When you are looking to purchase a property in France you may need to borrow funds to finance the deal. You can apply for a mortgage in your country of residence or you can go direct to a French bank and arrange a mortgage. Some French banks have English speaking services and documentation which, if your French is a little rusty or at the early stages can be very helpful.
Or you may want to consider using an independent broker, one who is knowledgeable on the ins and outs of French mortgages and who will be keeping up to date with the latest products and offers. As elsewhere, French mortgage providers will offer different types of mortgages, different rates and require different criteria from you as the borrowing party. A good broker should be aware of all the different variables, be able to consider the French market in its entirety, compare findings to what you are looking for and make suggestions for what suits you best.
Brokers should be aware of the best offers, the latest offers and discounted products from all the lenders. They should explain the terms of the loans to you in detail and help you to understand the impact on you should you want to redeem early, make extra payments etc.
French banks can offer you a mortgage agreement in principle which is always helpful to have before you set your heart on a house, make sure that if you want this to be taken care of, your broker is aware of it and requests that the bank can supply this in advance. This can be helpful if you want to negotiate the price, gives you peace of mind that there will be no nasty surprises when you least want them and means that you have made inroads to getting a French mortgage which can cut down the time it takes to dot all the “I’s” and cross the “t’s” – and there is a lot of that to be done when you apply for a French mortgage.
Your broker can also help you to choose a bank and open an account in France for making your Euro payments to your French banker. You do not have to have the bank account and lender at the same bank.
You may want your broker to help you all the way through, not just dealing with the mortgage lender, opening a bank account but also to talk to the Notaire on your behalf (Notaires are the only body authorised to handle conveyancing law in France). You should make this clear to the broker right at the outset – they are not all keen to do this especially if they have quoted a set fee for sorting out the mortgage and no more.