The challenging year of 2020 has also made its mark on the French property market. Brexit, which forced many Britons to think about selling their villas on the Riviera; new tax laws raising the tax rate on rental property income by more than two times, if this income exceeds the amount of profits from other activities, could not but affect the value of prestigious apartments. Experts predict that in 2021-2022 it will be possible to buy a luxury villa on the Côte d’Azur or in Nice for 40-50% cheaper than in past years. There have been changes in other segments of the real estate market in France.
France is a European country with a dynamic economy and consistently high standard of living. It is also: comfortable ski resorts in the Alps, dazzling beaches of the Cote d’Azur, the tenderness of sunny Provence, rustic comfort of Brittany and slightly frivolous chic of Paris. Buying property in France is a dream for many and a matter of prestige for rich foreigners. Today it is available to the citizens of the former Soviet Union. Luxury apartments in Cannes and Nice, a townhouse in Montpellier or a house in the French countryside – the choice depends on the taste and thickness of the purse of the buyer.
What kind of property can foreigners buy?
French law places no restrictions on foreigners buying property. They can buy: residential and commercial premises, land for construction and housing under construction in any region of the country. The purchase is made in the name of a natural or legal person, with their own or a French bank’s mortgage funds. In addition, you can buy property in France “remotely” by making a power of attorney to an authorized representative.
Rights and obligations
When acquiring a property in France, a foreign national receives certain rights of natives, as well as a package of certain obligations under the laws of the country. Firstly, he becomes a payer of property and residence taxes. Secondly, he is obliged to sign a contract with a utility company for the maintenance of the dwelling. Thirdly, to insure the property. And finally, he must agree to comply with the condominium rules and regulations, if the property is an apartment in a block of flats. France is a well established European country and the “neighbourhood rules” are as much enforced here as criminal or administrative laws.
In return, the owner of real estate in France will be able to obtain a “visitor visa” or Schengen multivisa, which gives the right to travel throughout the Eurozone, but without the possibility to work. The children of a French property owner will be able to receive an education in the country.
How to buy property
Foreign nationals who have decided to buy property in France, apart from counting the “cash”, should pay attention to several points:
It is necessary as much as possible to learn the way of life of the French and assess how their own moral attitudes and habits “fit” into it. Such knowledge will help avoid unpleasant surprises in everyday life.
Do not have illusions about the price of housing. Inexpensive real estate in France, including small studios and small rural houses, rarely cost less than 100 thousand euros. Although, some “lucky” to find a flat in Paris for 50 thousand euros. To renovate. The area of 6 square meters.
Do not dwell on the most famous and popular regions of France. Properties in less-publicised areas can be much more comfortable, both in terms of layout and value.
In addition to the amount for the property itself, the buyer must be prepared to pay the legal fees associated with the transaction. Further, he will have to pay annual taxes. For this reason, it is worth researching the French tax laws in advance or consulting a good lawyer.
Before the deal, it is necessary to check all documents prepared in order to avoid a force majeure at the most important moment.
The procedure for buying property in France has its own legal nuances and is certainly not similar to the order of transactions in the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union. But in any case, the first step will be the search for the property.
Search for property
Before searching for real estate in France, you should decide what exactly is the type of housing, its approximate area and value, and in which region of the country it should be located. For the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union all the real estate is divided into flats and detached houses. In France, the classification of housing is much richer. For example, a house with a plot of land is a mansion or villa, without land – just a house. Flats with hotel service and high maintenance costs are apartments, and flats come in several varieties.