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Mortgages
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:40:28 PM
Yes it is necessary to have an insurance at minimum for Death and TILA
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:40:05 PM
It depends of the bank which allows the mortgage. Most of the time they ask for it. Anyway it’ll be easier for you to make just one money transfer to your french account. Then it’ll be easier for you that all the direct debits will be done from this account for the mortgage, the insurance, the taxes …
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:38:28 PM
A property sale is necessarily signed at a notary office. You can have one notary for the saler and the buyer , as well as a notary for each of you. It will cost the same. In the second case they’ll share the fees.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:39:16 PM
Actually it takes around 3 months starting from the presale contract,  « compromis de vente », and the final signature at the notary office.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:39:42 PM
French banks just ask for a deposit that depends of the country where you’re living in, and a debt load (ratio between income and outgoings) which doesn’t exceed 33 %.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:38:49 PM
Notary fees are paid by the buyer of the estate. Fees are around 8 % pf the amount of the acquisition
 
Buying
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:23:03 PM
The diagnostics are an array of property survey reports and a French legal requirement that form part of the transaction documentation which are paid for by the sellers. The diagnostics will report on asbestos, lead, termites, energy efficiency, natural or industrial risks, gas and electrical wiring.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:20:44 PM
No, the only representative you need in the purchase of a sale in France is a notaire. You do not need a lawyer. You can choose a notaire or we can put you in touch with one in Nice.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:21:40 PM
The whole purchasing process can take anywhere from 2-3 months from beginning to end.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:21:15 PM
Yes the commission is normally included in the sale price and is paid for by the seller.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:22:39 PM
In calculating the transaction costs of buying property in France, it is important to distinguish between fees and taxes, and between older and new property. In summary, the total fees and taxes payable for each is as follows. 

Older Property the total fees and taxes payable for the purchase of an existing older property are around 8% of the purchase price (excluding estate agency fees). 

New Property you will pay around 4% in fees and registration taxes, plus VAT at the rate of 19.6% on the purchase price except for sales between private individuals (excluding estate agency fees). 

Although these total fees and taxes are often referred to as ‘notaire fees’, in fact the actual notaire fee itself is only about 1%. The rest comprises stamp duty, registration taxes, and disbursements. Notaire fees are regulated by the government and vary according to the sale price of the property. These fees are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 19.6%. If a mortgage is being obtained for the purchase then you should budget around 2% of the loan in fees and costs.
 
Rentals
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/13 4:34:27 PM
On average, any rental in Central Nice will NET to owner as per below:

1 bed: 7-14,000€ NET per year
2 bed: 12-18,000€ NET per year
3 bed: 15-30,000€ NET per year

Villas: Quote given on a property by property basis
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/13 4:35:47 PM
Generally, French regulation favors renters over landlords. Because of this, it can be riskier to rent out long term. In the event the renter stops paying their rent it can take over a year to properly push it through the courts and move them out for non-payment. Often the renter may retaliate by destroying the property or taking all the furniture with them. Unfortunately, this happens more often than one would think. This would be the main reason most owners choose short term over long term. Other advantages listed below.

Short term has the advantages of:
- NET rental amounts to owner are the same as if it was rented long term over the year. After the second and third years, the chance your rental income will exceed the amount as if it were on a long-term rental scheme, are very high. As it gains a reputation and a regular clientele, your income will increase.
- You are free to use your place and holiday with family and friends throughout the year.
- Your property is watched, and well maintained. Any upgrades, renovations, or interior touches will reap immediate financial benefit.
- You have someone on the ground, at all times that will keep up with any French paperwork, mail and Syndic meetings.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/13 4:40:08 PM
The number one above all is interior design and it’s sense of feeling spacious, even if it is not necessarily huge square meter wise, s this is essentially your sales window after all. The added 'look and comfort' will allow us to price your property at the top of the market for the area it is in.

To fully furnish a 1 bed property from scratch, an owner is looking at 10-15,000€ depending on terrace furniture and appliances needed such as washer/dryer, fridge, dishwasher, etc. This includes someone’s time to organize, order, deal with deliveries, and handymen to build furniture, paint walls, put in curtain rails or any other minor decorative works.

The most important amenities to consider, in order of importance, are:
- AC
- Outside space: balcony/ terrace/ garden
- Location: generally city center is best
- View: if there is a sea, mountain, local square, or rooftop view this can take over location in importance.
- Top floors do best because they are brighter, generally have better views and there are no neighbors above. Garden floors with outside space, do well as well. Be aware that lifts are important for top floor apartments, unless it ticks all the boxes above-- AC, terrace and location- then the lift will be secondary to a superior apartment.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/13 4:31:56 PM
There are several taxes to consider.

1) Income tax: the general rule for furnished rental properties is 50% of the rents you receive are taxable with a minimum of 20% for non-residents.

There are 2 different ways to claim:

-- Either you can set up your property as a ‘small business’ and deduct running costs. This set up usually works best if you have a lot of charges, especially a mortgage. Regular payments out can be deducted from the bottom line, therefore reducing your tax liability.

-- Or, your incomings are added as normal income and paid with your normal income tax return.

The best strategy for your situation will be dependent on your current income tax bracket and is best advised by a tax professional. We can recommend a specialist for you should you need advice.

2) French hotel stay tax: is a city tax added on top of the rental price. We will officially register the property for tourism use at the city hall. The rates are determined by the city usually between .65€ and .75€. It is then calculated on a per person per night basis. This stay tax is collected by Sunlight Properties from the guest and paid twice a year to city hall on your behalf.

3) VAT: is due only on the management, booking and marketing costs charged by Sunlight Properties. We include the VAT in our charges so there are no added hidden costs to the owner. This is paid by Sunlight Properties on a monthly basis at 20% to the French authorities.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/13 4:41:16 PM
Believe it or not, but it’s January! Yes, the earlier the better. During the summer guests already start booking for the next year’s summer holidays– to make sure they can have their favorite property. By the time March and April start to roll around, most summer holidays are already being planned and are booked. In order to take full advantage of the summer season, we would suggest having your property online and marketing no later than April. A property that starts advertising in May, will suffer in June for bookings.
 
Finances
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:24:55 PM
Yes – the bank will give you a loan to value for an entire project as long as their expert valuation of the new and improved property is enough to warrant the bigger loan. They will insist upon your builder having all of the correct insurances and be registered in France, which is a form of additional due diligence for you.

As the works are carried out your builder will give you the bill for that portion of the works and you will sign and send it to the bank, who will release the money directly to the builder. The works that have been agreed up front by the bank must show on the invoice.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:25:31 PM
Take regulated professional advice.... a ‘financial relocation’ is even more complicated than a physical one. It may be useful to have certain clauses in the purchase deeds or buy the property via a company (SCI). These may have benefits for long term inheritance whether you move to France or not. 

 Also consider your tax position once you move to France, as income tax is based on a family you may be better off moving here, though social charges are high so earning a living here can be expensive, retirement is often not. You might be best to restructure your pensions and savings and investments as you move here as certain tax benefits may stop when you come to France.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:24:18 PM
There are many considerations so in simple form you might think about your situation with respect to these issues:
  1. it is very difficult and quite costly to equity release capital from a property in France so if you invest all of your liquid capital it could be tricky if you change your mind down the line.
  2. the interest on a loan can be offset against rental income profits should you rent out the property.
  3. the original loan at the point of purchase is also offset against wealth tax, equity release isn’t.
  4. Interest rates are historically low and not set to rise anytime soon in the Euro area, borrowing is and should remain cheap for some time. Could you make greater returns on your capital than you are paying in interest?
  5. currency risk – if your capital is coming from another currency then you are taking all of the currency risk in one go, if you take a euro loan on a euro asset then you will repay it over time, thus reducing the impact of significant currency exchange rate swings.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:26:21 PM
This tends not to be a good idea.... there are special companies that exist purely to hold French real estate, for example the SCI, but it is rarely a good idea to hold a property in the name of a limited company. 

Firstly you will not be able to borrow from a normal mortgage bank as you would need to put together a business plan and present it to a commercial lender, who don’t often lend to entities without a record of managing property in France in the past. 

Secondly the taxes on property owned by a company (not SCI) will be corporate taxes and the cost of running the company can be high. there are very good tax benefits to holding property in personal names, especially capital gains taxes and especially after longer holding periods.
 
Accounting
Lifestyle
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 2:18:44 PM
Yes! There are several established groups for international people who are looking to network and socialise. Some of the most popular include : Internations, Meetup groups, PWN (Professional Women’s Network), Monaco USA Association and many more.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 2:19:15 PM
The choice of restaurants in Nice is abundant, but if you are looking for a real Nicoise cuisine experience we recommend some of these local gems; La Merenda, Chez Pipo, Chez Acchiardo, Lour Pilha Leva.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:20:00 PM
It is very easy to get around central Nice thanks to the Lignes D’Azur Bus system and the tramway. The airport is also very close to the center and a simple bus ride away along the promenade.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 3:19:38 PM
There are several ski stations within a 1-2 hour drive from Nice. The season normally begins the beginning of January and runs until the beginning of March.
 
Question from:
Date: 2016/02/05 2:18:21 PM
The city of Nice website is the best source to find all local information and events (https://www.nice.fr/fr/)
 
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