5 common misconceptions about investing in real estate in France as an expat living abroad

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Do you have a hankering to invest in real estate in France but feel, as an expat, put off by the distance and not sure whether you can pull it off? Don’t let your expat status stop you… My expat has decided to debunk 5 common misconceptions and dispose of them once and for all!

Misconception no. 1: It’s hard, or even impossible, to get a mortgage if you live abroad

Who said it wasn’t possible to get a loan in France when you’re working in another country? The specifics of the terms and conditions applying to an expat may differ slightly, but borrowing from your bank in France to finance the apartment you’ve set your sights on is still possible. Rates offered to non-residents are slightly higher than for borrowers who are resident in France (by between 0.2 % and 0.5 %), but as of today the situation is still favourable, with historically low rates that remain advantageous to private individuals.

With an unparalleled understanding of the market/banking practices and thanks to the help of a network of brokers, My expat, specialised in investing to rent for expats, can help you organise financing for your project. We will analyse your situation as an expat, assess your borrowing capacity and advise you as to the best providers to help with your financing arrangements.

Misconception no. 2: You’ll have to come back to France to sign the deed of sale

Investing in real estate in France from abroad has never been so easy. Thanks to new technology (the internet, the cloud, electronic signatures, etc.), you no longer have to be physically present to sign documents. You simply need to arrange to give someone you trust power of attorney so they can sign the legal documents on your behalf.

My expat provides services specifically designed for the situations expats face. That’s why we’ve developed a 100% paper-free solution. You can do everything from where you’re living abroad without ever having to set foot in France. You grant us a mandate, giving us the authority to act as your representative in France at all stages of your project, most importantly for the signature of the preliminary sales agreement and the final deed of sale.

Misconception no. 3: Buying a property without going to see it yourself is too much of a risk

Nowadays, visiting an apartment doesn’t mean you have to be there in person. You’ll have access to detailed plans, reports with endless photos, etc. Thanks to modern technology, you’re virtually there yourself! To be sure you’re making the right decision, it’s very important to establish precise selection criteria, find out about the neighbourhood, any current or upcoming changes/works and read the minutes of the annual general meetings of the joint owners.

Our approach here at My expat is simple – you take the decisions, we’ll make it happen for you. So, we’ll help you find a property and organise apartment visits just like we would if you were here in person. Based on your search criteria (floor area, condition, search area, etc.) we’ll select properties likely to interest you and go to see them for you. To check whether the property fits the bill, we will then send you a detailed report on the apartment, the area and the building. Everything you need to take a decision will be at your fingertips, together with expert advice from specialists in the French real estate market. 

Misconception no. 4: Schemes designed to reduce the amount of tax you pay are not open to expats

Investing in rental property in France is an excellent way to build up an estate and lower your tax bill. And that also goes for non-residents. The “LMNP” regime (non-professional unfurnished property lessor), which applies if you rent out a furnished apartment will, for example, enable you to benefit from a 50% abatement of your rental earnings under the flat rate scheme, or allow you to deduct from your rental income all your expenses and amortisations if you opt for the actuals regime. If you invest in an old apartment and do it up, you are entitled to use the “real estate deficit” tool to reduce your tax.

My expat, experts in investing to rent for expats, will examine your individual circumstances, including your tax situation, and give you specialist advice as to the type of property you should be buying and the best type of lease to rent it out. That means you pay less tax while effortlessly repaying your mortgage thanks to the rent you earn.

Misconception no. 5: Being so far away makes it impossible to find tenants and manage the leasing side of things

Successfully investing to rent in France involves more than just buying an apartment. It also involves successfully renting out that apartment and optimising the occupation rate to ensure you receive maximum earnings. That’s another area where our help can prove invaluable. The assistance of a leasing agent is enlisted and they will, on your behalf, organise visits, examine applications from potential lessors, draw up leases, take care of any repairs and endeavour to limit periods where the property remains empty. Rental management is a specialised profession and enlisting the help of a qualified professional will pay for itself in the long run.

My expat can help and assist you with all stages of your investment project including putting your property up for rent. We have well-trusted partners we can count on who will help you organise and manage the letting out of your apartment. You’ll be enjoying the serenity of life as an expat in the knowledge that your monthly income is being topped up by rental payments!