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Old 30.10.2010, 22:58
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How to reduce the frais de notaires in France?

Hi
I'm considering buying a furnished holiday home in France. The seller is English and living there now, I'm english also and living in switzerland.

I'm intending to fund the purchase cash and am looking for some advice on how to reduce my exposure to frais de notaires...

For example, if we agree on a price and then agree on a price for the furniture, is the furniture liable for FdN?

What about if we agree a very low price for the propery and I have a back to back contract in the Uk to pay the delta, are there mechanisms in france to charge the FdN on the 'saleable' value?

Any ideas on this, thanks for your help, J
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Old 31.10.2010, 09:36
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Re: How to reduce the frais de notaires in France?

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Hi
I'm considering buying a furnished holiday home in France. The seller is English and living there now, I'm english also and living in switzerland.

I'm intending to fund the purchase cash and am looking for some advice on how to reduce my exposure to frais de notaires...

For example, if we agree on a price and then agree on a price for the furniture, is the furniture liable for FdN?

What about if we agree a very low price for the propery and I have a back to back contract in the Uk to pay the delta, are there mechanisms in france to charge the FdN on the 'saleable' value?

Any ideas on this, thanks for your help, J
Take care, the French can compulsary purchase your property at 10% above the price you paid within 6? months. French Capital gains tax will apply for 15 years unless it's your main home.
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Old 01.11.2010, 14:16
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Re: How to reduce the frais de notaires in France?

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I'm intending to fund the purchase cash and am looking for some advice on how to reduce my exposure to frais de notaires...
There are legal limits on the amount of money that may be paid in cash for any given purchase. If the notaire (who is technically an agent of the state, i.e. not /your/ agent) even suspects a cash deal, he has a legal obligation to report it (and he has a legal risk if he does not).

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...and am looking for some advice on how to reduce my exposure to frais de notaires...
The fees are set by law, and are not negotiable ... unfortunately.

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For example, if we agree on a price and then agree on a price for the furniture, is the furniture liable for FdN? What about if we agree a very low price for the propery and I have a back to back contract in the Uk to pay the delta, are there mechanisms in france to charge the FdN on the 'saleable' value?
Yes, this is OK, with two caveats:

1. The notaire (again) has an obligation to the state, and he may not process a sale if he believes the price is "too high" or "too low" (this is to avoid money laundering and tax evasion).

2. The municipality has a "right of pre-emption" on /any/ property. It is normally not excercised, of course, but you do have a real risk that if the price is really quite low, the town (ville) will buy the property at that price, and use it for the school, a library, or just to store the tractors. (In fact, that /has/ happened here.)

So, the good news:

Yes, you do have /some/ "wiggle room" to allocate the purchase price between the property and the furniture. And, no, the furniture is not subject to the notaire's fees (he is not involved in that deal).
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