Buying a second home in the South of France is, of course, a fun and important event in your life. From the moment you have reserved the purchase, you’ll immediately feel a lot happier. Not that this has been proven scientifically, but we know from experience that our customers all travel to southern France with a smile on their face to enjoy a few days of local life on the Côte d’Azur.
If you are considering buying a new apartment or an existing villa on the French Riviera, it would be a good idea to make a purchase this year. You save more than one percent on the total purchase as from 2019 the rates of French notaries are unfortunately going up. For existing properties, it will be 8% and for new construction, the fees will be 3 to even 4%.
Notary fees in France will increase as of 2019
Not that the notary is getting richer here; his or her activities for a real estate transaction consist of 80% of collecting taxes for the French government. The remaining 20% of the costs are incurred on file costs and administration time the office has to make. Anyone who has ever bought an existing or new apartment or villa on the Côte d’Azur knows that there is a lot of paperwork involved. The structure is simpler for new constructions, but everything has to be signed in triplicate because your purchase of newly built real estate must be stored – on paper – in all possible registers in, for example, Paris and the local and national land register. And paper, the French love it.
Every notary, therefore, has an impressive paper archive to store the transactions. Can’t that be done digitally ?, I hear you think, but strangely enough, the paper is safer. A server with all documents can be cracked or simply stop working. Digital is, therefore, a ‘nice to have’ and to sue in the mail, but for the time being and in this respect, the paper is more sustainable.
So if you are buying an apartment this year, try to send it to sign your final purchase agreement with the notary before the end of the year. On a new apartment of 600,000 euros, it makes a difference between six and twelve thousand euros.