Buying a property in France

Buying a property in France should be an enjoyable experience for you as you are buying somewhere where you will spend a lot of quality time. The problem is that there is the risk of coming to France to buy a property without enough information. Buying property always involves a lot of money, so any buyer should ensure they take due care when purchasing. If you make a mistake you are the one who is going to have to put up with it.

There are some important steps that can be taken to avoid pitfalls when buying property in the country. First off, it might be a good idea to learn some of the language. The French are a very polite nation and learning even a few words of the language will show that you have made an effort with it. This will make the French much more willing to deal with you. Learning a few essential phrases will also make you feel more confident in your interactions.

It is not easy to learn a language but it will probably be worth it as you will be able to understand what the seller of the house might be saying when he thinks you do not understand. Most people in France won’t do this, but it can be useful if you are in a situation when there is someone who does.

Even if you are fluent in the French language, you probably won’t understand the paperwork required to purchase a house. The internet is your friend here and there are numerous sites advising on the legal process and about hiring a ‘Notaire’ – a type of lawyer who will help you. Make sure when getting advice from a site that it is not pushing its own agenda.

Those looking to buy a property in France will want to consider hiring a consultant or an interpreter. This person will certainly make the buying process easier but they can be very expensive. The French land law system is very different to the UK with regard to issues such as rights of access or what planning regulations may need to be followed. You should research into whether hiring someone is something you will need.

If you choose to hire a French agent they may assume that you are as knowledgeable about the laws as their local clients. The buying system is very different so educate yourself, or hire someone who is English speaking and educated in such things. That said, the agents will be very helpful as you are the client after all. If you don’t know something, do not be afraid to ask them, they will probably know the answer and if not, they will try and find out.

To sum up the advice about buying property in France: do not be afraid to ask questions and make sure that you fully comprehend the answers. If the agent doesn’t understand, rephrase and ask again. If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat themselves until you do.