Advice for Australian Buyers of Property in France

Advice for Australian Buyers of Property in France

This is our Essential Guide for Australian buyers wanting to buy property or invest in real estate in the main cities of France. We have witnessed an increase in interest from Australians looking to buy or invest in property in France. This is mostly due to the high prices in Oz with the average property in Sydney now a staggering $1,450,000 Australian dollars according to news channel NineNews.

Australia was one of the most expensive markets pre-pandemic, and as it was for most of the world, the property market has unexpectedly boomed during Covid. Property prices have come off the boil in recent months, one of the factors holding prices up is very low stock levels while a majority of borrowers are still enjoying historic low fixed rates.

Following the lack of travel opportunities in recent years, property buyers are more confident about investing in Europe. Moving to France is a lifestyle choice for many expats and finding a city apartment, a stone country house or a B&B / gîte that can become a home and a source of income is the perfect way to begin a new adventure.

Over the years we've assisted many buyers from down under, it's safe to say they divide into two categories. Those wanting a property providing easy access to Paris are house hunting in the Loire, Normandy, and Burgundy. And those seeking guaranteed sunshine in the bottom half of the country, looking in Dordogne, in the Occitanie region and on the Côte d'Azur or Riviera.

Here’s our top 5 tips for buying a country property in France; firstly, consider its condition, secondly think about the land size and thirdly find out about the state of the roof and sanitation.

Our fourth tip is to focus on an area or at least a region that you believe could be suitable for you and your family. France is much smaller than Australia but is probably bigger that you realise. It's not always easy get around and journeys need to be planned with care. Think strategically, use our draw map, paper maps with your notes, look at airports, ferry ports, schools, golf course, universities, rivers, elevation, train tracks, etc...

Last and fifth tip, don't wait to land in Paris to start learning French, there are many courses, apps, tools and tuition courses, news reports in French are also great to learn everyday vocabulary quickly. This will save time later, will help thru the purchase process and you will make new friends faster.

Research is key, we have 20 years’ worth of resources a simple click away. For busy people looking to work or study in a city, or to enjoy metropolitan lifestyle, our ‘Buy à La Carte’ service is ideal.

Here's a few Q and A's with the most common queries we receive from Australian buyers.

Q - What are the rules? Do Aussies need a visa to buy French property?
A – People and families have been buying and holidaying in France for decades, this is not a new trend. The travel rules for Aussies are the same as they are for American and now British travellers.

Q - Do Aussies need a Visa to travel to France?
A – This will depend on how long you want to stay if you’ll be working or taking a holiday in Europe. If staying for less than 90 days and not earning income, Australian citizens and passport holders do not need a visa. The first step should be to contact the local French embassy to ask about visas and requirements for staying and/or working in France.

Families looking to live and work in France will require a long-term visa (carte de séjour) unless they hold a EU passport. More information can be found on the French Government website and also on
Q - Are there any pitfalls to look out for?
A – Fully research the visa and research tax implications. For those looking to run a business or generate an income, it's possible to set up a company, this is a common practice (SCI). Our agents and tax advisors can advise and assist with this.

Q - Any tips for Australians who want to buy property in France?
A - Be realistic, it's easy to get carried away and forget the end game. Start with a simple plan, basic forecasts, write notes down, until you can ask someone in person. Work out your finances and timeframe, French mortgages are notoriously difficult to get approved, particularly for non-EU residents. This should be a starting point.

In average a visit will take 2 hours, once you've gone around the property, taking pictures of the rooms, park, land, and outbuildings, and discussing some of the furniture that you may be purchase with the vendors.  Some visits can take longer especially if you think it may be “the one”.  Plan accordingly and aim to visit no more than four properties per day, three is better, especially out of season when days are shorter.

At my-french-house we believe your house hunting experience in France should be focussed, especially coming from the other side of the world. We hope you this article is useful to you. Feel free to register and tell us about your project and timeline, let us guide you to your ‘French adventure’.
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