The quest for a French house with a soul

Category: Property prices

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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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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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.

What is the spring trend for French cities property prices ?

The French website Meilleursagents.com published its last edition of a price observer that points some interesting trends.

In big cities prices are quiet, even on the one year period. Nantes remains far ahead, strengthening its reputation as the most attractive destination for internal migrants.

The pertinent ITI (number of buyers per property for sale) underlines an obvious lack of buyers on the urban real estate market.

widget_barometre_ma_1er_mars_2016_national ENG

The observer that is accessible here  (in French) gives some key points for the understanding of the current situation:

  1. A resumption of the interest rates’ decrease (-0,2 % in February) that boosts buyers capabilities

  2. This buying stimulation intervenes as the market nears its high season, when first buyers, investors and families are more numerous.

  3. These two factors make prices rise or attenuate their fall while, in the meantime, there is still a shortage of solvent buyers.

  4. Increase in deals is true but conditions for a lasting recovery are still not present.

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