Financing your French skiing home

Posted on 06 February 2017

So, you know you want to purchase a property in France, now you just need to work out how much money you have to spend and where you can get the funds from.

If you have the cash, lucky you, see you on the slopes!

If you need to borrow a little – or a lot – of extra money, don’t be discouraged, there has rarely been a better time to fund your property through the many loan options, including a mortgage. As in the UK, there are a number of mortgage options available in France and while conditions may be higher than before the financial crisis at least the rates are lower! Mortgage rates are similar to the UK, set by lenders based on the unprecedentedly low rate currently put in place by the European Central Bank.

It is sensible to speak to an overseas mortgage broker who will be able to talk you through current offers. The lending criteria tend to be different, usually worked out on the basis that the total monthly mortgage payment should not exceed one third of the purchaser’s gross monthly income. 

The main thing you will need to establish is exactly how much cash you will need as a deposit in relation to your mortgage amount; for non-French nationals this is usually between 20 and 35%. You will also need to provide proof of income and identity, as well as details of your bank account and credit cards. If getting an overseas mortgage feels too complicated, you could look into purchasing your property in France through re-mortgaging your British property. 

Now you just have to work out how to pay for your dream French skiing property. You will need to make certain you are clear about what your monthly repayment figure will be; this will be really important when you are working out the cost of maintaining your property and your new life in France. Of course the mortgage company will have a say in this but how many of us have bought a property on two incomes when we know perfectly well that one of us will be stopping work to have a baby or retrain into a new career! Choose a mortgage that you will be able to afford, without stretching yourself financially.

For further details about how to buy a home in France, download the FREE France Buying Guide from Property Guides.

Before you head off to find that home, you need to sort your currency out. You cannot, unfortunately, expect to get the rate you see on the news or the currency websites – that is the interbank rate and the banks will off you less – sometimes a lot less. What you need is a currency specialist who will give you as close to that interbank rate as possible – usually within a percentage point or two.

We suggest using Smart Currency Exchange, who are specialists in overseas property. You will be allocated your own personal trader, who will be able to discuss your currency strategy with you – such as how and when you should transfer your funds. Click here to get a quick quote. 

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