Mortgages in France Checklist: Top Tips for Foreign Buyers


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Mortgages in France Checklist: Top Tips for Foreign Buyers

For many foreign buyers and investors, securing a mortgage in France is the deciding factor in making your French property buying dream a reality.

Our Beginner’s Guide to French Mortgages and step-by-step articles will take you through the entire process, but with so much information to take in, where should you start? How can you be sure that you are fully prepared, avoid common pitfalls, and maximise the chances of having your mortgage application approved?

From obtaining an Agreement in Principle (AIP) to the final release of funds: this checklist is the ultimate to-do list for securing your French Mortgage!

First Things First: Do You Qualify for a Mortgage in France?

Step one is deciding whether a French mortgage is the right option for you. There are many individual variables that will determine whether or not you will be successful in your French mortgage application. However, there are also some base questions you need to answer before taking the next step.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you looking to borrow a minimum of €150,000 (in the wake of the Covid pandemic, most lenders will not agree to a mortgage for a lower amount, even for British and EU buyers), or €250,000 if you’re buying from the United States or another non-EU country?
  • Are you under 70 years of age?
  • Do you have enough capital for a 20-25% deposit (British and EU buyers) or a 50% deposit (American and other non-EU buyers)?
  • Do you have income totalling more than three times your financial liabilities, including the proposed French mortgage (including all rental contracts, current mortgages, car loans, and other loans)?

If you’ve answered yes to all the above, great—move on to the next step! If you answered no to any of these key questions, it might be better to look into other ways of financing your French property venture.

See also:

Remortgage vs. French Mortgages for foreign property buyers

UK or French Mortgage for British property buyers?

Before You Start Looking for a French Property

French mortgage applications can only happen after you have found a property, but there’s still a lot you can do to plan and prepare—starting now!

Applying for Your Mortgage in France

Once you’ve found your property and signed the Compromis de Vente, you can move ahead with your mortgage application.

  • When signing the Compromis de Vente, be sure to a Clause Suspensive to the contract – this will ensure you don’t lose your deposit if your mortgage application is refused.
  • Once you’ve signed the Compromis de Vente, contact your mortgage lender and begin the formal application process.
  • Set up your French bank account – although you might want to set up a bank account prior to starting your search, some mortgage lenders may ask that you open an account with them, so it might pay to wait.
  • Organise your life insurance policy – this a pre-requisite for most French mortgages.
  • When your mortgage has been approved, wait the mandatory 11-day cooling off period…
  • …after which you can sign your contract and celebrate your new French mortgage.

Congratulations on your French mortgage!

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