What does real estate in France offer?


The centuries-old history of one of the oldest countries of the Old World, has given the world unique monuments of architecture and art. Nature has gifted France with an amazing variety of landscapes, from warm sandy beaches and sun-drenched lavender fields to snow-capped mountains. The French themselves have infused their country with a sophistication and careless chic, a devotion to all things beautiful. Life under the pink and blue skies of Paris, praised by many great writers, beckons people from all over the world. Real estate in France for Russians is a dream, a style and a certain status.

But it is not only the beauty of the country that attracts foreign buyers. The main factor is the diversity and profitability of the real estate market. In France you can become the owner of a flat, a village house, a townhouse, an old mansion or a villa on the beach. In this case, the liquidity of real estate is very high. Due to the strong influx of tourists, short-term and long-term rental housing is a good source of income, and to sell real estate in any region at a profit – no problem. In addition, foreign citizens are attracted:

Quite simple and maximally transparent procedure of buying/selling.
The possibility of obtaining mortgages from French banks.
The variety of primary market property and the opportunity to purchase housing under construction.
The stability of the French property market.
Get a residence permit in France for acquired real estate can not. But, if the owner has an annual income of at least 10 thousand euros, and does not claim to work, it is quite possible to issue a residence permit for a financially independent person for 1 year. Then extend it for the same period of 4 times and submit documents for permanent residence permit.

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Features of the French property market
Despite the fact that France is part of the European Union, there are some real estate market rules that distinguish it from many other countries. For example, the ability to purchase a home in co-ownership. A certain type of company – SCI, which has the right:

Collectively own the property by a group of individuals or companies (they can be members of the same family or business partners).
Allocate ownership interests in the property and prescribe possible temporary changes.
Combine several properties into one property.
Determine the right and order of inheritance of the property.
Modify current and long-term taxation.
Such companies are registered by a notary at the stage of signing a preliminary contract. There are peculiarities in the commercial real estate market. Restaurants, cafés, office premises and hotels have always been in demand from foreign investors, including those from the Russian Federation and the countries of the former Union. The acquisition of such property somewhat expands the opportunities for its owner, but also imposes certain obligations on him or her.

Firstly, if the value of the object exceeds 30 thousand euros, and at a foreign entrepreneur has an interesting from an economic point of view of the business plan, he gets an opportunity to issue a residence permit in France for business.

Secondly, if an object of particular historical value (a castle or an ancient manor house) is acquired as a commercial property, all repairs or construction activities the owner will have to coordinate with the Ministry of Culture of France. In some cases, the Ministry may require the property to be opened to the public. Such properties cannot be sold, donated or inherited without state permission.

Thirdly, the joy of buying an antique property can be overshadowed by the cost of maintaining the property. Repair of “ancient” communications or summing up new ones can “cost a pretty penny”. Experts advise to pay attention to the primary market. The maintenance of new flats and houses is much less expensive.

Fourthly, real estate by the sea in France (the most coveted by all foreigners) also has its limitations:

The distance from the building to the high tide line cannot be less than 100 metres.
The height and type of the building are determined by the town planning, as are the building materials from which the property is erected.
The coastal area remains in the public domain and cannot be designated as a “private beach” area.
All documentation on the purchase/sale of real estate in France is in French only. The papers translated into the foreign buyer’s native language are legally invalid.

Last year’s boom has also affected the real estate market in France: the cost of luxury housing in big cities has dropped and the countryside segment has recovered; it has become more difficult to get a mortgage but the interest rates have dropped; the tax laws have changed and the share of investment sales has increased. But overall, the property market has held up.

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