Holiday Homes – your questions answered!

As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed our Twitter Q&A session with French Property News a couple of weeks ago. We thought we would share the questions and answers with you – we hope they are useful to all of you thinking of buying a holiday home! If you have any questions of your own, be sure to join us at our next session – simply use the #AskLeggett hashtag on Twitter.

Q1 I’ve heard that prices are rising in France, is this true?
Depends upon locality but transaction numbers rose by 9% last year so we think there will be a national rise of 3-5% this year.

Q2 What are the general rules or laws in bringing one’s pets into France?
I’m not an expert but do have a 10 yr old black lab 🙂 Must have tattoo in the ear or a microchip. Best advice is to find a French vet locally & keep passport up to date.

Q3 Do we still have to pay property taxes on a holiday home?
Yes, Tax Fonciere is paid by the owner. Tax Habitation is paid by the occupier on Jan 1st. What you need to pay will depend upon your personal situation but local agent/notaire will be able to advise.

Q4 What are your thoughts on purchasing an immeuble in Carcassonne? What are the potential pitfalls?
It’s a beautiful city but be aware it’s a UNESCO heritage site so you’ll need a permit from the Mairie & the Architecte de France for works. Don’t buy before you’re fully aware of planning restrictions (mainly exterior works but double check).

Q5 Do you have any tips on choosing a location for a second home?
Research, research, research. Rank climate, price & accessibility from where you live and then go visit. Look at to get a flavour & choose some favourites.

Q6 What is the smallest mortgage you can get for buying in France?
Usually €50,000 and usually a maximum loan to value of 85%….there are exceptions though, with new “offers” from lenders every month so shop around.

Q7 Is there any way around non constructible land rules? I’d like to buy land to create a private nature reserve & live on it
A private nature reserve – sounds interesting, can I join you? Sadly no way to get around the “non constructible” restrictions that I know of but will depend on individual commune, check with the Mairie.

Q8 What’s the length of time you can get a mortgage, until what age?
Depends on retirement age & length you want. Rule of thumb is 65 but it really does vary & depend upon your circumstances. Check with individual lenders or speak to a good mortgage broker.

Q9 pt1 We live in Malaysia and are looking to potentially purchase in France. Do French banks offer Foreign inc mort?
Potentially yes….it’s always easier if you work for an international company though. If it’s any comfort, we had plenty of buyers from Asia (and other parts of the globe) last year….find a good broker & get an “in principle” offer before you come out looking.

Q9 pt2 Do you offer YouTube type video viewings?
Over 3000 of our listings have a virtual tour (VT) and you’ll find our agents happy to use technology to give you the best possible viewing experience. The beauty of living in this technological era is that it brings transparency to property details.

Q10 I work in London and want a bolthole in France where I can chill, it must be easy to get to. Any suggestions?
You have it easy from London. City airport flies to 9 cities, or Eurostar is a superb way to travel. Try Bordeaux which is just 6 hrs by train or fly to personal favourites Nantes, Rennes & Toulon.