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How to save money when buying a property abroad in France

One of the most beautiful countries in all of Europe, France isn’t just a top destination for tourists, it’s also a desirable place to live as an expat, and a great place to invest in property overseas.

Before you make the big move of buying real estate in France, it’s wise to get to know the rules regarding purchasing property as a foreigner. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide that you can use whenever you’re ready. The information below will help you understand the steps that you’ll need to take to not only make the right purchase, but also save money along the way.

  • The properties that are available to foreigners in France
  • The restrictions that are in place when foreigners purchase property in France
  • The things to consider as you put together your budget
  • One of the best ways to save money when investing in property abroad
  • What properties are available for purchase in France?

    France generally has a stable housing market, so it may be a good place to buy real estate if you want a good return on your investment. Plus, there are plenty of incredible properties to choose from.

    Some of the most popular places in France for international real estate investors include:

    • Bordeaux
    • Nantes
    • Sarlat-la-Canéda
    • Rennes
    • Paris
    • Montpellier
    • Brittany
    • Massif Central
    • Lyon

    From historic properties with one-of-a-kind charm, to modern and luxurious options, and from apartments to single-family homes in the country’s biggest cities and smallest towns, you can find exactly what you’re looking for if you take your time and prepare a strategy.

    Whether you’re in search of a home for your family because you’re planning on living in France long-term, or you just want to invest in a home that you can use for your getaways to Europe, you can find properties to suit any budget.

    Buildings lining a street in France

    Are there any restrictions for foreign property buyers in France?

    The best part about shopping for real estate abroad in France is the fact that there aren’t any restrictions placed on foreign buyers.

    If you are a non-EU national, you will go through the same buying process as someone who is from the EU or from France.

    Here are some other things to keep in mind while buying a property overseas in France:

    • You have to use a notaire.
    • You might be able to find the perfect place on your own, such as through an online search, and work with the seller, but working with a reputable agent might make the process a lot easier.
    • When working with a property agency, you might be able to negotiate their fees, but those fees can vary widely from one agency to the next.
    • Once you have purchased your property, it is important to remember that your visa and residency status will determine how long you can be in the country and at your new place.

    How to budget to buy property in France

    The amount of money that you’ll need to make a real estate purchase in France might be based upon the location that you choose to move into.

    For example, while you might pay upwards of 10,000 euros per square meter for a property in the middle of the capital Paris, you might be able to save some money by going further away from the city, where you might end up paying around 7,000 euros per square meter instead.

    As another option, you could look in other parts of the country, such as in Nantes, where you might pay around 2,000 euros per square meter. By doing so, you could save a substantial amount of money while still grabbing a beautiful place to call your own.

    List price isn’t the only thing that you need to consider when coming up with your budget:

    • Mortgage – When applying for an affordable mortgage, consider looking at your options from lenders in France, as well as from lenders in your home country. For example, if you are from the United Kingdom, you might be able to get a U.K. bank to give you the funds you need to make your purchase in France.
    • Taxes and fees – These might include agency and agent fees, notaire fees, lawyer fees, public registration fees, stamp duty, VAT, land registry fees, and property taxes.
    • Exchange rates – No matter where you’re planning on buying real estate in France, consider exchange rates. Will they work to your advantage and allow your money to stretch further once converted into euros, or will the exchange rates work against you? This could factor into how much you can afford to spend.

    A street lined with colorful buildings

    Use OFX to make payments on your property

    After finding the perfect French property, it’s time to submit the required payments to make it your own. While you might immediately think of using your bank to send money abroad, consider using an online international money transfer service like OFX instead.

    Whenever you transfer your money abroad with OFX, you can save a lot of money that you’d otherwise spend on high bank margins and fees. After all, you’re already spending so much on your dream investment, so why would you want to get hit with extra costs that aren’t really necessary?

    As mentioned above, exchange rates can affect your budget, too, and they can fluctuate from one moment to the next. This is where OFX can come in handy as well. When you use OFX, you can easily take advantage of helpful tools that take the guesswork out of international money transfers. Those tools include currency charts,market news, and market rate alerts that you can receive via email or SMS to plan your transfers like a pro.

    Welcome to beautiful France!

    Whether you’re looking for an investment property or a holiday home, France is a wise choice. Beautiful scenery, amazing history, tasty food, and a vibrant real estate market that’s set to continue increasing in value are just a few of the many reasons why so many people choose to spend their money on French homes and apartments when they opt to purchase property abroad.

    IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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