France is a popular destination for foreign buyers, and the current economic climate is making it even more attractive. Borrowing rates in France have dropped to the lowest percentage in 70 years. LeFigaro reported that French mortgage average rates in March 2016 have reached the historical record of 1,97% and experts say they may still drop further in April.
In order to obtain a French mortgage a buyer will be required to fulfil certain criteria such as, for example, what proportion of the borrower’s income would be taken up by the monthly mortgage repayment. There is a practical way to speed up the buying process and that is to prequalify for a mortgage beforehand. In that case a buyer can better prepare the property search knowing exactly the top end of their budget. The lender will determine in advance the maximum amount that they are prepared to cover. In this position the buyer is able to move quickly once the decision is made to make an offer on the chosen property.
Another way to protect the buyer in the event of a refusal by the bank or mortgage company, is to include a clause suspensive (conditional clause) in compromis de vente. (binding offer document). This way if the mortgage is refused the contract is void, the deposit is reimbursed to the buyer and there is no obligation to continue with the purchase.
With a number of mortgage products on both the French and overseas markets, choosing the right one for your financial and personal circumstances is an important decision.