You will only find fixed rates. They aren’t too happy about you paying them of early. (Banque Populaire isn’t!). You will find their lending criteria different from the UK. They are responsible lenders, so will want to see proof of all of your outgoings. They will then make a decision. However, if your outgoings are going to exceed 34% of your income, any offer will be scaled down so that you do not exceed that figure.
There is an interesting mortgage product called something Plus with Banque Populaire. If you are borrowing money for something that is deemed to be eco, such as an economical boiler, insulation, solar hot water, solar pv or double glazing, you will get it at a reduced rate as long as you are having an official company doing the installation. You might then also be eligible for tax credits (as long as you fill in a tax return here). If your tax isn’t high enough, you will receive a cheque from them.
If you are having three of more things on the list done, you will get an interest free loan for up to 20 years.
However, you need to look at the overall cost of the work to be done. For instance, I installed my own solar hot water system as it was about 75% cheaper to do it myself. Our solar pv, I couldn’t do and initially it cost more than it would in the UK, but after the tax rebate, worked out about the same. Interestingly, you would think that with the sun here, that it would be more effective than the UK, but due to the fact they insist that it is installed integral to the roof tiles, it gets hotter and is less efficient!
Loft insulation I upgraded myself as it was far cheaper to buy in the UK. We were buying a large trailer in the UK and it made sense to fill it with something for the return journey.
We already have double glazing, but it is not up to the current standards. If we were going to renew that, I would probably source in the UK due to the price as well.
The bank seems to discourage additional payments.