French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Help for French mortgages

French interest rates are at historic lows so it is an ideal time to take out a loan to buy your dream home.

Real Estate Mortgage Approved Loan Document

But do be aware that French mortgages work differently to the UK. To give you a few pointers, banks work out affordability using earnings multiples. Different banks have different lending criteria and different products. If you are self-employed, French lenders can only consider income that is visible on your tax returns so efficient tax planning can impact your borrowing ability!

French lenders will want to see that you are not stretching yourself too far financially – overdrafts and credit cards aren’t widely used either. Beware that re-mortgaging expensive in France so make sure you find the right product – and that life insurance if often mandatory.

If you would like some help with a French mortgage, please email us at:

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New year, new magazine…

As we go into the new year, you will be able to snuggle up by the fire on those cold winter nights with a copy of our latest magazine – and be inspired for your spring property hunt.

December_story 1

Maybe you’ve just dusted off your skis and fancy more than a week in the Alps? Don’t miss out feature on moving to the mountains. If instead you had in mind a business involving vineyards, farming or horses? We have that covered too. As school selection time looms we hear from expat children why they love the French education system, but also take a look at city pads in Lyon and Paris. Finally we bring you a new feature introducing our local agents: Mike Goldsmith kicks off with a lowdown on the Loire.

Once you’re armed with plenty of ideas, come and see us at The France Show at Olympia from 29-31 January – you can see our show video here.

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End of a record year…

As 2015 draws to a close we are all still busy closing deals in what has been the kind of year that comes along once in a decade. We have experienced a particularly weak euro that has been giving us nearly 20 per cent more bang for our buck than last year – and record low interest rates. Combine these with low prices (particularly in rural areas) and it’s no wonder that buyers from outside the eurozone have been snapping up bargains. In fact we will have sold over 1,000 properties across France – with no signs of a festive slowdown. “Our sales support team are still receiving around 500 fresh enquiries each week,” says our Chairman, Trevor Leggett.


“We still have clients booked in with notaires to sign their final “Acte de Vente” all the way up to New Year’s Eve. Whilst we have no influence over economic or political factors, we do know for sure that the underlying demand for French property is still strong.

I have been asked which areas of France have seen the highest rise in the number of international buyers but the honest answer is that they have been across the board. The two regions that led the way in sales this year were Limousin and Poitou-Charentes, but I’m delighted to say that we have sold property in 84 different departments across France. It’s that kind of comprehensive coverage and detailed local knowledge from agents on the ground that sets us apart from our competitors.

So what next? It would be lovely to have a crystal ball so that we could see what 2016 has in store for us but we are approaching the New Year with optimism and are busy recruiting agents across the country to help service the buyers that are knocking on our door.

We finish the year with around 300 agents across France and are hoping to add another 150 or more next year – if you think you have what it takes then why not get in touch.

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Join the house party….

With New Year’s Eve just a couple of weeks away, we look at a trio of homes close to some of the liveliest locations in France to welcome in 2016…

Head to the Alpine resorts for some of the best parties – and why not the best ski area too? This is a fabulous five-bed penthouse in the Trois Vallees’ town of St Martin-de-Belleville.


Head to Cannes for some sublime fireworks, and this cracking 35 sq m studio apartment offers sensational views from its balcony towards the sea.


Chic Deauville hosts a wonderful opera every new years eve, and this five-bed Normandy farmhouse in the Calvados area would be just as good for B&B as a large family home.


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Help for budding entrepreneurs

small business

Good news!

Expert help is at hand if one of your new year’s resolutions will be to start your own business in France. It’s a great time to be making plans, but even if you run your own business in the UK, dealing with an unfamiliar language and systems can be daunting. The same goes for being self-employed. How best to go about it?  Having helpful French contacts can make all the difference, and the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce should be your first port of call.

“Setting up a business here can be a fairly simple process,” says Roger Haigh, who runs the Chamber for the Dordogne. “The most important thing is to get the right information and follow the right steps. That’s where we can help.” This includes start-ups, export assistance, French lessons for €3 per hour, networking opportunities, free training courses.

Drop Roger a line at:

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