THE FRENCH PURCHASE PROCESS
Step One: Find out how much you can borrow
It's important to find out how much French mortgage you can borrow before going property hunting. This will help you define a property budget and ensure that you are not disappointed.
We can prequalify you for a French mortgage and help you define a budget, explaining how much money you will need to cover your personal contribution and fees, completely free of charge as part of our service. Simply complete a prequalification form to start this process.
Furthermore, being able to demonstrate that you have been prequalified for a mortgage can help put you in a better position to secure a property. If you would like us to provide a letter to state that you have been prequalified for a French Mortgage please let us know.
Step Two: Finding the property
Once you have determined a budget, the fun can start and you can search for your perfect property in France. You will need to make an offer to secure the property and then sign a Compromis de Vente which is a pre-purchase contract.
The Compromis de Vente will contain a clause suspensive making it subject to mortgage approval. You will be asked by the estate agent or notary how much mortgage you require, over which duration and what the maximum interest rate will be. You should contact us at this stage so that we can provide you with new, up to date, mortgage quotes.
When you sign the Compromis de Vente you will have a set time in which to apply for the mortgage and another time to obtain the mortgage. Normally it is 30 days from signing to apply for the mortgage and 60 days from signing to obtain the mortgage. Bearing in mind it takes approximately 4 - 8 weeks from applying for the mortgage to obtaining a mortgage offer it is important to apply as soon as possible.
Step Three: Apply for a Mortgage
We have provided you with a set of proposals for mortgages which you should be eligible. Please note that these are often only the mortgages which are best suited to your profile and your requests. If you can't see the type of mortgage you're looking for within the proposals, let us know and we'll review the proposals with you to ensure that you find what you're looking for.
To apply for a French Mortgage you will be asked to supply a lot of paperwork to support your application. Please ensure you leave yourself enough time to ensure that you can apply for your mortgage before the date specified in the Compromis de Vente otherwise you could be jeapodizing your deposit if you are unable to obtain the mortgage finance for any reason.
Step Four: Mortgage Broker Analysis
Once we have received your mortgage application we will check through it and advise you of any questions or additional items needed so to ensure that the application is complete and clearly presented. This means that we will analyse every document that is provided so that we can be sure that it is understood and that nothing missing. A clear mortgage application is absolutely vital.
We will then prepare the application for the lender in accordance with how they wish it to be presented, along with our notes and summary report and then submit it to the bank.
We'll request proof of application from the lender which we will forward to you by email so that you are able to forward to the notary/vendor.
Step Five: Lender Review
The lender will review your mortgage application usually within fourteen working days from receiving it and will advise if any further documents are required before submitting it to their underwriters for a decision.
Once they submit your application for a decision, depending on how busy the underwriters are, we expect to hear back within one to seven working days. We remain in regular contact with the lender during this time and if we are notified of any delays in the underwriting process we will let you know.
The lender will also need to arrange a visit to the property in most cases. We will let you know if this is required.
Normally at this stage the underwriters will give a decision although sometimes they may ask for clarification on certain points or even some more documents. This isn't uncommon and is because the French lenders have to build up a profile of your financial situation and don't have credit checks to rely on like UK based lenders do.
Step Six A: In the case of a negative decision
We will discuss the lenders decision with you and discuss possible alternatives. Sometimes lenders change their criteria suddenly so your case may suddenly fall outside of their lending criteria. With your permission, we will seek an alternative mortgage straightaway. We will also request proof from the lender that the mortgage has been refused.
Step Six B: In the case of a positive decision
The bank will notify us that the mortgage has been agreed subject to any additional items such as extra documents, life insurance or subject to a valuation of the property.
We will liaise with the lenders, your notary, agent and vendor and yourself in order for these conditions to be fulfilled as quickly as possible.
You will also need a French bank account open at this stage so that the lender has all the information for the direct debits. We will assist you in opening a French bank account as part of our service, free of charge.
Step Seven: The Mortgage Offer!
Once the lender is satisfied that the above points are all in order, they will issue you with a mortgage offer which will be sent directly to your home address. We are on hand to help you understand the offer once you have received it.
Please note, that from the day you receive the offer you must wait 11 days before signing and returning it. Returning the offer before this time will void the offer meaning that the lender will need to issue with a new one.
The mortgage offer is valid for one month from the issue date, so it is important that you return it as soon as the 11 days are over. The offer once accepted is valid for four months but this can be extended.
Step Eight: After the offer…
Once you return your mortgage offer the lender will then forward a copy to your notary who will draw up the mortgage deed. The mortgage deed will be signed at the same time as your property purchase so everything is now in your notaries hands! The notary will call upon the funds directly from the lender at the time of completion.
Your mortgage repayments will start according to the terms and conditions of your mortgage offer and the lenders arrangement fees will be debited in accordance to what was agreed. You need to ensure that your French bank account has money in it.