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A quick guide to Americans buying in France

Americans buying in France


The "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act" (FATCA) is part of the US tax code, introduced in 2014 to counter tax evasion. The cost to French banks of complying with the administrative burdens it imposes means that very few credit institutions will agree to process loans from US clients

We strongly recommend that before beginning your property search you have your finances in place. Please mail: to be put in touch with a specialist broker who can advise.


American passport holders are not required to obtain a visa prior to visiting France as a tourist, for a stay of up to 90 days.

Should you wish to stay in France for more than 90 days, then you will be required to obtain a Long Stay visa.

You can only apply for one type of visa at a time, so beware, as it is rarely possible to change your status from France, you would have to return to the USA to re-apply.

You can find a full list of French Consulates within the USA here


Regardless of nationality, anyone living permanently in France, will be taxed on their worldwide income.

Persons not domiciled in France are obliged to pay tax on any income obtained from property they own in France.

You should report your French rental income just like you would with a US rental - it must be reported in US dollars. You can include expenses such as local taxes, repairs, management fees and other costs. Always seek specialist tax advice.

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American buyers now account for 3.0% of all international buyers.

Long standing favourite places for American buyers are: Paris , PACA , and the Alps. However, in the last six months Leggett has also sold to US buyers in: Aquitaine , Midi Pyrenees , Centre , Brittany , Limousin , Languedoc Roussillon , Pays de la Loire , Poitou Charentes .

LEGGETT AGENT : Michele Jones

leggett agent

Michele is based in the French Alps, she was born in Florida and raised in the US Airforce, during which time she moved and changed countries every two years until her father's retirement.

I was very fortunate in having such a rich experience of different cultures says Michele. I came to Courchevel in 1990 for a 2 week ski holiday and never left! I absolutely love this place and have never looked back!


leggett agent

Yorick and Gerri bought their house in South West France in Puisseguin, close to the beautiful vineyards of Saint Emilion.

Yorick is American and Gerri his wife is a UK expatriate who live in Oregon near the famous Pinot vineyards, who were drawn to the idea of buying a house in South West France in Puisseguin, close to the beautiful vineyards of Saint Emilion. “We’ve travelled all over the world but keep coming back to France!” says Gerri, “we love the quiet ease of the town we are going to live in”. So with their children having finished college, they started talking about the possibility of moving to France. They are hoping this will be a permanent move, retiring in France, but they may need to adjust a few things once the outcome of Brexit is fully clear.

Yorick and Gerri's Top Tips!

1.“The buying process is quite complex, so make sure you have get a very good agent who speaks both French and English” says Yorick. “Leggett Agent Margret Koenen” Gerri said “was superb, and so patient. Margret has become our friend and not just a business partner; she negotiated for us through so many of the issues, putting us in contact with the right bankers, builders and even gardeners. We are indebted to Margret as without her, there is no way we could have managed this.”
2.WINE! and lots of it! Buying a home in France is a labor of love. But so worth it!!

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