Are you planning to buy an apartment in Cannes? Then it is advisable to read the following Five Golden Rules so that you are sure of a good purchase. Cannes is, of course, the center of the “French Riviera lifestyle”, thanks to the many international events and just as many international guests who like to attend. During the period of events, from March to October, the “buzz” in Cannes is the greatest.
The 5 golden rules to buy an apartment in Cannes
Movie stars, directors, writers, pop stars, they’ve all bought a French Riviera retreat near Cannes. For the jet-set, the choice to buy an apartment in Cannes is also a logistical one. With a private jet, they land just ten minutes by car from La Croisette via the airport of Cannes-Mandelieu. And for those who still have a party in Saint Tropez, take the helicopter service Cannes – Saint Tropez or a water taxi from Cannes just as easily.
Despite all the jet-set fans, Cannes has not received any star allure. The old market in Le Suquet still sells a dozen oysters for ten euros and at the Croisette, you can enjoy with the local’s a lunch with a simple Pan Bagnat on the public beach.
Recognize Cannes with its districts and differences
The most famous street in Cannes is of course the Croisette. This wide boulevard is the place to stroll, roller-skate or jog. Many famous stars run regularly so you have to be careful who you might bump into. Buying an apartment in Cannes on the Croisette is the main price in terms of purchase. From the Croisette you are in the middle of southern French life; beach restaurants on your doorstep, luxury boutiques below you and of course you can hear the murmur of the sea at night. Here you will find all the beaches of Cannes to lounge during the day, or to take a dip in the moonshine at night.
Behind the Croisette is Rue d’Antibes, the most popular shopping street. In this area, you can buy a nice city apartment in Cannes, provided you do not mind some noise from outgoing holidaymakers. Most apartments are well insulated, so with the windows closed and the air conditioning on, you do not have to suffer here. The purchase price is not exorbitantly high, so you have enough money left to go shopping in Cannes.
If you walk further to the back, away from the sea, on the other side of the railway track, you will find yourself in the truly residential area. Districts such as Petit Juas and Oxford are quiet and stylish and you can live here for a reasonable price with the old center within walking distance.
We start our tour again in front of the Palais and turn right with the sea behind us. If you continue from the Croisette, towards the old port, you will arrive in Palm Beach. This part of Cannes was developed at the beginning of the last century for the wealthy Americans who came to winter here. Stylish large residences, a lovely sandy beach and of course a real Casino. Nowadays there is also a lot of kitesurfing; a beautiful spectacle to watch on a windy day. The prices for a Palm Beach apartment are average plus unless of course, you go for the penthouse.
If you leave Palm Beach you will enter the California district. This district was developed after a hotel of the same name was built here. A prestigious neighborhood with only large residences, guarded by concierges and providing all kinds of extra services such as tennis, spa and gym within the wrought iron gates. Prices are higher than in Pam Beach but not as high as on the Croisette. Buying an apartment in Cannes in the California district gives you the certainty of silence, class and tranquillity. The district is also called “The Garden of Eden”.
Walking back to the center on the Croisette and past the Palais de Festivals, towards Saint Tropez, we arrive in Croix de Gardes. This area is a quiet residential area where many nobility had their villa built in the early 1900s. This was then in a strategic location, namely close to the city with restaurants, the port and entertainment, but also adjacent to a large nature park Cannes Croix des Gardes of 80 hectares. A splendid combination!
Finally, a forgotten district of Cannes is La Bocca. This district is located between Cannes and Mandelieu. The municipality of Cannes has adapted its investment policy to La Bocca and a multiplex cinema theatre, a University, a Film Academy and a lot of new buildings are being built. Buying an apartment in Cannes La Bocca now means investing in the future and therefore looking ahead. The boulevard on the beach already gives a taste of the dynamics of the neighborhood; the “Boccabana” has many public sports equipment, wonderful cycle paths and small kiosks at the sandy beach. For the real beach lovers.
Remember the summer months in Cannes. Buy a garage.
The summer months can be busy in Cannes. But especially during the Festivals, it seems as if the whole world is coming to this romantic harbor town. Parking is a drama and the train is also packed. If you are going to buy an apartment in Cannes, check carefully if there is a garage for sale. Or maybe two. There are people who find buying a garage in Cannes the best investment. It is always in high demand and yields about 150 euros every month. Not too bad ROI of an average of 25-35,000 euros and no maintenance.
The notary fees for an apartment in Cannes
Anyone who wants to buy an apartment in Cannes knows in advance what his or her budget is. When you sign the purchase deed at the notary, you pay the price plus the transfer tax. For an existing apartment, this is on average 7.5% of the purchase price. Many people think this money disappears into the pockets of the ever-cheerful notary in his impressive office.
Nothing could be further from the truth; the notary is just a glorified tax officer who sees to it that tax is levied on the purchase and that it goes directly to the French state. On average, the civil-law notary receives a percentage between 0.7 and 0.8% for all the work (control deed, a compilation of file, registration land registry). However, you only pay 2.5% tax for a newly constructed apartment in Cannes and elsewhere in France.
Ask for the HOA statutes
Buying an existing apartment in Cannes can be your dream. To open the large front door to the street and then enter a large hall of a beautiful Bourgeois building with many art-deco elements. A small elevator from a scary movie, creaking stairs and high windows that look out on a small square or the city. It is all beautiful and definitely an investment that you will enjoy. Maybe it needs some renovation inside; then look for a good and reliable renovation service in Cannes to deal with it immediately.
If you buy an apartment in Cannes in a residence, you have to deal with the HOA, the Home Owners Association, In France called the “Syndic”. As everywhere, there are annual meetings and bickering about what should and should not be repaired. Before signing a preliminary purchase agreement, inquire about the Syndic’s latest notes and plans.
Some homeowners are fleeing for upcoming costs, such as when the roof or sewerage needs to be renewed in a year or two. These costs are not hidden defects because they were discussed in the meeting of the VVE. But they do surprise you. If you are previously aware of these upcoming maintenance costs, you can include this in the price negotiation.
Choose the best guidance in Cannes
There are as many brokers as there are bakers in Cannes. If you take the time to view the offer online, you will see that many apartments are offered by several brokers. That is quite normal in France; the broker with the best network sells the most houses and apartments.
Before stepping in with a large or small broker, you should know that once you have your name written down, your name ‘belongs’ to that broker. It is better to use an apartment search service for Cannes that looks at the offers of all the local estate agents for you and makes the selection based on your wishes. The services are free of costs for the buyer and save a lot of time and frustration.