Financing your purchase: Mortgages in France

Thinking about how you are going to finance your French purchase is something that is worth doing in the early stages of planning. Once you find the property you want to buy, you will be in a much better position to negotiate if you have your finances in order.

When considering making an offer on a property it is important that you are clear about how you plan to finance the purchase. Costs will be incurred by the vendor as soon as your offer has been accepted.

You may decide that you wish to finance part of your purchase with a mortgage. There are several different ways that you can obtain a mortgage in France and Leggett Immobilier has experience with them all.

Organising a mortgage can take time and it is worth researching your options. If you would like some assistance, we can help. Simply drop us a line on mortgages@leggett.fr or chat to your Leggett Immobilier agent, and we will be happy to direct you to a relevant, quality mortgage supplier.

French banks do not provide formal mortgage offers until after a Compromis de Vente has been signed, however it is possible to get a free 'in principle' offer prior to commencing your property search. It is worth keeping in mind that overseas applicants are able to borrow a maximum of 85% of the FAI purchase price of a property in France (i.e. the price including estate agency fees, but excluding notaire fees.) If you are looking to finance part of your purchase with a mortgage, having this organised from the outset not only gives you peace of mind, but also means that when you find the property you want to buy, you can negotiate and proceed without any obstacles.

French Mortgage Options

01French high street banks

There are two main types of French bank, national banks and mutual banks. Across the spectrum of these banks there are a wide range of potential mortgage packages available.

National banks include: BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Credit Lyonnais

Mutual banks include: Crédit Agricole, Banque Populaire, Crédit Mutuel

Pros: French banks are increasingly trying to expand into a wider market place by offering more mortgages to non residents with broader support, such as English speaking staff.

Cons: Each bank has their own lending policy, so it may require quite a lot of research to find the best deal for you.

02French banks with specific ex-patriot elements

BNP Paribas International, part of BNP Paribas, has been created only to offer mortgages to expatriate purchasers. By focusing on a single market, this mortgage provider is able to offer a wide choice of mortgages designed for overseas purchasers who want to purchase a French property with a mortgage.

Pros: Mortgages offered are designed specifically for non resident purchasers. Staff are multi-lingual and understand the French purchasing and mortgage system completely.

Cons: If the lending policy does not fit your requirements, you will not secure a mortgage.

03International Banks

International banks may be able to finance a mortgage in France and are worth researching.

National banks which may offer French mortgages include: HSBC, Barclays, Halifax

Pros: Much of the mortgage application will be undertaken in the UK.

Cons: Rates with International banks are often not as good as those with French banks.

04Brokers

Brokers can be useful in achieving the best mortgage deal as they have access to many different banks and can help with many different types of mortgage.

National banks which may offer French mortgages include: HSBC, Barclays, Halifax

Pros: Rates can be better as brokers have special deals with banks that they do business with on a regular basis.

Cons: Fees can be higher as brokers do a lot of the leg-work for you!

Click here to email Leggett Immobilier and we will be happy to direct you to a relevant, quality mortgage supplier.

Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates vary from institution to institution, however, the below 'Mortgage Best Buy' table from mortgage brokers, International Private Finance, provides a good guide to repayment levels.



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Be aware that France does not use 'credit scores' when putting together mortgage applications. You may be required to send documents via email or through the post. The earlier you can start your mortgage application process the better, as it can take some time.


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