French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

What do notaries do in France?

Buying a home in France is certainly an exciting adventure, but a little different from purchasing a home in the UK. In France there is really no one more important than the local Notaire in your home purchase.

So who is s/he exactly? And what does s/he do? The Notaire is a totally independent legal professional, acting on behalf of the state, for both parties. Their job is to prepare and authenticate contracts and other documents and ensure they fully comply with French property law.

The Notaire is there to advise you on how to structure your purchase and then carry out the conveyancing on your chosen property, to ensure there are no outstanding debts, third party claims or pre-emptions on the property. Always present at the signing of the ‘Acte de Vente’ the Notaire has also to collect all monies, including government taxes and his own fees – a total sum of around 8% – 10% of the sale price, plus TVA.

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Homes to make your heart sing

The Printemps de Bourges festival is a popular annual music event held in Cher. Every April thousands arrive from all over France and indeed overseas to enjoy all sorts of concerts, and feeling the joys of spring too we have picked three songs about places really worth singing about…

First up is Il est cinq heures Paris s’éveille – the famous song by Jacques Dutronc – so in Paris here is a lovely four-bed family home with a garden on Avenue Foch in Ile de France

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Have you heard the song O Toulouse by Claude Nougaro? It’s a great little number but also a good excuse to pick this fabulous character property in the Haute Garonne – a project oozing with potential.

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People head to the Vaucluse in search of the famous bridge of the ancient song Sur le Pont D’Avignon but you should check out this lovely five-bed character farmhouse on the outskirts of town with pool and garden.

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Showstopper homes in Cannes

As ever, we are all looking forward to the next big festival in France and the glamorous Cannes Film Festival from 11-22 May. As the great and the good prepare to descend on the Cote D’Azur we pick three stellar homes worth a very special viewing…

Yes, this price is for real! A superb studio apartment enjoying stunning views from its veranda for less than £150k.

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Location, location, location! In the sought-after California quarter of Cannes, this two-bedroom south-facing apartment will dazzle guests.

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It doesn’t get any better than La Croisette in Cannes. This two-bedroom apartment opposite the Palais des Festival offers the view, the outdoor space, parking.

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Show time again!

On the back of a record-breaking A Place in the Sun Live! show in Manchester that attracted over 7,000 visitors, the next two spring property exhibitions are shaping up to be just as popular. First up at London’s Olympia there is another A Place in the Sun Live! – on 6-8th May. With a two-storey show this year there are more exhibitors than ever before so do come and see us on the top floor in the French Village.

Check out aplaceinthesun.com for the schedule of seminars on subjects from tax to healthcare. You can get free tickets courtesy of Leggett Immobilier by clicking this link (you need to wait a few moments for the page to upload properly.)

Just a week later we have the French Property Exhibition at Wetherby Racecourse on13th-14th May. Click here to register here for free, fast track entry tickets – again courtesy of Leggett Immobilier.

These exhibitions will provide you with all the information you need to purchase your dream home across the Channel.

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Stability returns to the French market

As we have completed the first quarter of 2016, we have been reflecting on the year so far. What should international buyers expect of the market now? Earlier this year, the Notaires de France “called” the bottom of the housing market.

They said that the upturn in sales that began in the middle of last year has continued and that prices had levelled off. They even went so far as to say that in the “older house” market two thirds of departments had shown rising prices. To quote the Notaires: “For the beginning of 2016, early indicators show a slight rise in prices.

At the end of February 2016 the year-on-year trend is +0.4% for older apartments and +1.4% for older houses in mainland France.” Of course general statements are treated with caution – for sure it’s still a buyer’s market. Experience has taught us that France is made up of hundreds of micro markets – each with their own character and foibles – particularly in more rural areas where transaction numbers are much smaller and thus “averages” can be misleading.

Now is a great time to look at property in France as the spring shoots start to show in the property market as well as in the beautiful countryside and gardens across the country.

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