Buying a Property France

Hi all,

sorry if that has been asked already.
We are considering buying a flat/house in France. We should have enough cash from a sale of property in UK to get a small Flat. We would like something bigger and stay in it part of the year and other part rent it out but that would require a mortgage. Anyone has any experience of getting a French Mortgage on a UK income or getting UK bank mortgage for property in France (post Brexit).
Another question. I can see that even if we were to buy with cash the buying process will take 3months. Is that correct?

Thank you very much for any input on the matter

Many of the answers already posted on SF may well have been prior Brexit so no problem in getting an up to date picture.

Often - and can take longer if SAFER become involved in the sale.

On a flat??? Can’t grow much in a window box🤭. However three months from offer to final completion is optimistic. It can be done but I think the average is longer than that.

Post-Brexit I think french based mortgages will be a bit more difficult (i.e. expensive) to source, and possibly vice-versa but I know nothing about the UK mortgage market now.

“Un foyer qui ne déclare pas ses revenus en France pose en général des difficultés insolubles pour les banques françaises qui ne pourront pas réaliser de saisie sur salaire en cas de difficulté. Notons que le problème existe également pour les banques étrangères quand la garantie est prise sur le bien immobilier français objet du financement, car cette banque ne pourra que difficilement faire jouer la garantie en cas de défaillance de l’emprunteur.

Ces faits expliquent les difficultés, pour les banques, d’accorder un prêt pour les non résidents.”

Do your sums carefully, as getting a mortgage to buy somewhere bigger to get a rental income may not pay off. In many places rents are low and charges high, so may be lucky to get a significant return and just get a headache. Depends where of course as big difference between places in France.

Don’t be so harsh…
The topic may be useful for anyone else thinking about the same subject @JaneJones which is why I posted what I did :wink: An update is well overdue.
Also, don’t forget that there are some properties with pricing which would surprise many UK buyers used to UK inflated prices who might just think that a flat is the only thing affordable but then discover a really nice cottage in the country…

I was surprised to be told that SAFER [ a misnomer if ever there was one, for those who have property snatched from under their noses] would be offered my property, a detached house on a plot on the edge of the town of Vire.

The land! Spreading acres!

A two-tree orchard!

“Pierre - those spuds in the plot at #XX. You’re not going to get the trailer down there. Best use a wheelbarrow”

Ha… ya can get a few “girls” on that patch chewing the cud…
You can pay to get a quicker decision from SAFER to avoid a delay if they get a sniff of it… money for old rope :grinning:

I was told by the agent that there is no prospect of SAFER taking the option on my house and I believe her.

Actually, if she told me the Moon is made of green cheese I’d believe that, too … :heart_eyes:

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calm yourself Chris :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Graham, a single man about to move into a detached des.res on the edge of the pleasant town of Vire is in want of what the Marquis of Bath calls ‘wifelettes’. He had lots - in my case one ‘wifelette’ would do.

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The business of offering the property to SAFER is just part of the normal buying process in some parts of the country, in reality though they only take a tiny fraction of the properties they’re offered.

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Can someone explain what SAFER is?

and here:

@Marcin_Minkiewicz I think the main problem about getting a mortgage in France is getting a bank account in the first place! They are not all that easy to open if you are non-resident but it is possible. You will almost certainly have to have one in order to get a French mortgage as I’m fairly sure that the standing order or whatever needs to be on a French bank. If I am wrong, someone will correct me, I know!

It is, of course, many years since I bought my house but I really liked the French mortgage because it was so very clear. You know with UK mortgages they add on a completely incomprehensible amount to your loan once a year just when you think you are bound to have reduced your capital debt? Well French mortgages calculate the interest every month and add it on there and then and you get a statement at frequent intervals showing your initial debt, each added on bit and your payment and you can watch your debt go down month by month accelerating as you go on. I’m probably a bit sad but I did find that reassuring :smiley: Also there aren’t (or at least weren’t) any drawbacks to paying it off more quickly. However, they don’t tend to do the really long terms that you get in the UK.

Just my two-pennorth…

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If it was me I’d re-mortgage my UK house to fund the purchase of the French one, the interest rate is likely to be lower and the mortgage process very quick.

Clients of mine opened a Britline account very easily a couple of months ago so getting a French bank account as a non-resident can be a doddle.

Was going to suggest that but then noticed the 1st post mentioned that the UK property was being sold.

I saw that too but assumed the OP hadn’t sold yet, there was also the mention of UK income so maybe they’ve got more than one property.

Thanks very much for the info

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The SAFER is just one of the bog-standard loops to jump through when buying anything with a large garden upwards (2500m², but just 1000m² if market garden). I’ve bought and sold over half a dozen places, one with 7 hectares, our current house has just over a hectare. The SAFER have been involved in most but never pre-empted which is really rare anyway and nothing to do with the fact that one of my sisters-in-law works there :rofl:


Sad? Absolutely not! The finance for my boatyard happened to fall at a most inopportune moment. I signed the contract on a Monday and on Weds Mr. N. Lamont stood on the pavement outside the Treasury telling the world that UK had just exited the ERM - base rate went to 10%. My finance was 4% over base :scream:

So, as the rate eventually started to fall, and I was paying off the capital I’d announce to the guys at lunchtime, “I own several more bricks today!” :smiley: It was a good feeling

I found it no problem at all. It was all very straightforward. I don’t suppose any corners were cut just because Gillles had called them first.

French ‘docamenti’ is French ‘docamenti’. Not like Pakistan where I was promised the most expeditious processing of my re-entry visa if I happened to have a spare pair of shades like the ones I was wearing …

When I went looking for a house, in this past 6-8 weeks, I was warned that almost everything in my budget would ‘need work’. That was largely true.

But there’s ‘needing work’ and ‘needing work’

This needs work