Second home in France financial requirements


Although I know most of you on here are full-time residents in France is there anyone who can tell me whether you need to show the authorities your income if you are only purchasing a second home in France and if so is there a minimum income you need to have? In all my travels round the internet I think I read this somewhere but it’s very hard to find out exactly. In any case I suppose all the current rules might change once the UK leaves the EU?!

Thanks in advance.



When we bought our holiday home (albeit years ago)…there was no need to provide income information.

A friend who purchased recently had to give quite a sum upfront to Gas and Electric (I believe)… though I’m sure folk will soon come on board with more info…

In which region are you thinking of buying ??

I would love to buy in the south Stella but there are some very reasonable places in Brittany which I also love and would still give me my ‘French fix’. Also, my brother already has a second home there who didn’t have to show income but I still just wondered if it would happen if the bureaucrats become more hard line in the future! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Barbara

I know what you mean about “French fix”… years ago, in the UK, on bad days (for whatever reason), our ruin was like a star shining at the end of a long dark tunnel… kept us sane (more or less).

Ha ha… I know what you mean! Even with all the troubles in the world and sadly, more recently in France, it still gives me a frisson to go there!

Hi Barbara, We bought our house (second home) 8 years ago, it was a cash transaction. We have stayed there each school holiday and pay our water rates, taxes and internet/electricity bills as we would here. This year we plan to spend half our time (each month) in France and half in GB. We are in the middle of our first month! We have never had to declare our income in the UK, possibly because up until now we haven’t paid taxes on income earned in France. Hope this helps!

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Also Barbara, our house is near Perpignan in the south. I have to say whilst I enjoy every bit of the French culture and Joie de vie! I am glad we bought in the South for the weather. On our journey to our house January 2nd there was snow on the roads leaving Calais and it was grey and freezing cold. On the 3rd when we reached our house we were met by blue, clear skies and temperatures ranging from 12-18 degrees for the next 9 days!!

Thank you for both of your responses Teresa … and yes you’re right, after such gloomy UK winters it’s so tempting to be somewhere with more sunshine. The main reason for perhaps choosing Brittany is because on a limited budget it does seem to offer the best value and funnily enough my brother has had some really good Summers there but it’s not predictable and it doesn’t solve the Winter problem of course. The thought process goes on… it might never even happen but I can’t let the dream die!

Enjoy the rest of your sojourn near Perpignan … am feeling quite envious! Barbara

No income requirements beyond having the money to buy the house and pay the notaire and all the subsequent bills :slight_smile:
Beyond that, the state has ways of extracting from you any money that you owe them, and you are not in danger of becoming a liability to the State because as a second home owner they have no obligations towards you, so they are happy for anyone to come and buy a second home here. I think you’re thinking of the minimum income requirement to become resident, but that’s because as a resident you become entitled to healthcare etc and they want to make sure you will contribute your fair whack in return.
I love Brittany, I looked for somewhere to rent in Saint-Malo. Didn’t find anywhere and in the end, that’s not where I ended up. Which is even better really cos now I can go there for holidays :grin:
Go for it and enjoy !

Thank you Anna. Yes I also have considered Saint-Malo especially after revisiting it in the Summer for the first time in neary 30 years. But it is more expensive in that area for obvious reasons being as it’s so good for getting to and from the UK. Even though it has practically been completely rebuilt since WW2 it still has a certain atmosphere about it and I love the walk round the ramparts with all the beautiful views out to sea. I was lucky enough to be there when it was very hot and it felt like the Med! I’ve just finished a book called ‘All the light we cannot see’ by Anthony Doerr which is based mainly in Saint-Malo. Very good if you like reading. Enjoy your future holidays and I’ll continue to look into the various possibilities. Thanks again for the info.

Hi Barbara,

I confirm you don’t have to declare any revenue unless you apply for a mortgage in France. You’ll have to pay taxes anyway (housing and property tax). So you’ll have to get registered at your local tax office.

If Brittany is you favourite area, consider heading South. Climate in South Brittany is much milder in winter. The region near Pont Aven is a jewel.

Christian (Property finder)

Hello Barbara
When you purchase a house you may be asked to put a 5 or 10% deposit down into the notaire’s account.
Upon completion you owe the vendor the prorata amount of the taxe foncière.
You may also be asked for an interview towards notaire’s fees.
If you are transferring money to the notaire it happens between banks or financial companies.
If you are a cash buyer the responsability is yours to find the money…if you are buying subject to a loan it is the criteria of the lending bank that come in to play where they will require proof of income.
Otherwise there are no financial stipulations to you owning a property here.
And as a little ‘ahem’ moment. …Have you considered the Aveyron? Properties have dropped by 30% here since 2008 and it is a little hidden jewel despite flights to various airports around.
Good luck!

Thank you so much for your reply Hanneke. That is all very useful advice which I much appreciate. And also thanks for the suggestion of the Aveyron … I shall enjoy having a little trawl round the internet to see what there is on offer!

Thank you for your advice Christian. I haven’t been to Pont Aven but have been to Auray and Vannes which have a very different feel to the northern Brittany towns and cities. And I do notice when looking at weather forecasts that the south is often a couple or so degrees warmer.

As you are, also, discussing areas in which to live, may I please add my vote for Burgundy? We live 11km north of Clamecy and we absolutely love it. Furthermore, there is a direct train to Paris, an the station is an 8 minute walk from our home. Remember that, one day, age will demand you won’t always want to drive everywhere. Burgundy is closer to Paris than Brittany, but further from the U.K. Also, one of our reasons for choosing Burgundy is that it is not inundated with Brits. Therefore, if being near a British community is what you require, Burgundy may not be right for you. If that is not what you require, you will love it. As they say, “à chacun son goût”. Needless to write, the wine is fantastic, as is the food. Property is still quite reasonably priced.

Well, that’s my vote registered. Wherever you choose to live, France is fabulous.

Thank you Mark - there are so many wonderful alternatives and you have made Burgundy another attractive proposition. I agree with you about the driving thinking ahead to when older. One problem I have is that I am phobic about flying and haven’t flown for many years so somewhere has to be accessible by car, train or boat! I was once looking around Avignon as the Eurostar train goes there from Kent, where I live, on a regular basis but of course the property in that area can be very expensive. Decisions, decisions … Thank you again for your input.

Just another thought…

We bought a holiday home (now permanent) in a village… rather than out in the sticks. We were the only Brits (yippee) and immediately got into village life. Also, .the neighbours guarded/kept an eye on it for us…we felt secure in the knowledge it would all be as we had last left it.

Eventually, the secret got out… now there are a few more Brits… but mostly on the outer edges of the commune. Some of them envy our central situation and others are quite happy to seek out the Brit cliques and never come into the village at all…

Give it some thought…decide what you really want to achieve…

best of luck

Most of France is convenient for rail connections to the UK but will often require a change in Paris or Lille.

Yes that is the problem Stella … trying to make the decision about location although I’m a great believer in following my instincts. One thing I have decided, like you, is that if I buy I would want to be in a central location so that it’s just a walk away from amenities and don’t need to be driving out at night. The quest continues. When and if I take the plunge I will let everyone know. I envy many of you who seem to have partners who are of the same mind. My partner is a bit more luke warm about forays abroad and sometimes it seems daunting doing things like this on your own although as I’ve mentioned before I do have a brother already with a house over there and a couple of friends in Normandy. Thank you again for your suggestions.

Yes that’s right David. I’ve used the Eurostar to the South several times but generally tend to try and choose a train that changes at Lille which is only a platform and not a station change. It’s also familiar to me as I taught English as a Foreign Language there several years’ ago for about 18 months. That’s probably where the thought of a house in France really started to take hold! Thanks for your comment.