Types of property in France
If you decide to buy a property as your summer residence, then the traditional holiday house market in France has masses of options: from modest apartments to luxury estates. The main advantage of buying a second home is that the buyer can take possession of the property immediately after signing the sale and purchase deed.
New build house
The process of taking possession of a new build house in France is longer. But it has many advantages: a high level of comfort, quality and safety, and the notary fees is 2.5 times lower. Buying a new property by VEFA (Vente en l'état future achèvement) can be an ideal option for those who want to buy a comfortable new build house which complies all modern technical and environmental standards and where quality and safety are guaranteed by the builder. Payment for the real estate under construction in France is made in accordance with the stages of construction. The purchase of a new home is notarized (you sign a sales and purchase deed) after the basement construction.
Plots of building land
For many property buyers who dream of their own home in France, the best option is to purchase a plot of building land. In this case, it is possible to purchase a plot of land for individual construction or purchase of a plot of land from the developer already with planning permission. It is necessary to take into account that the area of building site is determined by its coefficient, the rate of which depends on the geographical location and which is regulated by the municipality. On the French Riviera not all the land is subject to construction, it is possible to specify the possibility of construction and understand the evolution of the territories surrounding the site according to the local urban plan. When buying a land plot, it is important to pay attention to the presence or absence of public utility services, notably electricity, gas, water supply and telephone which can significantly increase the cost of construction. The purchasing process of a property plot of land is the same for any other type of property. You sign the sale and purchase agreement and deed with notary.
The house construction begins with the application to the mayor's office for a building permission. It is important to comply with all formalities and deadlines. As a rule, a permission is issued within 2 months from the date of the registration application. An obligatory stage is sending an application of the beginning of construction to the mayor's office and publishing an appropriate announcement in the City Hall and on the plot of land itself. After 2 months you can begin the construction. What will the new house be like depends on the taste of the buyer and his financial capabilities. Building an individual house according to the developer's plan will save the customer from possible “headaches” and save money. The architect participation in the design and construction will increase the final value of your property, but it can serve to make your dream come true. It is mandatory to apply for an architect if the building area exceeds 170 m².
Viager - profitable investments
For buyers who want to invest in French real estate profitably, and do not intend to live immediately in the purchased property, it may be interesting to purchase real estate en viager. The buyer pays only a part of the value of the property when signing the sale and purchase agreement, and the difference he pays as a monthly annuity for life granted to the owner, which is taxable like any income. As the progressive growth of tax benefits depends on the age, real estate sellers en viager are old people over 70 years old. The cost of a capital sum (bouquet) made at the start of the agreement and an annuity (rente viagière) are calculated by a notary, taking into account the age of the seller, the expected life expectancy and the property market value.
Leaseback system in France
Another possibility of profitable investment in France is the purchase of real estate in leaseback. The main benefit of this system is the VAT refund of 19.6%. Moreover, the owner can occupy the property for a set period each year. The rest of the time, the property is rent out through a management company over a minimum period of nine years and the owner receives a guaranteed rental income. When taking a mortgage to buy a leaseback real estate, the buyer is exempt from paying tax on rental income. Thanks to special mortgage programs, it is possible to lend up to 70% of the value of real estate. The leaseback property are specialized residences (tourist, student, pension, business residences). The state is interested in making profit from fully occupied during the year residences, and stimulates their construction.
Special cases when buying a property in France
You should take into account that, according to French law, the acquisition of real estate by an individual can not restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens, and it imposes certain obligations on the new owner.
When buying a property on the coastline (which is in great demand on the Cote d'Azur), it is necessary to observe the following rules:
• Access to the coastal zone should remain public: the owner does not have the right to limit the coastal area for a private beach. Local authorities have the right to build a passage to the water on private property.
• The distance from the buildings to the lower tide line is not less than 100 m.
• The type of buildings and fences, the building materials use in the construction must comply with the standards of the local urban plan.
Many buyers are attracted by the possibility of buying a medieval castle in France. But you should know that such property of historical value are cultural heritage of the country. As the owner of a medieval castle, you can deal with the problem of invasion into its territory by tourists. On the one hand, the rights of the owner must be taken into account, on the other hand, there is a public freedom to visit historical monuments. There are no standard solutions for these situations, and they should be considered individually.