French Mortgage Property,
a basic guide to French mortgages (Pret Immobilier)

French Mortgage Timeframe

An Agreement in Principle can be obtained from a lender once all of the necessary documentation has been submitted. This takes approximately five working days. However, for loan amounts in excess of €750,000 this may take longer.

We would recommend that you allow a minimum of eight weeks from application to the lender to completion.

Life Assurance

Life assurance is mandatory with the majority of French lenders, and many require borrowers to use their chosen provider. In some instances, it may be possible to utilise an existing or new UK or French policy. Please contact a consultant for more details. If you do not want to take out French Life Cover please specify when applying for a quotation to ensure we quote you suitable products.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance must be in place for completion. Please ask your Consultant if you would like to be referred to a specialist overseas insurance provider.

Bank Account

You will need to open a French bank account before completion, from which your mortgage repayments will be debited. Your Consultant can assist you with this at no additional cost if required.

Payment of your French mortgage

Please be aware that missing a mortgage payment in France may have serious consequences and we therefore strongly advise you arrange for monthly debits from a UK account. A number of foreign exchange providers offer a renewable 12 month regular payment plan. The exchange rate is fixed at the start of the plan, and the agreed amount will be debited from your UK account and sent to your French account each month. This service gives you peace of mind in the knowledge that your French mortgage repayments will be met automatically each month. Please ask one of our Consultants to recommend a provider if this is of interest.

Transferring Funds to France

Whilst purchasing your French property it is also likely that you will need to transfer funds to France, to pay a reservation fee, a deposit on the property, or to cover additional purchase costs.

Making payments in a foreign currency will mean you are exposed to movements in exchange rates. This is likely to affect the final cost of the property you are buying, as will the exchange rate you receive when you make the transfer. Through our carefully selected foreign exchange provider we are able to not only save money on the exchange rate you receive but reduce your exposure to exchange rate movement.

For further information on how these services can benefit you please talk to your consultant who will be able to answer any questions you may have.


Mortgage funds will be released by the lender to your Notaire for completion of the purchase. You do not have to be present at completion and can give Power of Attorney if necessary, your Notaire will be able to discuss this with you in more detail.

Costs of Setting up a French Mortgage

Bank's arrangement fee - typically 1% of the loan amount up to a maximum of €2,000. Should the lender wish to carry out a valuation, this will be covered by the arrangement fee. This fee will be deducted by the lender from your French bank account following completion.

Notaire's Fees - your Notaire should provide you with a breakdown of fees payable once a sales agreement has been signed. If you take out a French mortgage to purchase the property or at a later stage, a further cost will be passed on to you by your Notaire for registering the mortgage at the land registry.

Estate Agent's Fees - often included in the purchase price.

We charge a non-refundable application fee of £200.

We recommend that you obtain specialist legal & tax advice before purchasing in France.

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