How to buy property in Provence?
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La Provence! The name alone will make the sound of crickets ring in your ears! Provence is the region of lavender, the land of crickets and the scene of breathtaking sunsets.
In winter, the Provencal country keeps a mild Mediterranean climate and the thermometer rarely goes below 10 degrees.
This is the time when the olives are pressed to make the world famous oil. In summer, it is an explosion of colors and flavors, between the lavender fields, the tapenade to be tasted at any time, the good local wines and the sun which warms the skin and the heart.
Average price of properties in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur:
If you want to buy a property in Provence, the first step is to determine what type of property:
- If you’re looking for a house with lots of space, ochre colors, where the nearest neighbor is about a mile away, head to the Luberon. It’s the authentic charm of the Provençal stone bastides or mas, often with a swimming pool, and the fields that surround the property. However, this postcard has a price and if you choose a high-end place like Gordes, the price per square meter can soar. Instead, choose lesser known villages such as Pernes les Fontaines, Mallemort du Comtat nestled at the foot of the Mont Ventoux.
- If you prefer to be by the sea, go to the Côte d’Azur, (yes, it is part of Provence!). Relaxing in the winter, it can be very lively in the summer, so choose the hills like Cagnes sur Mer for the extraordinary view.
- Families prefer the big cities like Avignon, Marseille or Nice but it is more difficult to find big houses. Don’t hesitate to look in the suburbs, like St Rémy de Provence, Orange or Digne les Bains.
The process of buying a property:
Buying a property in Provence for a foreigner may seem like an insurmountable task. However, many second homes in the Vaucluse and Var are owned by foreigners (especially the British). French real estate law makes no distinction between nationalities when it comes to buying property. It is the principle of freedom of investment that allows foreigners to invest in French real estate.
First, you must make a written offer to purchase to the seller, stipulating the price at which you wish to acquire the property. If the seller accepts your offer, you must wait another seven days. This is the law. These seven days are a cooling-off period, in case you change your mind. After this period, you cannot go back on your word. The same goes for the selling owner.
After this period, you will have your first meeting with a notary. During this first meeting, you and the seller will sign a deed of sale and you will have to pay the notary’s fees and 10% of the sale price of the property. Once the agreement is signed, you must wait a minimum of three months.
This period allows you to obtain a possible mortgage loan, take out insurance for the property as well as possible signatures from the mayor of the commune (many properties are listed, especially in historic centers).
Then comes the pleasure, that is to say that the property simply belongs to you. Of course, you still have to pay what you owe the seller! The final meeting can take a long time, as the notary examines the deed of sale before you and the seller, and you and the seller must then initial each page of the deed of sale.