The quest for a French house with a soul

How much for your neighbour’s house ? Ask Patrim.

Do you wish to valuate your property, assess the property market in a search area or are you just curious about how much your neighbours sold/bought their house ? (we all are).

Ask Patrim, the new tool from French tax administration.

For that you have to be (or ask) a French tax payer. Then connect to your account and follow our HouseHunters tutorial.

Once connected, click on ” Rechercher des transactions immobilières..“(see red arrow)

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Macron and the property market

There will be no Revolution (the title of his best selling program book) on the property market if Emmanuel Macron gets elected on Sunday, May 7th.

The candidate of the movement “En Marche!” is pleading for stability on the housing market. He repeatedly committed to bringing more stability to the fiscal and regulatory framework during his five-year term once the first adjustments will be made. Indeed French and non-French property owners and tax payers are complaining steadily of a non stop flow of new laws and of a permanent revolution in fiscal rules. 

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Hiring A Bird Dog For Free ?

When hiring property finders, or bird dogs as they are called in the US, one expects them to find your dream house and support you all the way till the key transfer. This is a kind of tailor made service often associated with hefty commissions. In fact, compared to a XXxth Century estate agent, a bird dog costs almost nothing. Explanation.

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Property Price Negotiation, A Roleplay.

Price negotiation in the French countryside is a touchy game where rationality is less than often the leading principle. There are nevertheless some basics in French seller psychology a foreign buyer should know.

An exorbitant price might be a good opportunity

In fact, most French private sellers have no idea about the price they can ask for their house. They bought it in French Francs a long time or some years ago (ages in the fast moving property market) and suddenly they are decided or have to sell.

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Househunting is investigating.

Because of too much home staging house hunters are often lured into visiting French properties that are not worth the time and the journey. To avoid this some basic searches on the net can help get a better picture of the property and even explore its dark (or grey) sides.

As a property finder, we do this all the time. Once a property is spotted, we remotely assess it by deeply browsing the net. We collect facts and information not only on the house, but its environment, the seller, its purchase history. Everything available.

When we select a proparty for our own fisrt viewing, we already “know” it well and home staging won’t put wool over our eyes. This tedious homework is time and money savvy and it makes us able to provide a first class service for reasonable fees.


To illustrate this, I invite you to a journey into property intelligence. Our start point today is an ad on Leboncoin ( https://www.leboncoin.fr/ ), the French portal where everyone can advertise anything, even castles.

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Wishful thinking: French realtors foresee a brilliant year.

brilliant year

According to French Crédit Foncier real estate professionals have been increasingly optimistic about market trends since the beginning of year 2016. This major lender’s most recent polls show that 81 % of the eatate agent and other property pros deem the national market level as improving or stabilizing. And the situation is even more encouraging in the Ile-De-France region.

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French judges sentence subletting via Airbnb. Really ?

Airbnb logo

An important article was recently published in the French daily Le Monde (1) regarding the latest sentences given to tenants who had sublet their dwelling or part of it through Airbnb. This were the first precedents set over this important issue for people interested in a Buy-To-Let property in France.

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Montpellier, Montpellier, Montpellier !

Place de la Comédie.

On a well know UK expats forum someone recently asked about the best places where to move in southern France. One member somehow emphatically replied “Montpellier, Montpellier, Montpellier !”.

Is actually Montpellier the trendy town to move in? Known as a vibrant city where students can fully exploit their partying capabilities Lo Clapàs as it is dubbed in occitan (the rocky mound) is more than that.
With around 280,000 inhabitants it is the 8th most populous town in France and one of these few French cities with more than 100,000 dwellers that saw their population steadily growing since 1945. As its late mayor Georges Frêche once described it, la Surdouée (the Wonder-kid) has a lot of fancying sides for house hunters looking for sea & sun without missing culture and entertainment. It has also some dark sides.

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Languedoc-Roussillon – The Beach Factor.

Franqui beach (Aude)

How often do we property finders hear the following requirement from house hunters: “One more thing, nice beaches should be no more than a 30mn drive away from the property” ? When searching for a house in Languedoc or Roussillon they are all talking the same. They want to dwell away from the tourist herds while being able to enjoy easy beach leisures from time to time.

Surely enough, Languedoc and Roussillon are God gifted areas with long sandy beaches, snowy mountains not too far, wonderful food, quite decent wines, night life and old cities with character. The issue we’ll discuss here is how to select a place in this area according to the “Beach factor”.

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Change a mortgage insurance, is that possible ?

French low mortgage interest rates have encouraged a lot of property owners to start discussing with their lender about a rate reduction. But another issue is the insurance.

It is not possible in most cases to change insurance on a mortgage that was agreed before 2014. The Hamon law of March 17th, 2014 has eased this principle by allowing to cancel or to renegotiate the insurance contract, but only for contracts signed after the law came into force and within one year only.

For all previous contracts, the French Cours de cassation reminded recently that they are subjected to the special legislation of the consumer code which does not allow termination or substitution of insurance contract. Mortgage agreed previous to law Hamon’s implementation do not allow to substitute an insurance company by another one after the loan was signed.

To change the insurance contract on a mortgage agreed before 2014, the borrower can nevertheless terminate his current mortgage and sign a new one with a different lender. To make it less costly a good advice is to negotiate a zero penalty in case of early termination of the loan contract.

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