Property Scouting in France

Property Scouting in France

Unless you already have your eye on your dream home, the chances are that you’ll need to organise a viewing trip. To make the most of your time and ensure it doesn’t become an unduly stressful process, it is important to be prepared.

French estate agents are often booked up in advance, so it’s worth arranging appointments before you travel. When you’re working out how much time you need for a viewing trip, ensure that you’ve left time not only for travelling between locations but also for repeat viewings and a chance to get a feel for the location. It also helps to arrange your finances in advance.

Plan Ahead

If you make an offer and it is accepted, you will need to sign the first formal contract – the compromis de vente – and at this point, after a brief cooling-off period, you are generally committed to buy. For this reason, it may be worth thinking ahead and opening an account with a foreign exchange specialist prior to your scouting visit.

This will give you an opportunity to develop a stronger understanding of the vagaries of the currency exchange market and get comfortable with the process of exchanging funds. You can also take advantage of services such as regular updates on available rates to help you plan your budget.

Avoid Surprises

Having the account already in place means that, the moment you find your dream home, you’ll be in a position to act quickly; but there is no cost, or obligation to use the account, if you don’t find a suitable property.

Seeking free guidance from a foreign exchange company will help you to determine what you can afford, and plan your finances accordingly. You can even fix your rate before the payments are due to take advantage of certain currency movements.

Some buyers are also using this tool – known as a forward contract – to fix the total as soon as they commit to the property, avoiding last-minute fluctuations that could affect the final price in sterling. Alternatively, you can track or even target a specific rate, which allows you to make the most of your money in France.

Just as when you buy a home in the UK, there are a number of additional costs to consider. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to make sure the deposit and all professional fees reach the notaire’s account in time for clearance prior to the signature.

Multiple payments, excessive fees and variable exchange rates can have quite a significant effect on the actual sum required if you haven’t planned ahead. Indeed, the exchange rate can play a vital role in determining your budget and that’s why it’s so vital to do your financial homework before you go. A currency exchange specialist, such as moneycorp, can offer you great rates, efficient service and direct access to an exchange specialist to guide you through the (often tricky) process.

FrenchEntrée members receive free currency transfers from moneycorp for life, so we can help you every step of the way online or over the phone. From the initial viewing through to purchase and maintaining the property with our Regular Payment Plan, moneycorp can help you make your dream of owning a home in France a reality.

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Mar Bonnin-Palmer is a Senior Key Account Manager at Moneycorp and regular contributor to French Entrée Magazine. During her career as a lawyer based in London dealing mainly with British clients buying a property in Spain, Mar became very familiar with the process of purchasing abroad. Since 2006 she has been fully devoted to foreign exchange, dealing with private individuals and companies that need to make international payments.

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