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Understanding the French Mortgage Process - how it works

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The process is quite similar to the British approach. The lender will lend you a percentage of the cost of the property, provided that you have sufficient income to repay the loan, taking into account the other loans you have at present.

However, the actual process takes a little longer because there are two "cooling off" periods built in and also because French lenders are a little more formal than British ones about proving income.

You're looking for a suitable property

If you are just starting your search for a property and wish to find out whether you could qualify for a loan, please go to the application form and send us some brief details.

We will send you a decision in principle within 3 days.

You've already found a property

If you have found a property you wish to buy, and your offer has been accepted, the next step is to sign a sale agreement, or "compromis de vente".

This is a binding contract on you to buy and the seller to sell. You will have to pay a deposit to secure performance of your obligations, usually 10% of the purchase price. If you intend to buy with a mortgage, you must have this mentioned in the agreement. After signing, you will have a six day cooling off period during which you can withdraw. If, following the elapse of this period you still wish to proceed, you should then apply for your mortgage.

The application form and accompanying documents are sent to the lender, who will process them and arrive at a decision. If it is negative, you may then withdraw from the agreement and, provided that you have complied with its terms, receive your deposit back.

The offer

If it is positive, the lender will issue a formal offer, which must be sent to you by post.

You must then wait a further ten days 'cooling off period' before accepting it. In the meantime, you can send your portion of the purchase price to the notary.

It's yours!

After the ten day cooling off period you send the accepted offer to the lender, who will then transfer the balance of the funds to the notary. The notary will fix a day for all parties to sign the "Acte", or deed of transfer. On this day, following signature, the notary will give your money and the lender's money to the seller, pay the agent, collect the taxes due plus his own fee and voilą! the property is yours!

For further details please consult the "Frequently Asked Questions" page.


Please note that the contents of this page are not intended to constitute legal advice and users are not entitled to rely on these statements for any purpose whatsoever.

NOTE: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up the repayment on a mortgage loan or other loan secured on it. The sterling equivalent of your liability under a foreign currency mortgage may be increased by exchange rate movements.

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