Buying Tips For France Part 2

Buying Tips For France Part 2

Buying Tips for France - Part 2
11 .​
Buying land in​ France
Any purchase of​ a​ French property covering more than a​ hectare (2.47 acres) has to​ be referred to​ the Société d’Aménagement Foncier et d’Etablissement Rural (SAFER), a​ body which has the right to​ pre-empt the sale if​ it​ feels that the property should remain in​ agricultural use; the notaire handling the sale will notify SAFER of​ the impending sale .​
SAFER rarely exercises its right, but if​ it​ does object to​ the sale, any agreement is​ null and void, so prepare yourself for disappointment; you will however be entitled to​ the return of​ your deposit.

12 .​
Buying French property near a​ listed building
If your dream home is​ near a​ listed building or​ site, there may be restrictions on the extent to​ which it​ can be altered or​ renovated (in some cases you may be told what materials and colours you can use) .​
Check with the local Mairie .​
An organisation called Bâtiments de France is​ responsible for issuing and enforcing restrictions; each département has its own Architecte des Bâtiments de France, or​ ABF .​

13 .​
French property and planning permission
Planning permission (un permis de construire) is​ needed to​ make any external alterations to​ a​ French property .​
If you are planning to​ buy a​ French home and alter it​ in​ this way, ensure that a​ conditional clause (clause suspensive) is​ included in​ the preliminary sales contract (compromis de vente), stating that the purchase is​ subject to​ obtaining planning and building permission; this way, if​ your planning application is​ turned down, the sale becomes null and void and your deposit will be returned.

14 .​
Buying a​ French home with a​ septic tank
Most homes in​ rural France have individual sewerage systems (fosse septique) .​
Have an​ approved specialist carry out an​ inspection before you agree to​ buy, and get a​ cost estimate for any necessary works .​
According to​ French legislation, most homes in​ French village centres were supposed to​ be connected to​ mains drainage (tout à l’égout) by the end of​ 2018, with owners paying connection charges; check with the vendor whether this has happened, and if​ not, ask at​ the Mairie to​ find out if​ this applies to​ the property you are considering.

15 .​
Owning a​ French property with a​ swimming pool
Installing a​ pool increases a​ property’s rental potential and letting rates; however, pools need regular cleaning and maintenance, which will add to​ the running costs of​ your French home .​
Planning permission is​ needed to​ install a​ pool of​ more than 20 square metres, and all new pools and existing pools in​ rented properties must have an​ approved safety system; all other pools will have to​ be fitted with the same by January 2018 .​

16 .​
Building your own home in​ France
Buying a​ plot and having a​ home built to​ spec is​ popular with the French .​
If you want to​ follow their lead, you will need to​ obtain a​ certificat d’urbanisme (confirming that the land may be built on) and planning permission (un permis de construire) .​
Be prepared to​ supervise the construction, or​ hire an​ architect to​ do it​ for you .​
Building costs vary from €500 to​ €1,500 per square metre, depending on design and build quality.

17 .​
Buying a​ building plot in​ France
Known as​ terrains à bâtir or​ terrains constructibles, French building plots are usually 1,000 to​ 3,000 square metres, and cost between €10,000 and €40,000; naturally, prices vary according to​ location, and whether mains services are connected .​
They can be bought from estate agents, direct from the owner, or​ from builders (insist on separate contracts if​ you opt for a​ package deal from a​ builder) .​

18 .​
Buying a​ French property off-plan
The advantages of​ buying a​ new home in​ a​ development that has yet to​ be built include price (off-plan properties are often cheaper than homes that are already built); brand-new fixtures, fittings, insulation, ventilation and heating systems; lower deposit and registration fees, and exemption from property tax (taxe foncière) for two years from January 1 following the completion date .​
New build homes are generally high on comfort, and low on maintenance ideal for DIY dunces, older folk, and those who value the lock-up and go aspect .​

19 .​
Buying a​ resale property in​ France
Buying a​ new (i.e .​
modern, as​ opposed to​ brand-new, yet to​ be built) home means you see exactly what you get .​
The value will depend on the build quality and design, the age of​ the property and how well it​ has been maintained (ask to​ see copies of​ invoices and details of​ any work carried out) .​
Resale homes within mature developments may offer the benefits of​ well-established services and amenities.
20 .​
Buying a​ French home for retirement
Older folk planning to​ retire to​ France should look carefully when purchasing a​ home, checking for proximity to​ services and amenities, public transport, shops, doctors and hospitals, and the availability of​ transport links back to​ the UK (you may be planning to​ retire permanently to​ France, but unforeseen circumstances can prompt a​ quick cross-Channel trip) .​
a​ modern, low-maintenance home in​ an​ accessible town with good facilities might be a​ wise choice.

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