Recent Blog Posts Costs of buying in France Mi0xMzQzODM4Mzc2 Wed, 01 Aug 2012 18:26:16 +0200


France has always been a popular destination for Brits looking to buy abroad. With easy and reliable access by road, rail and air our European neighbour is convenient, cultured and offers great food and wine.

Whether you are interested in the sunny south, nearby Brittany, the stunning Loire Valley, the Capital Paris, or a multitude of other options, France has plenty to offer British buyers.

Wherever you are thinking of purchasing a home in France you will need to consider not just the price of the property but the associated costs of buying.

When you are unfamiliar with a country`s system - and the charges - of house buying, it can seem daunting and people are often wary about hidden extras. In truth, these won`t be `hidden` you just need to know about and understand them in advance. Importantly, that will also help you work out how much money you have for the purchase price itself.

If you have found your dream property then be aware that the transaction is legally binding at an earlier stage than it would be in England so be sure you are definitely in a position to make the commitment before you sign the initial contract. Conditional clauses can be inserted however.

To go ahead with a purchase you will need a notaire. A notaire is similar to a lawyer in the UK but is employed by the French government and is there to ensure all sales are carried out properly and that the taxes are collected. The buyer and seller can share the same notaire or each side can appoint their own.

The notaire and estate agent`s fees together normally come to between 10 and 15 per cent of the purchase price. Estate agent fees generally come in at somewhere between five and 10 per cent.

A notaire`s costs will include their own fee and the taxes that need to be paid on the purchase. They are on a sliding scale depending on the property`s price but are usually between six and eight percent. Lower fees are applicable on a newly built property. All fees need to be paid on completion.

The tax element of the notaire fee is 2.5-3.5% of the price of a new property and for a resale property the same, plus stamp duty of four to six percent. If you need a mortgage you need to know that there will be an extra notaire fee of 1-1.5% which covers the cost of registering the charge on the property for the bank.

Once you have successfully bought your French property remember there will be some annual costs you will need to pay. The council tax, or taxe d`habitation, is between € 5 and € 25 per square metre with the rate varying between regions. There is also a land tax, or taxe fonciere, which also ranges between € 5 and € 25 per square metre but won`t have to be paid in the first two years if you have bought a new-build property.

An annual resident tax is also applicable unless you occupy the property for only a few weeks and rent it out the rest of the time.

Now that you know the fees and taxes you will be liable for it`s time to get on an online mortgage calculator to work out the all important numbers and find out how much you can afford to spend on your French dream.