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Important Questions to Ask When Buying a New Build Property in France

Buying a house and moving homes are two of the biggest events you’ll do in your life, so being prepared and doing them right are crucial for keeping the stress at bay (as much as possible at least!). This is even more applicable when you decide to move overseas, for example buying a house in France, because there are more things to consider such as differences in tax charges on properties and transporting your belongings out of the country.

Making the move and buying a property in France is well worth it, and you won’t regret doing so! Whether you’re moving to the Alps to be near the slopes, wanting a view of the vineyards in Provence, or looking to be immersed in culture in the ‘French Riviera’ of Côte d'Azur, you’re certain to get a property you love in a place that you love.
We understand that your potential move may leave you with an abundance of questions, such as ‘where should I move to’ and ‘should I buy a new build’? Don’t worry, that’s where we come in.

This blog will cover key questions to ask when buying a new build house in France, including:

  • What are the options for new properties in France?
  • What is your budget for buying a property in France?
  • How will you get your things to your property in France?

At Anglo French, we’re experts in helping you move from the UK to France, so whether you want to find out the best places to live in France or the average removal costs to France, we’ve got you covered.

What Are the Options for Buying New Properties in France?

There is more than one way of buying new build properties in France, and the term ‘new build’ doesn’t mean exactly the same thing as it does in the UK. 

In the UK, we tend to think of new builds as pre-designed houses that are built by a housing company. As buyers, we pay the housing company and have very little to do with the builders and contractors who actually build our house. This route to buying a property in France is known as buying off-plan. 

So what is a new build in France?

Although there are different purchasing models, buying a house in France that is classed as a new build means that you have independently purchased a plot of land, had an architect draw up plans, and then contracted a builder to build the house accordingly. 

If you weren’t aware of this before, you might be thinking “should I buy a new build?”, but don’t worry! French mortgage lenders are used to this system of buying properties in France and will be able to advise you based on your budget and options for paying off your mortgage.

What is Your Budget for Buying a Property in France?

Budget is a key consideration when buying a property in France, well anywhere actually! However, when buying a house in France that is under five years old, a 20% VAT charge is added onto the total cost of the property. This means that if you’re looking at buying new build properties in France, your budget might not go as far as if you were buying an older house. 

However, don’t let this ruin your dreams of owning a new build in France! The French definitely don’t. They construct more new builds than any other country in Europe! Additionally, sometimes you can instead pay a reduced VAT charge of 5.5% if the new property is in a certain area such as an area of urban development.

If you’re still thinking “should I buy a new build house in France”, remember that your budget needs to cover more than just the obvious costs like solicitor fees, removal costs and estate agent fees.. As we mentioned, the French approach to new builds is that the buyers manage the project independently. This means that on top of the usual property buying costs, you might have additional costs creeping in that would be covered in the overall cost of the house in the UK. These costs might be electrical or plumbing related, or even structurally related depending on your house. 

How Will You Transport Your Belongings after Buying a House in France?

If you already own a house in the UK and you’re buying a property in France then you might be considering your options for moving your furniture and other worldly possessions across the channel. There are lots of different options to consider, with some removal services using shipping, others using the Euro tunnel, some using flying! It can be hard to decide which route to go down. We’d recommend flying your smaller, more essential belongings across as it’s the fastest method. However, just a word of caution with this method of transport, flying belongings can quickly become expensive because price is charged by the weight of the items. Transporting some of your furniture through one method and the rest of it by another method is worth your while to stop the costs building up. 

If you’re wondering how much the whole transportation is going to cost. We provide a free quote at no obligation for you to get an idea of the price. 

You also may not want to move everything over to France in one go. In this case, arranging to keep the belongings you’re temporarily leaving behind in a secure storage facility is a good way to help move your things in stages. If you’re moving into a new build then this is a key consideration because you might want to move your belongings into your property as more rooms become complete (e.g. decorated, fitted with carpets). However, it’s important to think about how often you’ll be able to travel over to France to sort through your belongings and unpack them. Will things like finances or work commitments stop you from visiting as often as you’d like?

Trust Anglo French with the Removal Process after Buying a House in France

So we’ve given you some key things to think about when you’re buying a property in France. From the options for new properties in France, to your budget when buying a house in France, and how you’ll transport your belongings to your new home - you know where to start when asking questions about new builds in France. Remember to note that buying new builds in France is a bit different to buying a new property here in the UK, so you need to consider the best option for you depending on your own circumstances.

When you make the move to France and look into transporting your belongings, Anglo French offer a range of removal services from full removals to part removals, vehicle transport to furniture delivery, we’ve got you covered! Don’t forget, we also offer a free quote at no obligation because we know how important it is to consider all your options! 

 

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Testimonials

Dear Mark

I am writing to say thank you so much for the smooth moving process.  From beginning to end you could not have done better.  I'd like to put in a complimentary word for the three guys who you sent to load and unload.  Service without servility is always the perfect combination.  They were all extremely convivial whilst getting on at the same time, meticulously careful with the items being transported and cheery without being "goonish".

Your original quote was handled most efficiently by Jasmine from initlal enquiry through to date setting, payment etc and the quote itself was highly competitive.  Your own communication skills were faultless and I felt like I knew exactly what was going on at any one time.  

I, quite frankly, cannot fault the service provided, you could not have done better and I am very happy with the price too.

Well done to all the team!

Best wishes for all your future projects.

Di Miller, Kent

Dear Jasmine
 

Doing some tidying up of my paperwork/e mails, I realize that I never wrote to thank your staff for the excellent service.  Not to mention your good liaison prior to moving day!
 
The men kept in touch by phone during the day.  When they arrived, the van would not fit past the trees at the end of the track.  The first thing we knew, two men were coming up the track, one carrying the armchair, the other with a sofa on a dolly.  My partner was able to help with the last two sofa beds.  There was never a word of complaint or comments that we should have trimmed branches, etc. 
 
They were pushed for time and wouldn't stop for a cuppa. 
 
Please extend them our very belated thanks and congratulations on having such a service orientated organization.  

Margaret Morrison, Sussex

Dear Anglo French Team,

Many thanks to all of you form me and my family which thanks to Nuno and Co are nicely settling in France and despite the stress related to moving a household with young kids, an office and a mother of a lathe it was all made that little bit easier due to you. Many thanks again!

I wish you and the people around you a joyous and lovely Christmas break and all the best for the year ahead of us!

Nikolay, London