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French property roundup: New rules on mortgages and those dreaded ‘dossiers’

French property
Photo: Sebastian Bozon/AFP
From new rules on Airbnb rentals to your checklist of pre-move admin and extra laws for homes in the mountains, here is our French property roundup for the week.

Minimum income

New rules on getting a mortgage mean that buyers now need to be earning an average of at least €30,000 a year to qualify for a first-time-buyer mortgage in France, according to research from the property team at Le Figaro.

New rules mean that mortgage lenders have become tougher on minimum income levels in France.

The research shows that anyone wanting to buy in Paris would need a minimum income of €60,000 for a first-time buyer, while the cheapest region is the northern Hauts-de-France area, where buyers would need to be on €22,000 a year.

Find the full list here.

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See also on The Local:

Paris to intensify crackdown on Airbnb

The city of Paris already has some of the toughest rules on renting out your property on Airbnb, as city bosses have waged a lengthy struggle against the online platform.

But now authorities want to introduce a new ‘compensation zone’ which will make it even more difficult to rent out properties in the most popular areas, including Marais, Montmartre, the Champs-Élysées and the Latin Quarter.

These will be voted on by City Hall in December. 

READ ALSO What are the rules on renting out French property on Airbnb?

Let’s move to . . . the Paris suburbs

If you want to move to Paris but been put off by the price of property, try having a look outside the périphérique.

Technically, only the area that is inside the ring road is Paris, the rest is suburbs – but because Paris is a very small city as capitals go, the suburbs are often still within easy commuting or even walking distance of the city centre.

The inner suburbs – known as the petite-couronne – are formed of three départements; Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine and Seine-Saint-Denis, while the outer suburbs are Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne and Val-de-Oise. 

The inner suburbs in particular are mostly accessible on the Metro lines and so are an easy commute. Prices drop dramatically as soon as you cross the périphérique so it’s well worth taking a look at the areas.

The banlieues, as the suburbs are known, don’t always have the best reputation, but while it’s true that there are some rough areas, particularly in Seine-Saint-Denis, there are also lots of lovely areas that offer larger properties, more green space and something of the feel of small-town France.

Here’s our pick of some of the best areas.

READ ALSO Banlieue boom: No, Paris’ suburbs are not all deprived and crime-ridden

Before you move 

Here at The Local we’re obviously big fans of starting a new life in a new country, but before you make the move there are some boring but important practicalities that you need to consider.

From legal residency to income, from making friends to selecting a place to live, we’ve put together a guide to the 10 things that you really need to think about before moving to France.

French property vocab 

Dossier – this won’t just come in handy for property, a dossier is essential for all sorts of things in France. The word itself simply means file but the true meaning of dossier in French is much more wide-ranging.

When completing almost all admin tasks – including buying, selling or renting property – you will need to prepare a dossier of documents in order to complete the task. The documents required will vary but will almost always include a passport for ID, proof of address such as a utility bill and bank details. Make sure when submitting an application that you include all the documents asked for it you don’t want to hear the most blood-curdling phrase in the French language – votre dossier est incomplet

Property tip of the week 

If you’re buying in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura or Massif Central, be aware of the Loi Montagne. The ‘mountain laws’ cover all sorts of things from what building work you can do on your house, to your car.

A series of extra laws cover mountainous areas with things such as reinforced building codes in avalanche risk zones to compulsory winter tyres between November and March. So if you are buying in an elevated area, make sure to check whether your area is covered by mountain laws, and then familiarise yourself with them.


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