20 September 2018 - French Mortgage News | International Mortgage News | Partners News |

Get your French Mortgage all wrapped up in time to complete before Christmas

Want to complete by Christmas? Prefer a bûche de noël & foie gras in your own alpine chalet to turkey and Christmas pudding at the in-laws? Typically buying in France can take 3 – 4 months, but we are confident that our clients can secure their home and book in the family to visit in time for the festive holidays. Here are our top tips to make sure your French property purchase goes smoothly, and you are proud French home owners come December.

  1. Get your finances in order and check out our latest mortgage rates
    Know your budget! It might be bigger than you realise as French mortgage rates are still very low (from 1.95% for a 15 year fixed rate, or 0.58% for a 5 year variable rate). We’ve got French mortgage calculators on our website to help you work out rough costs but do then give us a call for a personalised quote. If you do decide to purchase with a mortgage, make sure you then have all the paperwork in order and that it looks good: so no unauthorised use of overdrafts or any missed loan repayments.Watch our video on our top tips for a successful mortgage application to put you in the best position
  2. A mortgage will NOT slow down the process
    Use a broker who has dedicated underwriters at the banks to ensure you benefit from a fast-track service. Our average lead time from file submission to offer issued is 3 weeks. Which is quicker than the time it takes the notaire to carry out all their diagnostics and checks. And by using a broker, you get another person chivving on all the parties to the transaction, so that there are no surprises down the line.
  3. Show your agents you are serious with an Approval in Principle
    Agents are busy people, often covering huge areas and they hate a wasted viewing trip. Show them you are serious by producing your proof of funds or an approval in Principle from a lender. We can do an eligibility check in 15 mins but a full approval will take around 2 -3 weeks so get in touch today to get the process rolling.
  4. Do your homework on the area and local prices
    Whilst the Christmas deadline is looming, don’t make the mistake of rushing into make an offer before doing your homework. Check out our article on how to secure your dream French property at the right price.
  5. Make sure the vendor is working to the same timeframe
    Get reassurances from the agent and the vendor in person that they are also wanting to complete before Christmas. Your compromis du vente (sales contract) will have the completion date detailed in it so make sure you have been upfront from the beginning to ensure that your expectations are met!
  6. Sort out your currency exchange
    Don’t use your bank – their rates are never as good as a dedicated foreign exchange provider and their transfer fees, especially when transferring sizeable sums can be huge. Read our article here on how an FX broker can mitigate the exchange rate fluctuations. We recommend World First
  7. Open bank accounts, sort out insurances
    Don’t leave these to the last minute! You will need to open a French bank account and also get various insurances in place (Buildings and contents, Life insurance). Again, a good mortgage broker will facilitate all of this for you and ensure that everything is in place in good time.
  8. Consider hiring your own notaire
    This isn’t a requirement; the vast amount of French property purchases go through with both the seller and vendor using the same notaire. However, it is not compulsory and you can appoint your own or even ask the seller to use yours. The reason this could be important is some agents are suggesting that notaires in popular areas are experiencing a backlog and that completions are being delayed. We have a number of notaires we can recommend that are not reporting any such backlog if this is something you are experiencing.
  9. Use a broker to speed up the mortgage process and fight your corner!
    It’s rare that anyone mentions French bureaucracy in a positive manner, and often for good reason! The various administrative and legal steps required to complete on a French property can seem mind-boggling to the uninitiated and impenetrable for those non-French speakers. And as the purchaser, you can also feel like you are on your own. The estate agent is working on behalf of the vendor (their fees are directly related to the purchase price) and the notaire is working on behalf of the property (it’s a role unique to the Continent and is different from how solicitors work in the UK. Notaires are government officials, primarily concerned with ensuring that the sale is legal and all taxes are collected). A good mortgage broker will be on your side (it’s in our interest that you complete on a property) so we will negotiate a great mortgage offer, and liaise with all third parties on your behalf to ensure that sale goes through as quickly as possible. As the top introducer to the main French banks, we also have dedicated underwriters who work only on our client files, so we can fast-track the mortgage process and get you exclusive rates and discounted fees. Which saves you money and ensures you get the keys in time to get the decorations up and the chapon in the oven!


Found a property? Request a quote now or call +44 (0)207 484 4600