Official website of Notaires de France

Buying property in Europe


Real estate investment in Europe is complex.

This operation involves the rules of French law and international law. Your notary, real estate specialist and family advise you for any real estate transaction outside France, particularly in Europe.­

  • Is it risky to buy in Europe ?

    • The use of the euro has made international business easier, thereby facilitating buying property anywhere in Europe as a main residence or second home, or as an investment.

    • Whilst Europe offers economic and political security, many legal difficulties remain. Notaires are campaigning for the construction of a Europe-wide legal system (the European judicial area) since laws may vary significantly between countries.

    • Investing in property elsewhere in Europe remains a tricky subject for private individuals as such operations are subject to both French and international law.

  • What are the main challenges of such an operation ?

    • It is imperative to prepare project to assess the advantages and disadvantages of such an operation:
      - interest cost (especially with the inclusion of the exchange rate if purchased outside the euro zone),
      - legal and administrative procedures
      - taxation applicable particularly in cases of leasing the property or resale at a profit,
      - risk assessment in case of resale or death, etc...

  • How to best secure this purchase ?

    • Each country has its own rules. In Sweden, for example, the transaction is carried out by the realtor. In other countries, it will sometimes call a notary or a local lawyer.

    • Therefore, before making the decision to buy, it is essential to approach the French consulate and associations on site such as local French Alliance in order to obtain practical information. We need to find a local counselor who speaks French and, if necessary, a translator.

  • How to fund this acquisition ?

    • It is quite possible to borrow in France for a property purchase abroad. Remains to resolve the issue of the guarantee.

    • A French bank hardly grant a loan with a mortgage on the property abroad. Therefore, the borrower will provide a guarantee on a property situated in France or a pledge on life insurance by exemple.Il can also be easier to borrow directly abroad. But again the caution.

  • What impact for his spouse or his heirs ?

    • These acquisitions may pose significant problems of private international law. It is essential to talk with his lawyer in respect of his family situation.

    • In England for example, the matrimonial regime of community property is not available for the spouses. Any purchase couple will therefore be undivided.

    • Similarly, it is essential to consider the personal fate of the property in case of death and in the interest of making a will.

  • Find a notary

    • Find the details in the directory of Notaires de France.

    • The Notary Notaries advise you and assist you in your efforts, including outside of France, based on reliable European Notarial Network. Your safety and that of your family and your wealth will be well secured.