Latest transaction: €190,800 loan for a property in Cieurac

Région Lot (1)

Buying in: Cieurac
Property price:
Mortgage amount: €190,800
Mortgage type: Interest Only
Mortgage term: 14 years
Interest rate: 2.45% Fixed
Loan-to-value: 75%


The background:

Our clients were a mixed couple (British / French) and the husband wanted to buy a second home in his wife’s hometown in the Lot department (South West of France). 


Our approach:

Both were salaried with good income and no debt in the UK or anywhere else so they could afford the mortgage without any much trouble. It was an easy application all in all as the clients were also very efficient. Because of the relatively small size loan, it was agreed quickly as we managed to avoid the life insurance and the different committees..

The French mortgage application process

The process 2.1
1 – Fixed or variable rate?

Fixed rates

The majority of loans in France for French property utilise a fixed rate for the term. Fixed rates are available over 10, 15, 20 and even 25 years. The rate is fixed for the entire duration of the mortgage. This offers a high level of certainty as to the monthly payment. 


Variable rates

The majority of French variable mortgages are capped, meaning there is a maximum rate that the mortgage can reach for a set duration. The duration of some variable rate tracker loans are ‘elastic’ and can stretch the mortgage term by up to five years if rates increase so that your mortgage payment will remain the same – even if rates increase by as much as 0.75%. In addition, any increases to the mortgage payment are generally limited to the rate of inflation per year, meaning an overall increase to the amount you pay of 2-3% per year. Due to the current fixed rates, French banks are now offering relatively few variable rate options.

Switching to a fixed rate

Further protection is offered by French law so that should you take a variable rate mortgage you will always have the option to call your bank and switch to a fixed rate for the rest of the term. Please be advised that if you make this switch, you may have a penalty to pay and you will not be able to switch back to a variable rate mortgage. These extra features offer peace of mind to the prospective borrower in France but do vary from bank to bank. It is important to get to the bottom of these features when comparing the various offers on the market.

Good levels of security

These extra features offer peace of mind to the prospective borrower in France but also vary from bank to bank. Borrowers should make sure they have a good understanding of what is available.


2 – The approval process


The documentation will be received and reviewed by an underwriter who will check the affordability and review the documentation. He/she will raise questions and ask for further clarification or documentation. Once that hurdle is cleared, the underwriter will send the application on to a risk committee and/or compliance committee depending on the bank. For a large loan, the application may pass through several more committees before approval.


Purchase through a company

If you are buying the property inside a company structure, you will have to provide the name of the company and perhaps the draft statutes at this stage. The loan can be approved with just the drafts but the mortgage offer will not be printed until the company has been finalised together with the bank account for the company, which may well require a trip to France. So be prepared!


3 – Life insurance and French bank account opening


Once the rate has been agreed and secured, then the required French life assurance can be sorted out. This process involves completing a medical questionnaire and possibly undergoing some tests and waiting for the results. Then the rate of the insurance can be added to the mortgage contract.


Eligibility for the insurance 

Age is an important consideration when setting life assurance rates in France. Younger applicants will obtain cover with lower monthly payments, whilst older applicants will pay more.

If you have had any medical problems in the past, or you are borrowing a large amount of money, you may find that the French life assurance company will ask you to undertake medical tests.

You may be refused life assurance altogether if you have had serious medical problems. However, it may be possible to arrange a loan without life assurance in some cases or to assign UK life assurance cover, but only for a reduced selection of French mortgage products. 


Opening a French bank account for individuals

Opening a bank account in France is a crucial part of obtaining your French mortgage. The point at which you have to do this is normally three or four weeks after you’ve started the French mortgage application process.

Whether you plan to live in France or have a second home in the country it will all be easier – and is generally a condition of the loan – if you have a French bank account.


Opening the accoun

The process for opening a bank account in France is very quick and simple for an individual. Firstly, you need to fill in and sign the appropriate forms. They will be in French, but we provide English translations of them so that a comparison can be made.

In addition to a scanned and completed form, there are also a number of other documents required in order to open a bank account in France:

  • Signed application form
  • Copy of valid passport
  • Marriage certificate (copy)
  • Recent utility bill (copy) – less than 3 months old
  • Proof of income (tax document, accountant’s letter or last two payslips)
  • The reservation contract/title of the property in France

Once these items have been provided, we normally just need 48 hours to open an account.

However, most lenders will want you to open a bank account in their own branch and will require a face to face meeting. Be ready to travel to France for this part!

Joint accounts

If you wish to open a joint bank account you have the option of the account being held as M. et MME. SMITH or M. ou MME. SMITH. In the former case both partners must sign and in the event of one partner dying the account is frozen until the will has been proven. If you wish to have a joint account where either partner can sign and draw on the account then you must choose the second option. A quick French lesson: ‘et’ means ‘and’ whilst ‘ou’ means ‘or’; M stands for ‘monsieur’ while MME means ‘madame’.

Banking hours

French bank opening hours are quite variable, depending on the location, size of branch and so on. In general, they are open from 09:00 to 17:00 Mondays to Fridays. Some banks will open on Saturday mornings and late on certain evenings, though this is more likely in larger towns. Lunchtime closing is the norm in smaller towns.


Opening a bank account for a company

The process to open an account for a company is not that straightforward unless the bank providing the loan also opens the account. If we have to use a different bank then it will most likely require a trip to France.


4 – Offer and completion


With the French account open (so that the direct debit form can be completed) and the life assurance in place, the bank will be ready to print the offer and to send it to you via DHL, FedEx or similar.

Once you have received the offer you will have to wait 11 days before you can sign and return it. Unfortunately this “délai de réflexion” cannot be waived or avoided. The only exception to this is that some banks will allow you to return the offer the next day if the mortgage offer is in the name of a company. This varies from bank to bank and some argue that as there is a personal guarantee involved from the clients (who are the guarantors of the company), the full 11 days should be waited.

During these 11 days you may use the time to either prepare a trip to France to sign and complete the purchase and transfer your personal funds; alternatively you can arrange for a power of attorney to be completed so the Notaire (the French legal representative that must be engaged for all property sales) can sign on your behalf.


Power of attorney

Arranging a power of attorney is a simple task, though there is some administration to do. The Notaire will arrange this “pouvoir” (power) once he/she has a copy of your mortgage offer and send you a copy. This document and the mortgage deed have to be completed in front of a public Notary in the UK and then the document has to be “apostilled” at the Foreign and Commonwealth office to ensure the validity of the witnessing signatures. There are services that can get this done for you – let us know if you need an introduction.



The minimum time between the bank receiving the offer and transferring the funds to the Notaire so that the purchase can complete is 2 to 3 days. It is not worth planning on less than a week, however, just in case there are any delays. Completion of the purchase takes place in the Notaire’s office – either with you physically present or by the Notaire alone with the requisite power of attorney.

The Notaire will send a breakdown of all the funds which have to be transferred. This will include the “Notaire fees”. 

Latest transaction: €701,750 loan for a property in Courchevel


Buying in: Courchevel, French Alps.
Property price:
Mortgage amount: €701,750
Mortgage type: Repayment
Mortgage term: 20 years
Interest rate: 1.65% Fixed
Loan-to-value: 70%


The Background

When running a ltd company, French banks will look at your salary & dividends for the past 3 years to assess affordability. This can prove difficult for business owners who tend to pay themselves just what they need.

The client had an existing mortgage in the UK which was hurting his affordability based on the French calculations. A debt ratio of 33% is the benchmark for retail lenders in France. However, we work with a couple of lenders that can go up to a 40% debt to income ratio as well as private banks which can be more flexible given the assets pledged with them. 

The client was reluctant to pledge any money into the bank as he wanted some flexibility.


Our Approach

We contacted our partners offering the highest allowance on the debt ratio (40%) with a long term mortgage to reduce the monthly cost as much as possible to fit it within the debt ratio limit.

Should you purchase your French property through a SARL (LLC) ?


An SARL is a limited liability company and one of the most common types of business in France and very popular with Foreign residents buying in France.

This type of company must be composed of two or more partners or you can create an EURL (single-member company with limited liability) if you want to set up a company by yourself. There is also a Family SARL which allows you to make an SARL with direct family members. This is strictly limited to children, parents, grandparents, siblings and spouses. For example, it would be impossible for a niece and uncle to make a family SARL together. In this case they would need to create a SCI (Civil Society for Real Estate).


1 – A flexible structure with limited liability

The liability of the partners is limited according to how much capital they have invested in the business. However, it is important to remember that it will be difficult to get a mortgage with a small amount of capital. This means that you will need to act as guarantor for the SARL or increase your capital contribution.

There are three major types of SARL, the “classic” SARL, the family SARL, and the SARL Unipersonal (or EURL) which is for those who want to create a business alone. With EURLs, you can always later switch to a different type of SARL if you want to start working with a partner.

Unlike an SCI, family SARL and EURL businesses can take advantage of the French “rented-out, non-professional, furnished properties” scheme (LMNP). If this is something that you would be interested in pursuing, it is important to get advice on this as your income may be taxed. In addition, if you are trading alone (EURL), you will not need to pay social security contributions if you make €23,000 or less per year. In the case of a family SARL, this limit is multiplied by the number of family members in the company. For example, if your business has four partners, this threshold is increased to €92,000!


2 – A favourable tax system with benefits on capital gains, inheritance and the ability to reclaim VAT.

Real estate gains in an SARL are part of the professional tax regime in France because the company’s business is commercial. However, after five years, long-term real estate capital gains benefit from a 10% reduction per year. In other words, you would be totally exempt from paying capital gains tax after 15 years. If you were operating as an SCI, it would take 22 years to reach total exemption from capital gains tax and 30 years to be exempt from the social security part.

In France a family SARL allows the dismemberment or separation of shares with the possibility of separating usufruct (use, rent or ability to live in the property) and bare ownership of the property (the ability to sell it once the usufruct has expired). If you keep the usufruct (you continue to collect rent) and you give your children the bare ownership, the amount of inheritance tax will generally be very low. One can see a certain advantage of passing on one’s shares when the company is in debt.



Let’s assume we have a client associated in a “SARL familiale” owning an apartment worth 1M euros financed by a mortgage. This client owns 50% of the shares, and there is still 600,000€ to repay. The value of the client’s shares is 200,000€ (400,000€ x 50%). If he transmits the bare ownership to his child worth 80,000€ (200 000 x 40%), the taxable base becomes 0€ thanks to the tax rebate of 100,000€.

When an LMNP investment is subject to VAT (20%), it can be recovered 6 months after the acquisition of the property. In order to benefit from this scheme, your property must fall into one of the following categories:

  • – Accommodation services provided in classified tourist hotels
  • – Accommodation services provided in classified or approved holiday villages
  • – Accommodation provided in classified tourist homes which are intended to accommodate tourists and are rented by a contract for a period of at least 9 years to an operator who has subscribed to a tourism promotion commitment

Whether free or for a fee, you must also offer 3 of these services:

  • – Breakfast
  • – Daily cleaning of the premises
  • – Linen supply
  • – Concierge

In addition, you must own the property for at least 20 years to realise the full benefit of the reimbursement. If you do decide to sell before 20 years, the VAT will have to be refunded to the State pro rata. If you have a commercial lease, it will then be necessary to sell your property with the latter to avoid being liable.


3 – General costs and management of the structure

You will need to write up the statutes of the company for the clerk’s office at the Commercial Court and advertise the incorporation of the company in the newspaper. This will cost between €1,000 and €2,000.

The company is managed by one or more managers appointed from among the partners or it can be someone external. However, a manager must be a natural person – not a legal entity. The powers of a manager are defined in the statutes of the family SARL. The partners meet at least once a year in an ordinary general meeting. Decisions leading to a modification of the statute would be made at an extraordinary general meeting. If taking out a loan from a retail bank then the guarantor should be the manager.

Like those who are self-employed, the SARL will need to pay territorial economic contribution (formerly business tax). New businesses will not need to pay this tax during the year of their creation.


4 – You have the choice on tax regime!

If you choose to pay corporation tax, you cannot change your mind and opt for income tax. However, it would be possible to switch to corporation tax if you were originally paying income tax.


Income tax regime

The SARL, since it carries out economic operations for a fee, is a taxable person and, as such, is liable for VAT. When you recover the VAT on the amount of the property, you will have to pay VAT of 20% on rental income. For LMNP property in a senior, student, business or tourism residence, a rate of 10% applies. Property that falls into the leaseback LHPE residence type, the VAT is 5.5%.


Corporation tax regime (IS).

For companies with a turnover of less than €7,63m, corporation tax varies according to which profit bracket your business falls in:


ProfitCorporation Tax Rate
€0 to €38,12015%
€38,120 to €75,00028%


For companies with a turnover turnover between €7.63m and €50m, corporation tax is broken down into two brackets:

ProfitCorporation Tax Rate
€0 to €75,00028%

Companies with a turnover in excess of €50m will pay a flat rate of 33.33%, regardless of profit.




A real estate company in the form of an SARL has more advantages for less inconvenience than SCI. However, you will need to be very mindful of the requirements of a family SARL if you want to make the most of the furnished rental. As this is a complex issue it is best to involve your mortgage broker and tax adviser at an early stage to ensure all works well.

Published in June 2019. This article is for informational purpose only as an initial guide to the main points and does not constitute tax advice. Please seek independent tax advice before committing to any purchase to ensure the have the correct set up for your personal situation.

French banks are helping British investors

covid 19 break

How French banks can help British investors during the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the economic implications of COVID-19, many homeowners in the UK are able to benefit from a three-month mortgage holiday. This enables them to pause their mortgage payments on their primary residence as well as any buy-to-let properties.

Emmanuel Macron spoke recently about mortgage breaks in France which led to some confusion regarding who was eligible. However, it has been confirmed that this relief would only be available for businesses, not for individuals.

However, French banks are prepared for many eventualities – if not everything – and there is generally a clause in the contract for mortgage holidays. 

We are still investigating the situation with our partners.

Take a look at our French mortgage holiday summary below:


What is a mortgage holiday?

A mortgage holiday is an agreed pause from mortgage payments when the borrower is going through an unusually tough time financially. It is a temporary solution.

Important information:

A mortgage holiday is not a gift from the bank. You will still need to pay the capital back and the interest accrued during the mortgage holiday is added to your outstanding balance. That means you will pay interest on the interest. 


Who can benefit?

Everyone with a mortgage must check their mortgage offer. The mortgage holiday clause is generally built-in to the contract. Though you will not need to produce any documentation in most situations, you may be asked if you suffered any income loss to justify the mortgage holiday.


How long will it last?

A mortgage holiday will last one month in most cases. However, some partners are providing a more generous three-month mortgage holiday to help clients who have suffered financially as a result of COVID-19.


Who to contact?

Contact the customer service department of the bank with whom you have the mortgage. If you are unsure, contact your broker at French Private Finance and we can guide you through the process and give you the details you require. During this time, it is not unusual to experience a slower response from the French banks. They are currently flooded with demands and some banks are receiving up to 200 mortgage holiday requests a week.

Comment les banques françaises comptent elles aider les investisseurs étrangers pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 ?

covid 19 break

En raison des implications économiques causées par le COVID-19, de nombreux propriétaires britanniques peuvent bénéficier d’un “congé” hypothécaire de trois mois en Angleterre. Cela leur permet de suspendre leurs versements mensuels sur leur résidence principale ainsi que sur toute propriété en location.

Emmanuel Macron a récemment évoqué les ruptures de crédit immobilier en France qui ont créé une certaine confusion, quant à savoir qui était éligible. Cependant, il a été confirmé que cet allègement ne serait disponible que pour les entreprises, pas pour les particuliers.

Cependant, les banques françaises sont préparées à de nombreuses éventualités, et il y a généralement une clause dans le contrat stipulant des “congés” hypothécaires.

Nous tentons continuellement d’en savoir plus sur la situation via nos partenaires.


Qu’est-ce qu’un congé hypothécaire ?

Un congé hypothécaire est une pause convenue entre les versements hypothécaires lorsque l’emprunteur traverse une période financière particulièrement difficile. C’est une solution temporaire.


Vous serez amenés à rembourser votre prêt

Un congé hypothécaire n’est pas un cadeau de la banque. Vous devrez toujours rembourser le capital et les intérêts accumulés pendant le congé hypothécaire s’ajouteront à votre solde impayé. Cela signifie que vous paierez des intérêts sur les intérêts.


Qui peut en bénéficier ?

Toute personne ayant un emprunt doit vérifier son contrat. La clause de congé hypothécaire est généralement intégrée au contrat. Bien que vous n’ayez pas besoin de produire de documents dans la plupart des situations, il se peut qu’on vous demande si vous avez subi une perte de revenu pour justifier d’un congé hypothécaire.


Combien de temps ça va durer?

Un congé hypothécaire durera un mois dans la plupart des cas. Cependant, certains partenaires offrent un congé hypothécaire de trois mois pour aider les clients qui ont souffert financièrement à cause du COVID-19.


Qui contacter?

Contactez le service client de la banque avec laquelle vous avez le prêt. En cas de doute, contactez votre courtier chez French Private Finance et nous pourrons vous guider tout au long du processus et vous donner les détails dont vous avez besoin. Pendant ce temps, il n’est pas rare de constater une réponse plus lente des banques françaises. Ils sont actuellement inondés de demandes et certaines banques reçoivent jusqu’à 200 demandes de congés hypothécaires par semaine.

Latest transaction: €714,480 loan for a property in La Plagne.

La plagne

Buying in: La Plagne, French Alps.
Property price:
Mortgage amount: €714,480
Mortgage type: Repayment
Mortgage term: 15 years
Interest rate: 1.55% Fixed
Loan-to-value: 65%


The Background

The client is a successful and experienced business owner. One of the criteria was to respect the maximum age to repay the mortgage while providing one of the best rates on the market.

However, the challenging part came from the fact that the client was not living with his long-term girlfriend because of their professional situations. 

It is important to know that French banks tend not to accept applications between friends. They only finance couples (living together and if not geographically together, the couple must be married) or parents buying with one of their adult children. It is, for example, very difficult for siblings to buy a property together.  


Our Approach

We had to find a way to convince the bank to still accept the application even though the couple were not married. We presented years of bank statements showing transactions between the partners proving the stability in the relationship. It took some negotiation, but we did it!

nsured that clients were affordable for property finance in France.

Financement : Propriété d’une valeur de 1 099 200€ à La Plagne.

La plagne
  • Lieu d’achat : La plagne, Alpes.
  • Prix de la propriété : 1 099 200€
  • Montant du prêt : 714 480€
  • Type de prêt : Amortissable
  • Durée du prêt : 15 ans
  • Taux d’intérêt : 1.55%
  • Quotité de financement : 65%


Le contexte :

Le client est le chef d’une entreprise prospère avec beaucoup d’expérience dans le domaine de l’immobilier. L’un des critères était de respecter l’âge maximum de remboursement du prêt tout en offrant l’un des meilleurs taux du marché.

Cependant, la difficulté réside dans le fait que le client ne vivait pas avec sa conjointe de longue date en raison de leur situation professionnelle.

Il est important de savoir que les banques françaises ont tendance à ne pas accepter les demandes “entre amis”. Ils ne financent que les couples (vivant ensemble et, s’ils ne vivent pas ensemble géographiquement, le couple doit être alors marié) ou les parents qui achètent avec l’un de leurs enfants adultes. Il est par exemple très difficile pour les frères et sœurs d’acheter une propriété ensemble en passant par un financement.


Notre approche :

Nous devions trouver un moyen de convaincre la banque d’accepter quand même la demande, même s’ils n’étaient pas mariés. Nous avons montré des années de relevés bancaires indiquant des transactions entre partenaires prouvant la stabilité de la relation. Il a fallu négocier mais nous l’avons fait!

The French mortgage application process

The process 1
1 – Overview and common advices

Contrary to common belief, getting a mortgage in France is relatively simple. The only thing that can surprise some property buyers is the amount of documentation required to complete the application process. With the assistance of an experienced French mortgage broker, you can use their knowledge and connections to achieve a smooth and positive result. You may need to travel to France to open a bank account at the branch. We can assist you during the meeting with the bank.

It is advisable to check your affordability as early as possible, as this will help you target the right properties. It also means that we can find the right bank for you as quickly as we can.

Each of the French banks has slightly different underwriting criteria and so requires a slightly different set of supporting documents. Some banks may also require documents to be certified by a finance or legal professional. The banks will require a full set of documents to process a mortgage application. We’ve listed everything you’ll need here and we advise you to make a start on gathering them as soon as possible.

It is worth considering at the outset if you will hold the property in your own name or purchase via a company structure. French banks will lend to Societe Cilvile Immobilieres (SCIs) and SARLs (two types of French companies) if they are composed of close family members (parents/children buying together, siblings too – but not cousins or friends). A discussion of relevant tax implications can be found in the French tax section. French banks do not lend to UK companies nor can a UK company be a shareholder for an SARL de Famille, according to our research.


2 – What are the steps?

Step 1 : Decision in principle

Find out your affordability profile and decide on the most suitable mortgage option.

Step 2 : Build your application

Collect the paperwork required to complete your mortgage request

Step 3 : Approval process starts

We leverage the best possible deal through our connections with French underwriters.

Step 4 : Life insurance & bank account

A must-have for all French mortgages. We can assist you in finding a suitable solution.

Step 5 : The offer

You receive, complete & sign the paperwork, after which a 10 day cooling off period starts.

Step 6 : Completion

We follow up with the bank and the French Notaire to organise a completion date.

3 – Required documents

The documents required to support a French mortgage application are as follows:

Financial details

  • Last 3 months bank statements, for each borrower, for ALL accounts.
  • If you are not a home owner you must provide your rental agreement and proof of the rent you pay.
  • If you pay council tax, please provide the statement or invoice.
  • Proof of any extra income. You will need to provide tax returns showing rental income, pensions and dividends.
  • Proof of the origin of your personal contribution to the mortgage (savings account, bonds etc)

Personal details

  • Copies of all borrowers’ passports
  • Copy of marriage certificate if applicable
  • Copy of divorce agreement if applicable
  • Proof of home address (utility bills, council tax, etc)

Employment details and documentation

  • Last 3 months pay slips
  • Last 2 P60’s or tax returns

Self-employment documentation

  • The last 3 years accounts for the company
  • Last 2 years personal tax returns
  • Certified accountant’s letter stating income for last 2 years

Mortgage application form

  • Mortgage application form
  • Life insurance questionnaire (may be sent to you by post at a later date)
  • French bank account application form
    Download application form

Property documentation

  • Purchase contract
  • Company set up documents as applicable. KBIS, Statutes etc.


4 – Selecting the bank and the offer

Usually the bank you select will be the one offering the best conditions and rates to suit your project. These days it may be a branch local to the property, though we do still use some branches with national coverage. We work with two main types of banks to find mortgages and loans for properties in France: local French retail banks and international private banks. 


Repayment mortgages

Repayment mortgages are generally more expensive as you have to pay the interest on the loan amount and also pay off a portion of the capital each month. Of course, with French mortgage rates so low at the moment, the long-term value can be substantial, especially when compared to rates of other European countries. Repayment mortgages are often called ‘capital and interest’ mortgages and the payment for €100,000 may be, say, €7,200 per year – almost double the cost of an interest-only mortgage. Repayment mortgages are best used for main residences or for investments, such as leasebacks, where the aim is to pay the mortgage off and/or enjoy the income. Repayment mortgages (prêt amortissables) are the most common mortgages in France and offer the most protection.


Interest-only mortgages

With an interest only mortgage (prêt infiné), as the name suggests you only pay the interest on the amount you borrow. If you borrow €100,000 at a 2.5% interest rate you will have to pay €2500 per year. After 20 years you will still owe the €100,000 and have to sell the property or find funds from elsewhere to pay back the money you have borrowed. Hopefully the property you bought will be appreciated in the meantime so you will have made a profit whilst keeping your costs down. Interest only mortgages are the mortgage of choice for investors looking to make a return by selling the property for more than the purchase price.

Le processus de demande de prêt en France.

The process 1

1 – Aperçu

Contrairement à la croyance populaire, obtenir un prêt hypothécaire en France est relativement simple. La seule chose qui peut surprendre certains acheteurs est la quantité de documentation requise pour compléter le processus de demande. Avec l’aide d’un courtier en prêt immobilier français expérimenté, vous pouvez utiliser leurs connaissances et leurs relations pour obtenir un résultat fluide et positif. Vous devrez peut-être vous rendre en France pour ouvrir un compte bancaire à l’agence. Nous pouvons vous assister lors de la rencontre avec la banque.

Il est conseillé de vérifier votre prix le plus tôt possible, car cela vous aidera à cibler les bonnes propriétés. Cela signifie également que nous pouvons trouver la banque qui vous convient le plus rapidement possible.

Chacune des banques françaises a des critères de souscription légèrement différents et nécessite donc un ensemble de pièces justificatives légèrement différent. Certaines banques peuvent également exiger que les documents soient certifiés par un professionnel des finances ou du droit. Les banques auront besoin d’un ensemble complet de documents pour traiter une demande de prêt hypothécaire. Nous avons répertorié ici tout ce dont vous aurez besoin et nous vous conseillons de commencer à les rassembler dès que possible.

Il convient de considérer dès le départ si vous détiendrez la propriété en votre nom ou si vous achèterez via une structure d’entreprise. Les banques françaises prêteront à Société Cilvile Immobilieres (SCI) et aux SARL (deux types de sociétés françaises) si elles sont composées de membres de la famille proche (parents / enfants achetant ensemble, frères et sœurs aussi – mais pas cousins ​​ou amis). Une discussion des implications fiscales pertinentes peut être trouvée dans la section fiscale française. Les banques françaises ne prêtent pas aux entreprises britanniques et une entreprise britannique ne peut pas être actionnaire d’une SARL de Famille, selon nos recherches.


2 – Quelles sont les étapes?

Étape 1: décision de principe

Découvrez votre profil d’accessibilité financière et décidez de l’option hypothécaire la plus appropriée.


Étape 2: Créez votre application

Récupérez les documents requis pour compléter votre demande de prêt hypothécaire


Étape 3: le processus d’approbation démarre

Nous tirons parti de la meilleure offre possible grâce à nos relations avec les souscripteurs français.


Étape 4: assurance vie et compte bancaire

Un incontournable pour toutes les hypothèques françaises. Nous pouvons vous aider à trouver une solution adaptée.


Étape 5: L’offre

Vous recevez, remplissez et signez les documents, après quoi une période de réflexion de 10 jours commence.


Étape 6: Achèvement

Nous suivons avec la banque et le notaire français pour organiser une date d’achèvement.


3 – Documents requis


Les documents requis pour appuyer une demande de prêt hypothécaire français sont les suivants:


Détails financiers

  • Relevés bancaires des 3 derniers mois, pour chaque emprunteur, pour TOUS les comptes.
  • Si vous n’êtes pas propriétaire d’une maison, vous devez fournir votre contrat de location et une preuve du loyer que vous payez.
  • Si vous payez la taxe de séjour, veuillez fournir le relevé ou la facture.
  • Preuve de tout revenu supplémentaire. Vous devrez fournir des déclarations de revenus indiquant les revenus de location, les pensions et les dividendes.
  • Preuve de l’origine de votre contribution personnelle à l’hypothèque (compte d’épargne, obligations, etc.)


Détails personnels

  • Copies de tous les passeports des emprunteurs
  • Copie du certificat de mariage le cas échéant
  • Copie de l’accord de divorce, le cas échéant
  • Preuve d’adresse du domicile (factures de services publics, taxe d’habitation, etc.)


Détails sur l’emploi et documentation

  • Bulletin de paie des 3 derniers mois
  • 2 dernières P60 ou déclarations de revenus


Documentation sur le travail indépendant

  • Les 3 dernières années représentent l’entreprise
  • Déclarations de revenus des 2 dernières années
  • Lettre du comptable agréé indiquant les revenus des 2 dernières années


Formulaire de demande de prêt

  • Questionnaire sur l’assurance-vie (peut vous être envoyé par la poste ultérieurement)
  • Formulaire de demande de compte bancaire français
  • Téléchargez le formulaire de candidature


Documentation de propriété

  • Contrat d’achat
  • La société a mis en place les documents le cas échéant. KBIS, Statuts etc.


4 – Sélection de la banque et de l’offre

Habituellement, la banque que vous sélectionnez sera celle qui offrira les meilleures conditions et les meilleurs tarifs pour votre projet. Ces jours-ci, il peut s’agir d’une succursale locale à la propriété, bien que nous utilisons toujours certaines succursales avec une couverture nationale. Nous travaillons avec deux principaux types de banques pour trouver des prêts immobiliers en France : les banques locales françaises et les banques privées internationales.


Prêt amortissables :

Les prêts classiques sont généralement plus chers, car vous devez payer les intérêts sur le montant du prêt et rembourser une partie du capital chaque mois. Bien sûr, avec les taux hypothécaires français si bas en ce moment, la valeur à long terme peut être substantielle, surtout par rapport aux taux d’autres pays européens. 


Prêt In Fine

Avec un prêt In Fine, vous ne payez que les intérêts sur le montant que vous empruntez. Si vous empruntez 100 000 € à un taux d’intérêt de 2,5%, vous devrez payer 2500 € par an. Après 20 ans, vous devrez toujours les 100 000 € et devrez vendre la propriété ou trouver des fonds ailleurs pour rembourser l’argent que vous avez emprunté. En espérant que la propriété que vous avez achetée sera appréciée dans l’intervalle, vous aurez donc réalisé un bénéfice tout en réduisant vos coûts. Les prêts In Fine sont l’hypothèque de choix pour les investisseurs qui cherchent à faire un retour sur investissement en réalisant une plus-value sur la propriété vendue à terme. 

Latest transaction: €259,000 Loan for a property in Chatel.


Buying in: Chatel, French Alps.
Property price:
Mortgage amount: €259,000
Mortgage type: Repayment
Mortgage term: 20 years
Interest rate: 2.30% Fixed
Loan-to-value: 70%


The background:

Our clients have been looking to purchase a property in the little known Alpine village of Chatel, Northern Alps. They have visited the region during the winter 2017/18 before finally setting their sights on a new development near the village centre. 

The couple are company directors working in the construction sector, thus knowing the in-and-outs of building process. However, they were not aware of the differences in obtaining finance for newly built properties.  


Our approach:

The clients looked for financing of the full acquisition price. The property will be let out during most of the winter and summer months, therefore, looking for a high mortgage amount will optimise their tax position in France. However, obtaining 100% LTV is only possible with lenders when you place 30% of cash on bank’s books. In this case, the couple preferred to invest the equity into the property instead. 

We have tried to match our buyers with several high street French lenders to no avail. Due to the nature of their professional activity, banks were concerned about the fluctuations in the business cycle of their respective LTDs. Furthermore, the lenders either reached their limit of units to finance in the project, or didn’t want to finance the leaseback properties. As a result, we have advised our clients to hold off the purchase and build up some capital to strengthen their position. In the meantime, we used our resources on the ground in our Annecy office and went into the field to speak with small local lenders to find a suitable solution.

After almost a year of staying put, we have applied with a local lender with whom we built up a relationship. We have set up a presentation meeting between our representative and a bank’s analyst at their local branch and went through the file together. This personal approach allowed us to clear any ambiguities from the lender’s side and led to obtaining a joint-fastest mortgage offer in just 23 days. 

Although the file was with us for almost a year, we have ensured that clients were affordable for property finance in France.

Financement : Propriété d’une valeur de 375 000€ à Chatel.

  • Lieu d’achat : Chatel 
  • Prix de la propriété : €375,000
  • Montant du prêt : €259,000
  • Type de prêt : Amortissable
  • Durée du prêt : 20 ans
  • Taux d’intérêt : 2.30% 
  • Quotité de financement : 70%


Le contexte :

Nos clients recherchaient une propriété dans le village alpin de Châtel, dans les Alpes du Nord. Ils ont visité la région durant l’hiver 2017/18 avant de finalement s’orienter vers un développement immobilier près du centre du village.


Les clients sont tous les deux des dirigeants d’entreprises dans le secteur de la construction, connaissant ainsi ses avantages et inconvénients. Cependant, ils n’étaient pas au courant des différences en matière d’obtention de financement pour les propriétés nouvellement construites.


Notre approche :

Les clients recherchaient un financement couvrant l’intégralité du prix d’achat. La propriété serait louée pendant la majeure partie de l’hiver et de l’été. Par conséquent, la recherche d’une quotité de financement élevée optimisera leur situation fiscale en France. Cependant, obtenir un prêt à hauteur de 100% est possible seulement si vous placez 30% de liquidité au sein de la banque. Dans notre cas… le couple préférait investir uniquement dans la propriété.

Nous avons essayé d’appuyer le dossiers de nos acheteurs avec plusieurs prêteurs français mais en vain. En raison de la nature de leur activité professionnelle, les banques étaient préoccupées par les fluctuations économiques de leurs SARL respectives. De plus, les prêteurs ont soit atteint leur limite d’unités à financer dans le projet, soit ne voulaient pas financer les biens en cession-bail. En conséquence, nous avons conseillé à nos clients de repousser l’achat et de constituer un capital pour renforcer leur position. Dans cette attente, nous sommes allés sur le terrain pour parler à des prêteurs locaux afin de trouver une solution appropriée.

Après presque un an, nous avons fait appel à un prêteur avec qui nous avons noué des relations. Nous avons organisé une réunion entre notre représentant et l’analyste de leur agence et nous avons examiné le dossier ensemble. Cette approche personnelle nous a permis de lever toutes les ambiguïtés et d’obtenir une offre de prêt en moins de 23 jours.

Le dossier existait depuis presque un an, mais nous avons veillé à ce que nos clients soient en capacité d’obtenir un financement immobilier en France. Après avoir obtenu l’accord final, nous avons organisé une réunion dans une de leurs agences locales en France, processus obligatoire afin d’obtenir un prêt dans cette banque. Le représentant local de French Private Finance a facilité le processus en récupérant les clients à l’aéroport, en les conduisant à la réunion de la banque, en facilitant la communication avec l’analyste et en les déposant à l’aéroport de Genève… et cela dans la même journée!

Winter activities in the Alps | Part 2

1 – Indoor activities


Courchevel – Aquatic centre (Aquamotion):

  • From 13€ a day
  • A large number of activities
  • Open all year round

The Aquamotion swimming pool in Courchevel has many recreational facilities such as : pools, spa and fitness areas, climbing wall, diving pit and surf wave.


Chamonix – Alpine museum:

  • From 4€, free for -18
  • Located In the former luxury hotel “Chamonix Palace”, opened in May 1914.

The Alpine museum  lets you discover the historical and artistic heritage of the Mont-Blanc region.

The permanent exhibition invites you to travel back in time and learn about the history of the Chamonix valley thanks to its collections. You will discover  the beginnings of mountaineering and the conquest of Mont Blanc, the great scientific adventures at 4000 m altitude, the creation of winter and summer sports, valley transformations with tourism development.


Chamonix – QC Terme Spa

  • From €50

Nestled in the midst of nature, the new QC Terme spa takes place in the majestic Mont Blanc and offers you the luxury of swimming surrounded by snow or mountain meadows. An unexpected synthesis between hot and cold, water and earth: within its 3000 square meters, you can enjoy more than 30 wellness activities for a multi-sensory journey. There’s  an infinity pool which is reflected in the water of the adjacent alpine lake, with a breathtaking view of the Bossons glacier.


Saint-Gervais – SPA 

  • From 42€, price vary regarding activity
  • Recognised by the French National Academy of Medicine

The thermal water journey began 6,500 years ago. At the foot of the highest peak in Europe, between summits and underground rocks, the Thermal Spring Water of Saint-Gervais trickles through the bowels of the famous Mont Blanc massif. Its itinerary over several millennia enriches it with minerals and trace elements.

Water with exceptional properties, exploited for the first time in 1807 and recognized by the French National Academy of Medicine. To date, everyone can benefit as much from their therapeutic virtues


2 – Food


Chamonix – Caphorn

Stroll through the Rue de Moulins – Chamonix’s main bar and restaurant road – and you will find one of the town’s up-market restaurants. The inconspicuously elevated entry leads you into a 4-storey restaurant with an open terrace in the summer.

Our menu picks

We recommend starting with honey roasted pear salad with caramelised pecans, Roquefort  cheese and cranberries followed by superb duck breast fillet with green apples and Foie Gras, Soja sauce and flavoured rice.

After finishing your feast, head over to Les Caves, which is right next door for relaxed ambiance and G&T.


Megeve – Coeur de Megeve

Inside the recently renovated hotel Coeur de Megeve on Megeve’s main road Rue Charles Feige lies a wonderful La Muse restaurant. Guests as well as passersby can enjoy a contemporary design of the restaurant with a mid-sized terrace.

Our menu picks

Why not start with well-garnished butternut cream soup to warm yourself up. Next, we suggest trying Chef’s Sautéed veal liver with onions and polenta. We recommend adding the homemade mashed potatoes which are accompanied by black truffles to complete the meal.

To finish off in true French style, La Muse’s very gourmet coffee which comes with a few small desserts and espresso is a must.


Annecy – L’Etage 

If you are arriving in Geneva and making your way up to the Tarentaise, or indeed driving into the Alps from further afield, stop over by the magnificent Annecy lake. A stone throw away from the lake on Rue du Paquier, you will find an authentic French restaurant in a magnificent building dating the ‘Enlightenment’ years of late 17th century and the then King of France Louis XIV; mind you Annecy at that time was under the reign of Duchy of Savoy.

Our menu picks

Chef Emmanuel Maillefer proposes a plethora of authentic savoyard dishes. The dilemma between choosing the rich truffle fondue and a typical mountain raclette is a difficult one. However, we feel that the faux-fillet Cafe de Paris steak is our clear winner here. It’s peppercorn sauce recipe is a tightly-guarded secret and that is what makes the taste of locally-grown beef taste simply incredible.

We are always spoiled for choice when it comes to desert, but if one still has some space after the starter and mains, we’d definitely go for the meringue La Pavlova.


Val d’Isère – 1789 Restaurant

Hidden away between the small streets of the village you will find what some say is Val d’Isère’s best kept secret – a stone and wood savoyard  restaurant called 1789 famous for its selection of meat dishes. The restaurant’s fireplace is the focus of the room with a seating area centered around it to give you that authentic alpine ambiance.

Our menu picks

Taking a break from all the cheese that France’s one of the most chic resorts has to offer, you must prepare for a meat feast. 1789 is famous for its meat cooking over a fireplace. It is incredibly hard to decide between their beef and lamb so the best course of action here is ask your group to share. Attention, the cote de boef is over 1kg – it’s a two person job.

Notre sélection d’activités Alpines à faire en Hiver ! Partie 2


1 – Activités intérieures


Courchevel – Centre aquatique (Aquamotion):

  • A partir de 13 € par jour
  • Un grand nombre d’activités
  • Ouvert toute l’année

 La piscine Aquamotion à Courchevel dispose de nombreuses installations de loisirs telles que: piscines, spa et fitness, mur d’escalade, plongeoir et vague de surf.


Chamonix – Musée alpin:

  • À partir de 4 €, gratuit -18
  • Situé dans l’ancien hôtel de luxe “Chamonix Palace”, ouvert en mai 1914.

Le musée alpin vous fait découvrir le patrimoine historique et artistique du Mont-Blanc.

L’exposition permanente vous invite à voyager dans le temps et à découvrir l’histoire de la vallée de Chamonix grâce à ses collections. Vous découvrirez les débuts de l’alpinisme et la conquête du Mont Blanc, les grandes aventures scientifiques à 4000 m d’altitude, la création de sports d’hiver et d’été, les transformations des vallées avec le développement touristique.


Chamonix – QC Terme Spa

  • À partir de € 50

Niché au milieu de la nature, le nouveau spa QC Terme prend place dans le majestueux Mont Blanc et vous offre le luxe de nager entouré de neige ou de prairies de montagne. Une synthèse inattendue entre chaud et froid, eau et terre: sur ses 3000 mètres carrés, vous pourrez profiter de plus de 30 activités de bien-être pour un voyage multi-sensoriel. Il y a une piscine à débordement qui se reflète dans l’eau du lac alpin adjacent, avec une vue imprenable sur le glacier des Bossons.


Saint-Gervais – SPA

  • À partir de 42 €, le prix varie selon l’activité
  • Reconnu par l’Académie nationale de médecine de France

Le voyage dans l’eau thermale a commencé il y a 6 500 ans. Au pied du plus haut sommet d’Europe, entre sommets et rochers souterrains, l’Eau thermale de Saint-Gervais ruisselle dans les entrailles du célèbre massif du Mont Blanc. Son itinéraire sur plusieurs millénaires l’enrichit en minéraux et oligo-éléments.

Eau aux propriétés exceptionnelles, exploitée pour la première fois en 1807 et reconnue par l’Académie nationale de médecine. A ce jour, chacun peut bénéficier autant de ses vertus thérapeutiques.


2 – Gastromie


Chamonix – Caphorn

Promenez-vous dans la rue de Moulins – le principal bar et restaurant de Chamonix – et vous trouverez l’un des restaurants haut de gamme de la ville. L’entrée discrètement élevée vous mène dans un restaurant de 4 étages avec une terrasse ouverte en été.

Nos choix de menus

Nous vous recommandons de commencer par une salade de poires rôties au miel avec des pacanes caramélisées, du fromage Roquefort et des canneberges, suivie d’un superbe filet de magret de canard aux pommes vertes et au foie gras, sauce Soja et riz aromatisé.

Après avoir terminé votre festin, rendez-vous aux Caves, qui est juste à côté pour une ambiance détendue et G&T.


Megève – Coeur de Megève

À l’intérieur de l’hôtel récemment rénové Coeur de Megève, sur la route principale de Megève, la rue Charles Feige, se trouve un merveilleux restaurant La Muse. Les clients ainsi que les passants peuvent profiter d’un design contemporain du restaurant avec une terrasse de taille moyenne.

Les choix de menus

Pourquoi ne pas commencer par une soupe à la crème de butternut bien garnie pour vous réchauffer. Ensuite, nous vous suggérons d’essayer le foie de veau sauté du chef avec des oignons et de la polenta. Nous recommandons d’ajouter la purée de pommes de terre maison qui est accompagnée de truffes noires pour compléter le repas.

Pour finir dans le plus pur style français, le café très gourmand de La Muse qui est accompagné de quelques petits desserts et de l’espresso est un incontournable.


Annecy – L’Etage

Si vous arrivez à Genève et que vous vous dirigez vers la Tarentaise, ou si vous conduisez dans les Alpes de plus loin, arrêtez-vous au bord du magnifique lac d’Annecy. À deux pas du lac, rue du Paquier, vous trouverez un authentique restaurant français dans un magnifique bâtiment datant des années «Lumières» de la fin du XVIIe siècle et alors roi de France Louis XIV; rappelez-vous qu’Annecy à cette époque était sous le règne du duché de Savoie.

Les choix de menus

Le chef Emmanuel Maillefer propose une pléthore d’authentiques plats savoyards. Le dilemme entre le choix d’une riche fondue aux truffes et une raclette de montagne typique est difficile. Cependant, nous pensons que le faux-filet Cafe de Paris steak est notre gagnant clair ici. Sa recette de sauce au poivre est un secret bien gardé et c’est ce qui rend le goût du boeuf cultivé localement tout simplement incroyable.

Nous avons toujours l’embarras du choix en ce qui concerne le désert, mais si l’on a encore de la place après l’entrée et le secteur, nous irons certainement pour la meringue La Pavlova.


Val d’Isère – 1789 Restaurant

Caché entre les petites rues du village, vous trouverez ce que certains disent être le secret le mieux gardé de Val d’Isère – un restaurant savoyard en pierre et en bois appelé 1789 célèbre pour sa sélection de plats de viande. La cheminée du restaurant est au centre de la pièce avec un coin salon centré autour d’elle pour vous donner cette ambiance alpine authentique.

Les choix de menu

En prenant une pause de tout le fromage que l’une des stations les plus chics de France a à offrir, vous devez vous préparer pour un festin de viande. 1789 est célèbre pour sa cuisson de la viande au foyer. Il est incroyablement difficile de décider entre leur bœuf et leur agneau, alors la meilleure solution consiste à demander à votre groupe de partager. Attention, la côte de boeuf fait plus de 1kg – c’est un travail pour deux personnes.

Latest transaction: €1,800,000 Loan for a property in Megeve.


Buying in: Megeve, French Alps.
Property price:
Mortgage amount: €1,800,000
Mortgage type: Repayment
Mortgage term: 20 years
Interest rate: 1.35% Fixed
Loan-to-value: 65%


The background:

The client is a British citizen living in Singapore working for a major corporation focused on the grain and agricultural commodities. He was very interested in an off-plan apartment in Megeve, one of the most famous and fanciest ski resorts of the French Alps.

The profile of our client was excellent and stable, both professionally and financially with many liquid assets.. He was renting in Singapore as he was there only for professional reasons and wanted to invest somewhere with a high possibility of return.

The client was really focused on the overall cost of the mortgage while securing a long term loan at the best possible rate. The Loan to Value was not a main factor. 


Our approach:

One of our main banking partners cannot finance Singapore residents purchasing an off-plan property (while they can for an existing building – it is all about the guarantees for them). We turned our sight to another bank whose lending scope is a bit wider. We offered our client a very attractive, low rate (1.35%) fixed over 20 years on a repayment (capital + interest) basis. In exchange, the client placed Assets Under Management (20% of the mortgage amount).

We had to apply first with the life insurance (‘’assurance deces’’) from the bank. However we ended up being allowed to check an insurance broker we work with quite a lot as the Bank Group insurance could not get the green light. 

It took longer but the premium our client got at the end was worth it.

There have been more delays with the committee at the bank, the notaires (3 in total – client’s, developer’s and the bank’s).

With local banks, we can get excellent, cost-effective conditions but you have to be patient and be sure that the vendor (or the developer) understands the situation.