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Buy French Property

Updated on June 27, 2012

First Steps

Live the Dream - buy a property in France?

Yes - I am interested but how and where do I start?

First you have to decided the purpose of the property

  • holiday home
  • investment property
  • permanent re-location from another country

Of course, it might be a combination. Perhaps you want to have holidays in your new home but also want to rent it out as well!

It is probably easier to choose an appropriate property if you fall into one of the main 3 categories.

Popular Holiday Areas in France

  • Brittany
  • Dordogne
  • Provence Cote d'Azur
  • Languedoc-Roussillon

Popular Cheaper Areas

  • Limousin
  • Lower Normandy

Investment Property

There are 3 main types of investment property in France

Of course, another alternative is to buy a resale property and renovate it to a high standard. The French like to buy new properties so there are many rural properties ripe for renovation! In addition, you might want to buy off-plan (at a discount usually) and by the time the property is completed you might be sitting on a healthy profit.

Permanent Residence

In France, Immobilier are registered to sell French Property - they will be able to help with you with your purchase.


In France, the French property transaction is handled by a Notaire. The Notaire can act for the Buyer and Vendor as Notaires are independent. However, there is no extra cost if Buyer and Vendor have separate Notaires. Contracts will be in French so it is vital you know what you are signing. The Notaire's fees are typically paid by the Buyer. The process can take 2 to 3 months (and sometimes longer)!


If you are buying a property in France you will probably need a Euro mortgage. The mortgage rates are very competitive and are based on the Euribor rate. Bear in mind that if you are purchasing outside of the Euro zone, then the rate of exchange becomes a factor. So, for example. if the pound sterling declines against the Euro then the monthly payments will increase - more pounds will be rquired.

Living in France

EU citizens are entitled to live in France but non-EU citizens will have to apply for a residence permit. The culture, climate, gastronomy, and landscapes are very different across France so research your area well. There are over 100 videos about France on France Facts About.

Where in France?

More people visit France than any other European country. France is a large country, and the landscapes vary immensely - so take a tour around France using the videos below. They will give you a flavour of France.

Discover France - Part 1

Discover France - Part 2


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