As a result of the round table on the environment, many relating to energy, in the heart of public policy, devices are now available to individuals.
When I was a boy, my father had an “allotment”.
For the duration of World War 2, the United Kingdom became separated from her normal trading resources, which mostly came by sea. This being the case, the administration of the day motivated individuals to “Dig for Victory”… i.e., turn their flower gardens into vegetable gardens, and so grow to be more self-sufficient.
Living in France, you get used to the idea that toilet facilities are not always what you might expect. As many seasoned motorists will know, a trip down the autoroute will expose you to some of the extremes.
Not only the credit crunch but the all time low exchange rate has made living in France a great deal more expensive and most of us are looking at our diminishing dollars and pounds and wondering how to make them go further.
At any one time, thousands of property owners throughout France are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a mason, plumber, carpenter, gardener or pool builder, to start the east wing, rectify the shower, build the terrace, lay the lawn or dig the pool.
Later this year one or more of you will end up considering legal action against your artisan. This article – by providing some basic tips for how to legally protect yourself when undertaking building works – could possibly save you thousands of euros in legal fees and untold emotional stress. (Contractors will also find it valuable.)
Installing a new electricity supply in France is fairly straight-forward. EDF (Electricité de France) will do it for you (at a cost), providing the supply is no more than 10 metres from the property. If the distance is greater than 10 metres you will have to get some-one else to install it. Here are some considerations for those wanting to do it themselves.
Many people coming to France dream of owning their own home. Some choose an apartment, while others prefer a house. Those looking for a house must choose between an existing property or building a new one. The following information is intended for those who decide to build a house of their own.
Finding the right plot of land and a good builder is imperative. When you have found a piece of land that you like, meet with your Notaire or the Notaire in charge of the sale before making any sort of offer. The Notaire can answer your questions and look into the situation more closely to ensure that you are fully informed before you make a commitment.
Typical points to consider are:
What is a French Property Survey and do I need one?
The English type of property survey is almost unknown in France. There is not even a word for Surveyor; the nearest being ‘Expert de Batiment’ or ‘Maitre d’Oeuvre’.
There is a legal requirement for a French vendor of a property to provide the purchaser and the Notaire with a report identifying the presence of asbestos in the property, the presence of lead in paint and, in the south of the country, the presence of termites (this last point is generally extended to other parts of the country to include all parasites). The report will also comment on energy consumption in the house.
It is expected that the scope of the report will be extended in the future to include septic tanks and electrical safety.
Specialist businesses, who have the necessary equipment to perform the required tests, provide these Reports (written in French). These Companies do not provide structural surveys, they are not looking at the general structural stability of the building, nor at any of the other services such as water, gas or electricity.
Lending criteria in France are far more complex and restrictive than in the UK and the whole process of getting a French Mortgage can take quite a lot longer than most people expect.
French Mortgage lenders expect clients to put down a deposit of at least 20 per cent and to have a reliable income stream. If a client is able to put down a deposit of 40 to 50 per cent, other aspects of the loan may be offered on more favourable terms.
Lenders stipulate that a client’s debts and liabilities must not exceed around 35% of income. French lenders will ask for details of other mortgages as well as current account statements, to ensure there are no other debts repayments that may have been overlooked. Some French banks will take into consideration income from buy to let houses and other non salary income, all of which can help when presenting a loan request to the bank.
As in the UK, lenders do not like a loan to go beyond a client’s 80th birthday. It is better, though, if the loan will be repaid by age 65 for the simple reason that French mortgage lenders insist upon life cover being effected, generally via their own insurer. If life assurance cover starts after a 65th birthday, costs rise considerably.
This article has been written to give you a general step-by-step overview of the French property buying process. Please use the references and links contained in this article to find more information about stages of the process.
The French property buying process is fairly straightforward and well regulated. Each year many thousands of foreign buyers purchase in France without problems or complications. As with any property purchase there can be problems, but the majority of them are encountered because buyers have not understood properly what they need to do in advance and how the process works, especially if they don’t speak French. This guide is here to give you independent advice.
The most important issue to be aware of is that the sale becomes binding much earlier in the process than in the UK. Therefore providing you allow enough time for viewing, one can effectively secure a property you have seen on your visit and return to your home country knowing that no-one else can buy it.
Where to buy