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Why buy in France?

Within the past ten years, the price of real estate has doubled in Paris and France.

With its charming buildings encompassing a multitude of architectural styles, beautiful monuments, food markets, original boutiques, not tomention fantastic restaurants, parks, and romantic promenades. Paris remains one of the most desirable cities in the world. To own property in Paris is a dream come true, and one that you will never regret!

Buying in Paris is a good investment since the price per M2 has not ceased to climb since 2000.

For the moment, nothing indicates a signifiant change in the prices of residential real estate. The slow rise in interest rates doesn’t seem to have any recuperations on potential buyers.

Just one step to take, call Homelike Home, and we will begin to find the Parisian apartment for you!

The buying process

Financing

The first thing you should do is set up financing. We have several english speaking banking partners that can help you define your project. If you have a pre-approved loan then you will know your budget in advance, and have the necessary security with which to make the purchase, and appear to be a solid buyer.

The listed property prices include the agency fees. Additionally, you will have to pay the Notary fees (roughly 8% of property price excluding agency fees), and Homelike Home fees.

Finding the Property

France and particularly Paris maintains a strong demand. The best places usually sell within the first couple of visits. You must be prepared to make an offer immediately, and in most cases for the asking price.

We work exclusively for you, the buyer, and take no commissions from the agencies. The agencies, therefore, are quick to contact us when new properties come into their hands.

Once the property is found, here’s what you can expect the process to be:

Making an Offer

In the written offer, we will propose a certain price to the seller, with negociations in some case, any contingencies to the purchase, and a limited amount of time within which to respond to the offer.

In principle, if we make an offer at the ‘asking price,’ the seller would be morally obligated to accept your offer and stop showing the apartment. This offer is independent of any approuval from the bank.

Signing the “Promesse de Vente”

The signature of the pre-sale agreement (promesse de vente) takes place on average three months before the final sale.
If you are not able to be present either the Notary or we can sign in your place, given a Power of Attorney.

The contract is prepared by the notary, and stipulates the terms of the sale. It also contains thorough information on the apartment and the building:

  • Legal required tests on the apartment, provided by the seller (all official diagnostics: “loi Carrez”, quality of insulation, presence of termites, etc.)
  • Completed repairs and renovation, along with future projects.

At this step, you will be asked to provide a deposit held in escrow by the notary. This is 10% of the purchase price of the property.

Should you choose to take a mortgage, you may also want to include a “clause suspensive,” or contingency clause, that protects you should you not be able to obtain financing. This clause will outline deadlines and conditions of the loan. If these terms are not met, and the bank refuses to lend money, the buyer will not lose his or her deposit, and the property will go back to the seller.

Once the “Promesse de Vente” is signed, you as the buyer, by law, have ten days within which a full retraction of the purchase can be made with no financial or legal ramifications.

Owner Fees

Once you own a property in France, the fees and associated taxes will be the following:

Property taxes

Local tax (taxe foncière)

Local taxes are reasonable in Paris.
This local tax is levied on you, as owner, by the commune where the property is located.

Residential tax (taxe d’habitation)

This tax is payable by the occupant of the property, who may not necessarily be you, if you rent it. It is about the same as the local tax.

Co-op charges

Normally, the building in which your apartment is located is managed by an agent called “le SYNDIC” who is responsible for maintaining the common areas in the building and overseeing the management of the building.

Once a year, you will attend (or someone will attend for you) a general meeting ( Assemblée Générale) in which improvements and repairs will be voted upon by the co-owners of the building.

Charges are usually around 45 € per square meter per year all inclusive.
The charges (charges de copropriété) paid on a quarterly basis represent your contribution to:

  • Managing agent fees
  • Building insurance cost
  • Maintenance and cleaning costs
  • Concierge’s salary, if there is one.

For a one bedroom apartment, co-op charges amount to about 100 euros per month, but it is dificult to give an average price since it depends on the type of building, concierge or not, elevator or not…

Utilities – Insurance

Homeowners insurance – It can be arranged either through your bank or a referred insurance company and has to be in place at the time of signing the deed of sale.We will help you with this. The premiums are usually paid annually.

This insurance amounts to approximately 100 euros per year for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Electricity and Gas suppliers

Contracts will be set up in your name and bills may be paid through automatic debit with your bank

Cable/Internet

Most package deals include cable television, unlimited telephone (excluding cell phones), and unlimited internet, for about 30 euros per month.

Signing the final Deed of sale

The buyer, seller, representing Notaries and agents are present for the final signature.

At this time, you will be expected to pay the following:

  • balance due for the property
  • various fees (agency, and buying agent fees)
  • notary fees
  • balance due for the building maintaince fees, and property taxes.

then… you are given your keys!

Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a property in France

The Notary

In France, it is mandatory to sign the final deed with a notary.

The notary’s role is not the same as that of a lawyer. He registers the transfer of property and makes sure that the state receives any taxes due, such as stamp duty.

The purchaser is entitled to choose the notary who should be impartial. The seller may appoint his own notary, in which case the notaries share the fees.

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