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Thinking of Buying Property in France: 5 Top Tips

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This guest post is by Barbara Heslop of Heslop&Platt Solicitors and French Law Specialists

I am grateful to Barbara Heslop for agreeing to provide a guest post on buying property in France.

You should always have your own Solicitor representing you when you buy in France and not rely on the Sellers' appointed Notaire to act for both parties.

Here are Barbara's top 5 tips if you are thinking of buying a property in France:

1. Prepare! Do your research before you embark on house hunting in France but beware of picking up incorrect or incomplete information from the internet and be wary of using internet tools to translate as these can produce some very odd translations which could mislead you or mask some important detail.

2. Eyes wide open! When viewing a potential purchase it is crucial that you take your time to inspect the property, any outbuildings and land as thoroughly as possible. Take lots of photos and ask as many questions as possible. Has the property been altered or extended or is there scope for future work to be done?

3. Be nosey! Find out why the property is for sale. Has the current owner died? Are the current owners separating or divorcing? Have the current owners taken on too big a project and run out of money? Or maybe the adjoining owner is a neighbour from hell!

4. Cash is king! The buying process will be much more straightforward if you are a cash buyer. Never make an offer on a property if you need to sell your UK property and have not yet been able to do so. Or, if you plan to remortgage your UK property to fund the purchase you should make sure you have organised this well in advance.

5. Take specialist advice! Most of the documents you will be asked to sign will be in French. It is not enough to be given a translation of the documents. You need to understand the legal implications of what you are signing and perhaps more importantly to know if something is missing from the paperwork!

Barbara Heslop is the Principal of Heslop & Platt Solicitors and French Law Specialists in Leeds.

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