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Property purchase

Posted by Stephen M - Created: 14 years ago
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My wife & I are in the first planning stages of considering buying a house in France to retire to. A high profile & notable estate agent in France has told us not to waste money on using lawyers/solicitors etc in U.K. for any part of the purchase,as the French Notaire system is just as efficient and much cheaper.Can anyone give me a reason which way to proceed?many thanks. S.M.-- Stephen Markeson FRPSE : stephen@stephenmarkeson.com T : 01844-208791M: 07836-623372W: stephenmarkeson.comMember of The Association of Photographers

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3 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 3)

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Posted by unbelievable - 14 years ago

That's the easy part. If you're fortunate enough not to need a mortgage, it should be rather straight-forward relying on the local system.

If, however, you are going to be taking on a mortgage in France . . . well, welcome to the nightmare of the mortgage application and negotiation process . . . have everything fully explained from the beginning and if there are deadlines and dates to be defined, double the amount of time you think you'll need, add 10%, and multiply again by pi to arrive at a target date that accommodates "the French system."

One thing to know that is invaluable: Any communications to do with mortgages, banks and legalities are delivered verbally by foot messenger. Beleive no more than 1/2 of what you see, and none of what you hear.

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 14 years ago

The temptation is to follow the norm and arm yourself with familiar solicitors, i.e. those from home. However I have heard of many situations where this has simply complicated matters so much that the purchase became almost an impossibility.

Personally I consulted (briefly) solicitors in dublin (principally same legal system as UK) before buying here and quickly abandoned the idea. Why? There are things taken as read in France that your non-French solicitors will just not let through. They also have little knowledge of the Notaire system which is designed to protect both parties by carrying out the letter of the law, oh and collect the taxes.

There is the option of using a UK firm in France, however in my dealings with them many seem to exist on the pretext of protecting you from  'Johnny foreigner', and building up a fear which .....luckily ...they are on hand to alleviate.

Personally having been through the buying routine here all I (note 'I') can say is that a professional estate agency allied with rock solid Notaires is really all that is required. It really couldn't have been simpler and left certainly the Irish legal system, looking very lethargic and almost thieving. what I mean by that is that it took months and a LOT of money to a solicitor to wrap up my sale in Ireland whereas it took only a few weeks to complete on a vastly more complex property with multiple interests and owners here.

Regards,

Mike

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Posted by Ed.Glossop - 14 years ago

In answer to your question, I would say that it really does depend on your personal situation. For example the sale of a villa is a lot more complex than the sale of a flat, and you may feel more comfortable to have a second opinion. It is true that the Notaire should be able to take care of all aspect, but I would also recommend the use of a skilled property tax expert, who will be able to talk you through the finer points, and financial ramifications of buying a property in France. There are a number of good companies in this field on the CdA, and I would be happy to suggest one by email. Further to this, you should feel free to email me with any other queries about buying in France. I wish you the best of luck in finding and settling in your new home. Edward Glossop (Haussmann et associés)