Finding and Buying Property in France

People visit Nice for many reasons, for some its business and others for pleasure be it a holiday, to visit friends or a romantic short break. But for some visitors their objective is to look for and buy property in Nice or the surrounding area.

The idea of owning your own slice of life abroad, for many, is a dream come true. France is a popular destination and no more so than Nice and the Côte d'Azur. This is primarily due to the ease of access from the Nice Côte d'Azur airport, its proximity to the sea and the border of Italy as well as the surrounding city’s of Cannes, St Tropez and Monaco, the home towns of the rich and famous.

However, finding and choosing the right property and location can be tough so what are the key things that prospective buyers need to consider when embarking on their French property quest?

Finding your ideal Property

Before you can start your property search you must first decide what type of property you’re after, its location, local amenity requirements and what you’ll be using the property for. Will it be a city apartment, a country house or luxury seaside villa complete with swimming pool? Will it be rural or close to a town, restaurants and nightlife or a stones throw from the sea and beaches? Will the property be your main residence, a second home or a holiday let investment?

Once you’ve made your property requirement wish list you can begin your search. It is often a good idea to start your search by using some of the many online estate agent websites who offer a diverse selection of properties in Nice all at the click of a mouse button. Some also offer property finder services whereby you submit your list of requirements and expert property consultants will go out and find you a selection of properties which closely match
your search criteria.

Once you’ve a list of property viewings booked you can book your flights, car hire and accommodation, then set out to view the properties and soak up the atmosphere of the surrounding area. It’s important to do your homework to ensure you not only find the right property but also the right location.

The Property Buying Process

In France the property buying process is different from many other countries and takes quite a few months to complete.

Once your offer has been accepted both parties sign an initial contract which sets out the terms of the sale. At this point there is a seven day cooling off period. During this time the buyer has the opportunity of changing their mind about the sale without incurring any penalties or loss of a deposit. After this seven day period the buyer is legally bound to continue with the sale and a deposit is paid, usually about 10% of the sale price.

The conveyancing process then begins which takes about 3 months to complete. After which time the final fees and payment are made, contracts exchanged at which point you would officially become French property owners.

Obviously the process if a bit more complex than this but your property agent will be able to advise you on the finer details of the French conveyancing process in France.

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