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Buying real estate in France as a foreigner

It is entirely possible to invest in real estate in France if you are not a French National. However, even if there are no restrictions to this, it is helpful to know the ins and outs of this procedure in advance. So, what are the steps to follow when buying real estate in France as a foreigner?

Contact an international real estate agent

The steps involved in buying a property in France as a foreigner can seem complex at first. As it is necessary to have a good understanding of the legalities of the procedure, it is a good idea to get in touch with an international real estate agent. Most of the main cities in France will have agents of this type who will be able to advise you on this sort of procedure. 

Firstly, you will need to provide personal information, such as nationality, marital status and current place of residence in France or abroad. Depending on your answers to these questions, you will need to provide additional administrative details for your file. The legal framework for buying a property as a foreigner can vary in France. Certain requirements may be needed in cities which are popular with international buyers. Real estate agents will be able to provide you with all the necessary details to help you finalise the legal proceedings. 

There are also more financial advantages to using the services of a real estate agent as opposed to directly contacting the owners when looking to buy. As well as additional legal difficulties, it is common for landlords to increase their asking price for buyers without agents.

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How to finance your real estate investment?

Financing real estate purchases is not always easy for people who do not live in France. In particular when it comes to the bank transfer that will need to be made between the buyer’s country of residence and France, as banks will need to verify the transfer and trace it back to the source to check that there is no link to criminal activity. 

A real estate agent will also be able to help a foreign buyer understand the taxation on the purchase. Indeed, the tax on the overall price will be affected depending on whether the property is intended as a rental investment or a principal residence. Furthermore, a real estate agent can provide the buyer with precise details on the fees for each region of France depending on the type of property as there are large disparities. The expertise provided by a real estate agent will guarantee staying on budget when buying.

How to obtain a real estate loan

Depending on the type of property, it may not always be possible to invest in real estate with one’s own funds. In this case, it is necessary to apply for a loan. First of all, it is important to know the total cost of the property, including the agent’s fees. These can be up to 8% of the total budget, so it is important to remember to take them into account. 

Foreigners looking to buy a real estate property in France are also eligible to apply for a loan. They may apply for a mortgage at numerous french banks. If the buyer’s salary is considered to be sufficient by the bank, they will cover up to 80% of the price of the property. Getting a mortgage with a bank can take time, especially if the proper procedures are not respected. A specialised real estate broker will be essential to this transaction. It is also advised to seek the help of a professional translator as banks may require official documents translated into french.

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