the objects, the procedure of purchase and the market situation.

In the case where the buyer intends to buy property in France, but has been unable to come to this country, it is possible to buy a home remotely. Signed a preliminary agreement will be sent from Russia by express mail, and for signing the main contract of sale - To issue a power of attorney to a representative or directly to the notary, a leading transaction. If the authorization is made in France, you will need to assure her of the French Consulate in Russia. If in Russia - would need to be translated into French and put an apostille. In any case, experts strongly recommend at least once to come to France, because only through personal inspection can make the most complete picture of the object.

After the final selection of the object, the buyer and the seller sign a preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente or the Promesse de Vente). However, before concluding the contract the seller must provide the buyer with documents on the technical condition of the property.


Testing includes a so-called diagnostic tests. In particular, the measured area of the object to conform to the footage, a check for the presence of termites, as well as the use of lead and asbestos during the construction.

Asbestos as a building material was banned in France in 1996, after it became clear that he is the cause of many diseases. Until that time it was used as the sole type of insulation. If the house was built before 1 July 1997, the seller must provide the buyer with a certificate for the absence of asbestos. But it is worth considering that the document is issued only on a flat, rather than the total area (stairs, corridors, etc.).

The probability to find in my house other prohibited material - lead - small, because lead pigments used in buildings constructed before 1948. However, if lead is present, the seller is obliged to undertake the removal of material.

All examination conducted by individual experts who have custody procedures for issuing the necessary documents to the seller. The cost of diagnosis included in the price of real estate.

If time is running out, a preliminary contract is signed without the results of examination. But then, it prescribes that at the time of signing the main contract of sale the seller is obliged to obtain test results and without the buyer has the right to withdraw from the deal without any obligations.


The preliminary contract is a two-way guarantee: the buyer - that the object will not be sold to anyone else, even at higher price, the seller - that the buyer does not change his mind. Certification of documents by a notary is not required. At the same time the buyer makes a down payment of 10% of the value of the object (5% when buying a property under construction). The money will be stored in a special bank account of the notary. All other payments on the transaction will also be conducted through this account. Details about opening bank accounts abroad and how to transfer money, see the article "Financial matters: how to pay for the deal?". Cash is not accepted in France.

By law, after the conclusion of the preliminary contract the buyer has seven days in which to refuse further transactions and return the deposit. After this period the money is not returned. Also, the deposit can be returned if the bank refuses to issue a credit or expertise to asbestos gives negative values. If the deal fails through the fault of the seller, he returns to the buyer double the deposit amount.

It should be ready for one particular French law. In each city mayor has the right to purchase the object at the price specified in the preliminary contract, instead of the buyer (droit de preemption). The deposit in this case he comes back, but any additional compensation to the buyer does not receive.

Typically, a preliminary agreement for a period of three months. At this time, the notary checks the legal purity of the transaction.

1. According to the state. Since the law municipality may acquire an object instead of the buyer, the notary sends a request with the declaration of the transaction. At City Hall has two months to reply, in his absence the transaction is considered "clean" with respect to the state.
Also, the notary shall verify, whether the object is not at risk (for example in close proximity to industrial enterprises) or the special zone, for example historic. All this imposes on the owner's specific obligations.

2. In relation to individuals. A request is made in the mortgage office, whether the object of unpaid debts. Information is further requested that all owners of the property agree to sell the object. The duties of the notary is the calculation of all additional costs of the transaction and verification of passport data of the buyer.

During the period of the preliminary contract, the buyer also has time on mortgages (see below). After receiving the consent of the Bank, as well as carrying out all necessary checks is a contract of sale.


To conclude the main contract for the sale of meet at the notary. He is an official and represents the interests of the buyer and the state. The task of the notary - to provide legal purity of the transaction, for which he is a professional responsibility, guaranteed by the state. Notaries may be two - the buyer and the seller. Notary seller holds legal review of real estate, notary buyer made payments on the transaction and the contract of sale.

In the notary's office, the buyer (an individual) may require the following documents: passport, copy of visa or residence permit, birth certificates, marriage and divorce.

Here, the parties sign the main contract of sale - deed of sale (Acte de Vente). By this time all the necessary funds can be transferred to the account of the notary. When signing the ownership passes to the buyer, the new owner receives the keys to the facility and a special document of title - qualification. After that, the notary transfers money to the account of the seller. When signing the deed the buyer pays the notary fees (see below section "Collateral costs").

The new owner should be mandatory to insure your property. This is followed by a notary.


After the conclusion of the contract of sale the notary is obliged, within a few days to register the new owner in a special registry office - Storage mortgages (Conservation des hypoth?ques). In this establishment register all acts of sale, exchange, donation of real estate, as well as mortgages. In general, the state registration takes two to three months. Once completed the new owner receives the final document of title - the certificate of ownership.


Additional costs for a single transaction amount the buyer pays the notary. It includes the cost of direct services to the notary and state taxes. Buyer pays 6-7% of transaction amount, if the object belongs to the secondary market, and 2-3%, if the primary. Undervalued rate of tax when buying a new home due to the fact that all new buildings in the sale are subject to VAT, which is included in the purchase price.

Also, the buyer pays for a real estate agent (4-5% of transaction amount), and mandatory insurance, real estate. Its value depends on the area, location and many other parameters. For example, the basic insurance home area of 100 square meters. meters will cost ? 350.


At the October 2009 issue the credit in France is quite possible. However, in practice, obtaining a mortgage is often dependent on personal relations director of real estate agency to the buyer. Policy banks also varies: some of the Russians refuse to listen to, others provide loans completely free.

As a rule, non-resident credit is given to 50-65% of the property value, the rate of 3-4% per annum. The percentage depends on the ratio of personal and bank financing and the loan term. A necessary condition - the size of payments should not exceed one third of the declared expenditure. Non-residents typically provided mortgages for up to 20 years.

Now quite feasible to take the credit for the amount of ? 200 thousand, however, the bank is likely to refuse if you bought a house in the wilderness value of ? 250 thousand but if it is an apartment in central Paris costs ? 600 thousand, a loan in most cases will be granted.

Application for a loan can provide and in absentia, without leaving Russia. In this case the documents for signature will be sent to the applicant by mail.


Housing under construction

The state strictly controls the activity of the developer and ensures the safety of the buyer. The basic contract of sale can not be signed until the construction of the foundation. The document prescribed value, an accurate description of the object, its surface area (possible error of 5%).

Reservation fee when purchasing a home builder can not exceed 5% of the price of the object. Schedule of payments along the following:
• 35% - since the construction of the foundation. At this stage, is notarization of the transaction.
• 35% - after completion of roofing works;
• 25% - on completion of works on interior decoration;
• 5% - the transfer of keys.
After the completion of the buyer receives the file, indicating the end of construction; acts of correspondences; certificate issued by the city mayor's office, and other documents.

When commissioning the object come into force on various guarantees the developer:
1. guarantee of quality completion of construction; valid for one year after the date of the object, requires the builder to correct all construction deficiencies.
2. ten-year warranty on the strength of the building; by the developer corrects her major damage to the foundation, walls, roofs, load-bearing structures.
3. two-year warranty is provided for electricity, fire and lighting equipment, plumbing, lifts, suspended ceilings, etc.
4. warranty repair of damage is related to various types of injuries, damages determined by the court - for example, removal and replacement of elements of heating equipment.

Land Granting

A lot of land on the coast and mountains of France are not subject to building up, so before you buy should be clarified whether the construction of a particular area. This information can be obtained from the local urban district plan (PLU - Plan Local d'urbanisme). Read it helps the agent.

In the construction should take into account the special rate of development (COS - Coefficient d'Occupation des Sols). Each section is assigned a coefficient. For example, with its value 0.4 for a plot of 1 thousand square meters. m area of the house can not exceed 400 square kilometers. m.

It is also necessary to know whether the soil is not contaminated due to industrial emissions. The seller of real estate must provide such information. If the plot is located on the banks of the river or mountain area in the prefecture or municipality may request information about the possibility of floods and avalanches. Furthermore, acquiring such land, should be borne in mind that the public will have free passage along the edge of the water and transportation for skiers.

State has the right to pre-emption lands, so it is recommended to send a request to the town hall, not whether the land is reserved for public purposes.

When buying land in a radius of 500 meters from the monument to the history, the authorities need to obtain a building permit.

Permission for construction provide two certificate. First - Le certificat d'urbanisme ordinaire ou simplifi? - clarifies the possible size of the building and construction zone, but by itself does not confer a right of building. This law provides a second certificate - Le certificat pr?-op?rationnel ou d?taill?. To obtain this you must add to the request document, which describes the expected work.

Pay attention to the circumstances that could dramatically increase the cost of construction. First, it summarizes the necessary communications to the site: electricity, water, gas, phone - otherwise the sum necessary networks have their own. Secondly, it really set the border area, this information may be requested from City Hall. In case of necessity have to hold additional disengagement field with surveyor. Also pay attention to the terrain. Construction, for example, on an inclined section also more expensive.

Real estate on the waterfront

Ownership of real estate on the shore imposes certain obligations on the owner:
1. minimum distance from buildings to the bottom line of the tide is 100 m;
2. urban development plan restricts the type and height of buildings and fences, as well as the use of building materials;
3. coastal zone should remain public, so the owner of the villa on the shore can not restrict the area to "private beach", and local authorities have the right to lay on the private ownership of the access roads to the water.

Objects of special historical value

By the property of this kind include, for example, medieval castles. Their number in France is sufficiently large, and to make such a purchase with the appropriate resources is quite real. But this can be a problem influx of tourists into private ownership willing to be photographed against the backdrop of old buildings. The question of whether such actions invasion of private property has been mixed. On the one hand, must take into account the rights of the owner, on the other - public liberty visits to historical monuments. One solution in these situations is not provided, and similar issues are dealt with individually.

Buying property on the program "Lizbek"

Lizbek (Leaseback) - a unique government program established to attract private investment in residential real estate in France. Otherwise - a way to purchase housing with a simultaneous surrender of its lease to a fixed state conditions.

This program the buyer acquires a fully furnished and equipped accommodation for permanent rental. This is a contract with a management company, the income from the lease is guaranteed. The size of income is 3-4% per annum of the value of real estate with the indexing of interest rates depending on inflation.

In addition, the state returns to the buyer VAT at 19.6%, made the purchase of housing. However, a VAT refund is carried out under certain conditions, carried out by the investor during the quarter following the date of the declaration.

Objects "Lizbek" located in the most attractive tourist regions: the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, in the Alps, Paris and its suburbs. "Lizbekom" can be any property, but are most common following types:
1. Tourist residences - apartments in resort areas or Paris;
2. business-residence - residential complexes equipped business center and located near airports or industrial zones;
3. student residence - a small studio near schools and in cheap neighborhoods of large cities;
4. residence for the elderly - complexes, where additional medical services. Such objects are the most investment attractive.

Agreement with the management company is to serve nine years after this period can be extended. At the end of the owner has the right to dispose of housing at its discretion. At any time of the contract holder has the right to sell the property, but in this case, the cost will be significantly reduced.

Depending on the conditions of the contract it may be pointed out that the owner has the right to reside in the dwelling for several weeks in a year, while its income from rents will be lower. The sole responsibility of the owner is paying the local property tax. For one-two-room apartment he is about ? 300 per year. All other payments assume the management company. Additional pay for her services do not need to - these costs are taken into account when calculating the income that is guaranteed to the owner.

Under the objects "Lizbek" can be issued a mortgage. Some banks offer special mortgage programs for such properties. Loan amount can reach up to 70%.


Arriving in France to buy their own homes, the buyer may stay in a rented accommodation. Often, this option is cheaper to stay at the hotel.

The process of renting accommodation in France is similar to Russia. The parties entered into a lease agreement stating the address area of the object, time and cost of the lease, whether the fee includes utility payments, etc., before entering a tenant pay a deposit amounting to three months' rent. The deposit is a guarantee to the lessor in the preservation of furniture, decoration, etc. If all goes well, he subsequently returned to the tenant. Perhaps one-time payment of the full value of the lease. In this case, the tenant receives a voucher - a document confirming the fact of the lease.

It should be borne in mind that the rent for long term landlord can ask the tenant's residence or work permit.

The cost of monthly rent depends on the location, area, technical equipment of the object. Spread price colossal. For example, in Paris you can rent the studio for ? 400 or apartments for ? 5 thousand

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