Buying new construction like a house or an apartment on the Côte d’Azur can sometimes cause some healthy stress. Especially if you have found exactly that good apartment through our site and service, but are only in the area six weeks later to view the location. Without making a sales story of it, it is a fact that 80% of new construction in the South of France is sold before the first excavator arrives. It is therefore important to be able to make a quick decision.
Nothing to see what you buy in the future
Buying a new apartment on the French Riviera might seem a risky adventure. Today, you will see an old building or a terrain, but nothing is being constructed. This is the ‘silence before the storm’ phase. The developer first must sell 40% with pre-reservation and then he will start the works. In general, 18 months later, the building and your apartment are delivered.
Your money and down payment never go to the developer: every euro you pay is to to the notary and placed in a building fund. This fund is managed by the notary, a state employee. With every step approved by the architect and the city council, the developer gets another share to continue the works. All new projects that we represent come with a VEFA guarantee. This means that you will always get your apartment, even if the developer stops.
Buying new construction on the Côte d’Azur starts with a remote reservation
Anyone who is insufficiently familiar with the region or neighbourhood would, of course, prefer to come and have a look for themselves first. After all, it’s not a baguette you buy. Fortunately, there is Google Earth and Street View that let you scroll around the neighbourhood quite a bit. And after that, you can do two things: wait until you get there. Or start the reservation process in advance and reserve the best apartment!
We have too often experienced that when customers arrive hopefully a few months later, the sought-after apartment has been sold, or at best is under option. By initiating the purchase reservation process in the South of France, you save important time and block sales by other agents and brokers. You do not run any risk because as a prospective buyer you are protected by law. This is also clearly described in the reservation contract.
How to save time when buying a new construction apartment from abroad
First of all, as with any purchase, ‘money talks’ applies. As soon as we have registered your name as a potential buyer, you will receive a reservation contract and the bank details of a third-party account which is managed by the notary. The notary in France is no more than a tax officer who ensures that your file is in order and that the transfer tax on your purchase is properly paid. A notary will only receive a fraction of the amount you pay in notary fees. It is just enough to cover the file and office costs.
You will be the first to transfer the required 3 or 5% as a down payment on your apartment. Do not forget to mention your name, the name of the program and the number of the apartment. With a screenshot as proof, we report to the notary and the project developer that your papers are on its way. You do this in week 1.
After an explanation by us of the required documents, fill in the papers according to instructions. Also state that you need a mortgage, which will give you an extra month and a resolutive condition. Scan all papers and send them to us. Then you send all the papers to the project developer. With the speed of paper mail, this can take up to two weeks, especially if you don’t send it until later in the second week. Because the project developer has now received the money and a scan of your file, there is no hurry. In the third week, your paper file arrives at the project developer.
New construction purchase and reservation from abroad
Now your file is sent to the project developer. The correct name, payment and chosen apartment are looked at. If everything is correct, a stamp and signature will be placed on the contract you have already signed. This can take well 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how busy it is. You will then receive a DHL package at your home address with all papers returned. From the moment you have signed for receipt, an additional ten working days will commence. You can cancel everything in those ten days and your down payment will be returned by the notary. No risk, but you save more than a month extra time.
If after more than a month you have not yet gained enough time to come to the Côte d’Azur, you will stay on track with the mortgage application route. Even though you do not need a mortgage, the application for financing gives you another 30 days after those ten days to make the decision final. By that time, we are now more than 2 months later, you can still decide whether or not to buy. You have been able to view the apartment and the location and everything continues according to plan.
Two months later you will receive an invitation to sign the final purchase contract at the notary. One week before that date, you transfer 25% of the purchase price, with which you have already paid a total of 30%. During the construction work, you will always receive a reminder of the progress and the next instalment of payment.
For more questions about a remote reservation for new construction on the French Riviera, you can always contact us.