The Euromortgage Shop, Friday, 22 September 2017
Real estate and sudden impulses do not usually go well together! The success of the operation
depends on how well you have thought things through beforehand. Following these simple
steps will help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises!
Give the process a lot of thought!
Think things through!
Think about your habits and life style: are you more attracted by a house in the country, by a
flat in a town or city within walking distance of theatres, cinemas and restaurants? Will you
have access to car in France or will you have to use public transport? How often will you
travel to your holiday home? How will you get there?
Work out your budget!
Calculate the size of your personal contribution to the transaction (available savings,
investments, etc.) and arrange call our advisors to work out your borrowing capacity.
When you draw up your budget, don‟t forget to include related expenses and, in particular,
the conveyance fees.
Fine-tune your project
The region you choose will naturally depend on your personal preferences: sea or mountain,
city or countryside... Let yourself be guided by your innermost desires.
Reaching the right decision
Use your time to best advantage!
Avoid travelling for nothing; ask the estate agent the right questions:
What is the surface area of the property, how big is the garden?
How many rooms are there, how many bedrooms?
What direction is it facing?
What type of building is it (architecture style, date of construction)?
How far is it from the nearest facilities (shops, public transport, etc.)?
Visit the properties of your choice!
Pay particular attention to the electrical installation, to the window frames, to the roof
structure. Turn on the warm and cold water taps.
How is the property insulated? How is it heated?
Take a look at the cellar! Have you found the house of your dreams? Try to organize a second
visit, if possible at a different time of day.
Carry out some essential research!
Visit the local Mairie (town hall) and check on the local land use plan, etc.
Your advisor will provide you with the documents you would be wise to consult:
The minutes of the last three meetings of the joint owners‟ association: these documents
will enable you to discover what work has been done in the condominium and what work has
been planned, and give you an idea of any problems. You can also consult the building‟s
The statements of maintenance and service charges for the past year, to calculate what you
can expect to pay on average.
The declaration of codes, covenants and restrictions (règlement de copropriété).
The compulsory technical surveys (asbestos, lead, termites).
The amount of land tax (taxe foncière) and local rates (taxe d‟habitation) charged on
Sign the preliminary contract
Only sign the preliminary contract (promesse de vente or compromise de vente) once all your
objections have been settled. Whatever the form of this preliminary agreement – which may
be signed at the estate agent‟s or notary‟s office –it always includes certain important details
such as the identity of both parties, a full description of the property, the total surface area of
the flat if it forms part of a condominium (in accordance with the Carrez Act), the price, the
let-out clauses with, in particular, the clause related to purchaser‟s inability to arrange a loan.
This clause is especially important to the extent it releases the purchaser from his obligation
to buy the property if his loan application is refused. If you have several loans outstanding,
make sure that these are mentioned in the preliminary contract.
Remember that although the preliminary contract is a binding document, you enjoy a 7-day
“cooling off” period when you are fully entitled to change your mind and withdraw from the
agreement. It is usual at this stage to leave a deposit equal to 10% of the purchase price.
Choosing a second notaire will not increase the total fees. Don‟t hesitate to enlist the services
of your own; he will defend your interests against the notaire of the vendor should any
Arrange your mortgage!
Once you have signed the preliminary contract, you should complete all the financial
Before the deed of sale
In addition to looking for the right loan, you should also make plans for the moment you take
possession of the property. The notaire will inform you of the date chosen to sign the acte
authentique (deed of sale) – a deadline is included in the preliminary contract – and will send
you a precise breakdown of the amounts to be paid.
Make all the necessary arrangements in preparation for the big day. If you are taking out
a loan, the bank should have transferred the funds corresponding to the purchase price.
Remember to take out a building and contents insurance policy – known as assurance
multirisques habitation (MRH) in French – to be covered against burglary, damage to your
property of your neighbours (water damage). An MRH policy also includes personal liability
cover: you are insured against damage or injury to a third party.
The day you sign the deed of sale
This is the day when the purchase price conveyance fees are paid and the keys to the
property are handed over. You could also be asked to pay the estate agent‟s commission if
these are to be settled by the purchaser separately, an interim payment to the property agent
for maintenance or service charges if your property forms part of a condominium, the
payment of your share of the year‟s land tax and local rates, etc.
You will only receive your final title deed several months after signing the deed of sale.
Don‟t hesitate to demand it! However, when you sign the deed of sale, the notaire will give
you all the necessary title certificates proving your ownership of the property.