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Buying apartment in France(2 Posts)
We are planning on buying a (very) small apartment in the French Alps, as a holiday home, and I wondered if any of you experts might have some tips or pitfalls to watch out for in the purchase and set up of the apartment.
Bilingual legal advice in the UK appears really expensive, and DH is
too tight wondering if we can manage without (if we have a helpful estate agent, notaire and French friends to help too).
Is getting insurance and the electric and water changed over to our names going to be hard work, or manageable with some help? I had heard about Credit Agricole Britline bank account - any experiences?
I'm trying not to worry too much, but DH lives in the land of "how hard can it be.?" for absolutely everything. Hmm, maybe I should let him sort it all out...
Any advice welcome, thanks!
Things are pretty straightforward to be honest and there is an awful lot of information out there on the internet to guide you - look at guides from AngloInfo France or Total France.
We managed without translation services and have never relied on Brit-line type services - they can be expensive and inaccurate.
If you have French friends and do your research you should be fine.
Main pitfalls would be to be careful of signing up to buy somewhere (you will only have a seven day cooling off period and afterwards are committed to buy or pay a percentage of costs if you withdraw from the agreed sale.
Electric, gas and other utilities are straightforward and like in the UK can be done on-line mainly so you have control of that. Similarly the taxes (if you are not French resident) are straightforward - but get an idea of how much your taxe habitation for second home and taxe fonciere (especially in Alps) will be - it may be quite high.
Also don't rely on cheap flights to get you to near your holiday home - a lot only operate seasonally - so factor in other ways to get there and the subsequent costs.
Be mindful that if you plan to let out your property then you will be liable for taxes as well.
Other than that ...go for it! You only live once