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What you need to know buying a second home in south of France

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It is hot on the French Riviera and the month of August even has to start. Of course, the start goes in a traditional way in which the south goes to the north to avoid the hustle and bustle. And on the other hand, the North comes to the south to enjoy that heated bustle. And the sea. And the restaurants, the museums, the fireworks and so on. Not so crazy that every year more people decide to buy a second home on the Côte d’Azur.

second home

France better investment than Italy or Spain

Unlike Italy and Spain, France’s overall infrastructure is well organized and there’s also a high quality in medical care (if necessary). And so we welcome families big and small every year to the Côte d’Azur. There is a lot for sale in the area in holiday ​​real estate and who wants to live carefree, prefers a new constructed building. There you will get a ten-year guarantee and the first two years you can still complain about a beeping garage door or a leaking bathroom faucet.

Summer pressures with local real estate agents

The month of August is of course also a holiday for many real estate agents in southern France; The local sales offices are now manned by temporary forces who are sitting and sweating their hours in a small cabin. If you are planning to buy a second home in the south of France, you can go take the lucky route and face many dense offices. Or you discover a project under construction, with 80% already sold. And you actually wanted to buy that penthouse. It is therefore much more efficient to enable our search service for your second home on the French Riviera for your new residence on the Côte d’Azur. We will provide you with a selection of potentially interesting homes in advance and give you the exact address so that you can explore the area on Google Maps already.

Then we make a shortlist of 3 up to 4 apartments or villas and make sure the doors are open for you.

New apartments in Cannes la Bocca with sea views on Mandelieu

Prepared second home viewings

On arrival in the Côte d’Azur, we have already provided you with addresses and links to Google Maps. And so we visit different addresses in 1 morning and you can have lunch in the afternoon and jump in the sea to make up your mind. The next day we will look again at the location you liked best. For existing villas, you can bid and we’ll guide and negotiate with you to the final agreement.

Are you happy with the price, the selling broker will proposes an ‘offre d’achat’ for an existing property. The main aspects of the property are in this paper, such as address, lay-out, size and separately made agreements. This information is signed by both parties and then the notary will use this info to make a provisional purchase agreement. This agreement should be signed within 30 days of the ‘offre d’achat’.

Difference between Offre d’achat, Promesse de vente and Compromis de vente

Offre d’achat is a unilateral promise from the buyer to the seller. The potential buyer indicates that he wants to purchase the specified property within a specified period. However, it does not guarantee that the house must also be sold to the buyer. The offre d’achat largely describes what you wish to buy. If the term expires and buyer and seller do not agree, then the offer will expire.

La Promesse de Vente is a unilateral promise by the seller. Seller agrees with this “Promise of Sale” that he agrees to sell the property at a certain price for a given period. The buyer pays 10% and gets a period of 7 days to rethink the decision and stop the buying process. If the notarial deed is on for signing, your 10% of the purchase amount will be deducted and you will pay the remaining amount. If you do not provide a timely notice of cancellation and you have no decisive reasons (such as reserve funding) then you will be in default and the seller may retain your 10% deposit.

The Compromis de vente is a purchase agreement between the two parties. The seller agrees to sell his property, while the buyer agrees to buy the property for an agreed price. After signing the initial purchase agreement, you always have a right of withdrawal of 7 days as a buyer. In addition, it has suspensive terms, which means that the purchase will not continue under certain conditions such as not obtaining a loan.

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Purchase new build apartment

When buying a new apartment on the French Riviera, you will receive a preliminary purchase agreement with the developer and the notary’s bank account where you must have paid a 5% deposit within one week. You have a further ten days’ notice after signing the provisional agreement. And after signing by both parties, you have another month to complete your funding.

Cost notary for new construction

Did you know that the notarial fees for a newly built property are significantly cheaper? You pay max 2.5% transfer tax versus 7.5% for existing construction. And if you do not need funding, the fee will only be 1.9% because the dossier is simpler. Within 2-3 months, you will then receive a notary’s invitation to sign the final purchase agreement. We are present at that time and can also sign on behalf of you. After that, you pay in tranches of 10-20% until the construction is complete. That money is paid into a National Building Guarantee Fund to ensure that your purchased apartment is always delivered, if the developer goes bankrupt.

Living on the Côte d’Azur only works with the best and largest project developers and some top-class brokers we fully trust. This gives you the assurance that your search for a second home in southern France is in professional hands.

We look forward to welcome you on the French Riviera this summer!

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About The Author
Ab Kuijer

Born and raised in Amsterdam, living on the Côte d'Azur since 2006 and happy with Jo. Former journalist/producer for radio, tv, and magazines. Writes daily content for international clients and real estate. Buying a house in the South of France, the Costa Blanca, Ibiza or Mauritius? Contact Ab and Jo for a fast and professional guidance and start the search for your dream house in the sun!