Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Top Ten Tips — Buying property in France

Top Ten Tips — Buying property in France

Welcome to my hot tips for buying property. Our chosen country is France, this time. Refer to our list of ten best countries to live in, and you will find France on the tenth!

My top ten tips:

Before we begin, I must tell you that buying property in France is fairly straightforward. Also, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership. Therefore the process maybe a simple one. Still, there are some things you have to bear in mind.

1.     Know your French. And know it well. Half baked knowledge of the language is dangerous. Better still, simply get assistance in translation.

2.     Select your region. France is a huge country. So narrow down your search to which region you might want to invest in. (for more info on regions, do look up one of our earlier posts –‘Knowing France’ – a three part series). Also, you must make up your mind whether you want a town house or a country house.

3.     First, only a verbal offer. Remember, not to sign any paper or hand over any money, till you are in front of the notaire to process the sale and purchase contract. If possible, do some research and appoint your own notaire. Do ensure you clear your doubts and ask for advice from your notaire. A notaire’s fee is fixed by law and is non-negotiable.

4.     Research. Do ample research about the property that is of interest to you. Ask questions, make a couple of visits before you get to the ‘notaire’ stage. It might also be extremely useful to go through all the taxes you might have to pay — agent’s fee, notaire’s fee, land registrar’s fee, VAT, registration fee, and so on.

5.     Preliminary Agreements. Once you have decided on the property and agreed on the price, you will need to sign a preliminary agreement with the seller. You will also have a seven day cool off period, during which time, you have the right to change your mind. This time is best used for structural survey and other inspections, if required.

6.     Buying property with French mortgage. Mortgages are cheaper in France and offers a whole lot of tax advantages. If you do opt for mortgages, ask about conditional clauses and incorporate them.

7.     Vendor obligations. Be sure to know what the vendor has to provide to you before the sale. The vendor must provide a number of stautory survey reports. Get clarification and help from your notaire on this front and do not go by the report alone. The vendor is also obliged to make a number of stautory disclosures, which you must verify in front of your notaire.

8.     Laws for unmarried, married and group of people. There are different laws and conditions, you must know and bear in mind. Ask friends, legal experts and read up.

9.     It’s all about wits.  It’s often noticed that when you buy property in your own country, you keep your wits about you, but when it comes to buying property abroad, you lose track of where you left it! Often, it’s your wits that come to your rescue or help you in a situation. Basically, you must remain calm and be able to think clearly without confusion.

10.   Loads of luck. 

Much love

Milo

P.S. A million thank you to several informative websites and my French friends who helped me draw out a comprehensive list.

P.P.S: Our next post: Tips on buying property in Portugal. See you there 🙂

Knowing France… Concluding part

Bonjour! Comment-allez vous?

Learnt some French yet — Now that you are familiar with almost all regions in France? Here is the last of the series…

Go on — know France, enjoy the French culture, food and wine…

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Capital: Lille

a.  Was once France’s major industrial region in the 19th century, due to the  coal and textile industries.

b.  Heavily populated.

c.  Promises vast economic potential through the opportunities offered by the Channel tunnel and the TGV-Nord high speed train service.

 Lower Normandy

Capital: Caen

a.  Significant coastline, hence great for tourism.

b.  HAs two sea ports, providing regular services with the United Kingdom.

 Upper Normandy

Capital: Rouen

a.  Considerable development of the Lower Seine with its two major ports of Le Havre and Rouen (France’s 2nd and 5th largest) is a major feature.

b.  Proximity to Paris is a great asset.

 Pays de la Loire

Capital: Nantes

a.  Second in France in terms of agricultural production.

b.  Highest livestock breeding.

c.  The Nantes-Saint Nazaire port complex, the fourth largest in France, is the hub of activities.

d.  A striking feature is the high speed train service (TGV) that links Nantes with Paris in two hours, thus furthering development of the economy and of tourism (Atlantic beaches).

 Picardy

Capital: Amiens

a.  A very rich agricultural area, leading to the development of the agri-foodstuffs industry.

b.  Has a pivotal geographical position.

Poitou-Charentes

Capital: Poitiers

a.  Mainly rural with farmland used mainly for beef cattle and the vineyards used for the production of Cognac.

b.  A number of agri-foodstuffs industries and light industries are present.

c.  The seaport of La Rochelle and the beaches along the Atlantic are tourist attractions.

 Provence-Alpes-Coted’Azur

Capital:Marseille

a.  Fabulous climate, great coastline and natural beauty makes this region very popular and wealthy.

b.  Marseille is France’s largest port and the second in Europe and has a industries, from oil refineries to chemicals and foodstuffs.

c.  Nice and the Côte d’Azur are famous tourist resorts.

 Rhone-Alpes

Capital: Lyon 

a.  Ranks second in importance among metropolitan France’s 22 regions.

b.  Has the second most important manufacturing and services centre in France.

c.  Lyon is well-known its universities.

d.  The region is also one of France’s major tourist areas.

That brings us to the end of discovering France. Hope you had fun touring the state. I sure did!

Knowing France… contd.

Bonjour and welcome back to the second of the three part ‘Knowing France’ series. Get to know seven more provinces of France — some well known, and some unheard of. Have fun…

Corsica

Capital: Ajjacio

  1. An island by itself.
  2. Excellent coastline and exceptional natural beauty makes for a great tourist destination.
  3. Fabulous, mild climate.

Franche-Comte

Capital: Besancon

  1. This region is the capital of France’s watch and clock-making industry and of high precision engineering.
  2. Montbéliard-Sochaux is home to the Peugeot car firm.
  3. Several traditional activities like cheese-making, woodwork, etc., make this region very popular.

Ile-de-France

Capital: Paris

  1. Includes about 18 per cent of France’s population.
  2. Highest concentration of economic activities, including industry and services. Also, all government departments, national headquarters of public authorities and the head offices of the main companies are located there.
  3. Paris houses a number of international organizations including UNESCO and the OECD.

Languedoc-Roussillon

Capital: Montpellier

  1. Important University centre.
  2. Currently in a revival mode thanks to the diversification of its agriculture, the expansion of tourism, the establishment of advanced technology industries and research.

Limousin

Capital: Limoges

  1. Main activities are the agri-foodstuffs industry and the production of leather.
  2. Famous for the ‘Porcelaine de Limoges’ which produces luxury wares of world-wide renown.
  3. A special effort is being made to open up the region.

Lorraine

Capital: Metz

  1. This region was once known for the iron and Steel industry as well as the coal mines, on which its wealth was built.
  2. With the dwindling status of the industry, the region has faces a great amount of economic problems, but is now undergoing some far-reaching programs of industrial reconversion and diversification of activities.
  3. Nancy, in this region is a university centre.

Midi-Pyrenees

Capital: Toulouse

  1. Largest of metropolitan France’s 22 regions.
  2. Toulouse is the main centre of France’s aerospace industry (the Airbus is assembled there).
  3. It is the second in importance for advanced technological activities in France (research, data-processing, computers, robotics).

Look out for the last part. Watch this space again.

Knowing France

France is a very big, diverse country. Each province is very different from one another. If you ever want to live in France, you have to first understand which province might suit you best.

The best part is that all of France has very good properties to live in. So whichever province/ region you choose, you may find lovely apartments or chateaux!

In all, there are 22 provinces in France.

Here is an interesting run through to pick the right province — The first of the three part series…

Alsace

Capital:Strasbourg

  1. Links France to Germany.
  2. Highly diversified (engineering, textiles, chemicals, breweries, etc.).
  3. Strasbourg is the home of the European Parliament on whose presence it seeks to increase its development.

 Aquatine

Capital: Bordeaux

  1. Famous for the vineyards and pines forests.
  2. Has a varied coastline, therefore a tourist region — Biarritz, St Jean-de-Luz, Arcachon.
  3. Fresh impetus has been given by the new TGV train.

 Auvergne

Capital: Clermont-Ferrand

  1. Heart of France.
  2. Mountainous region, so relatively isolated.
  3. Tourist region, owing to natural spas.

 Burgundy

Capital: Dijon

  1. A great thoroughfare on the European north-south axis.
  2. Offers a wide variety of activities in agriculture – wines, beef cattle, etc.
  3. Known for architectural treasures.

 Brittany

Capital: Rennes

  1. Well developed road and rail links.
  2. The cities have new industries — motor vehicle plants, engineering and electronics.
  3. Plays a significant role in France’s fishing industry.

 Centre-Val-de-Loire

Capital: Orleans

  1. High agricultural potential.
  2. Important tourism region because of historic heritage (Chateaux of the Loire, Chartres cathedral, etc.)

 Champagne-Ardenne

Capital: Châlons-sur-Marne

  1. Abundant in cereal crops and vineyards.
  2. Famous for Champagne production

These were just seven of France’s region. Watch this space for the next part! Au Revoir!