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Ask an expert: Should I let Brexit affect my plans to buy property in France?

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Ask an expert: Should I let Brexit affect my plans to buy property in France?
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11:29 CEST+02:00
In this week's 'Ask an Expert' feature French paperwork guru Tracy Leonetti looks at whether you should let the uncertainty around Brexit affect your plans to buy property in France.
Brexit and the effects of Brexit are on almost everyone’s lips at the moment and that’s hardly surprising as we approach March 29th with so many questions left unanswered.   
 
What deal, if any will be finalised? Will the current ‘implementation period’ of 21 months be respected or pushed out a few months as British Prime Minister Theresa May implied recently? How can you ensure your paperwork is in order before the changes start to happen? 
 
My last article on this subject was more on the paperwork practicalities of those wanting to apply for citizenship, but what about buying a property in France? How will this be affected and should people still look for their dream home in France when the implications are still so uncertain? 
 
How Brexit is affecting people and their plans to move to France (and namely invest in property) is a subject that fascinates me and one I discuss with every single one of my relocation customers. The answer is nearly always the same. 
 
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Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the key hesitations after the Brexit vote, starting with the cost of buying a property. 
 
This one has actually turned into a reality due to the volatile exchange rate, with the cost of the purchase price going up. 
 
Also the fact that those who were having pensions transferred lost almost 20 percent on the exchange rate, so for those who had a certain budget either to buy a home or live on in France, plans had to be revisited. 
 
The easiest solution of course would be to use a currency specialist and lock in the best rate whilst looking for your dream home.   
 
Will local taxes on properties be affected after Brexit? This is another concern and the answer to this is no. 
 
The local tenants' tax and the owners' tax remain unchanged for non-residents whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen.
 
Of course the key questions on paperwork in general, namely healthcare, are always in the forefront before moving to another country. This generates quite a lot of stress as France is renowned for its bureaucracy, but everyone’s situation is different and there is always a solution.
 
You have to make it your mission to find the right solution for you.
 
Ten things to think about when buying property in France
 
After the shockwaves of the Brexit vote subsided (and this took quite a bit of time), many people started to realise that they couldn’t wait for the UK government to let them know what to do and didn’t really trust the information they were getting. 
 
Taking control of their own destiny despite the obstacles is what makes a dream worthwhile. 
 
Their plans are often to be able to ‘get in’ before the obstacles became bigger. I have consultations with clients every week who have moved their plans forward, sometimes by years! 
 
The overriding fact that comes out is that everyone finds their key reason to move to France that greatly overrides the problems and uncertainties of Brexit. 
 
These reasons vary from the climate, the lifestyle, the beauty and history of France to its romantic language and food. 
 
Every region has its selling points and the property market (according to my property experts) is looking better and better. 
 
Whatever the reason, people are taking their destiny into their own hands and continuing on their path,  Brexit or no Brexit.
 
Tracy Leonetti is the head of Leonetti Business Services. You can visit her website www.lbsinfrance.com
 
 
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