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Buying

All information and helpful tips for buying a house or an apartment

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Buying a property

The cost of housing

Calculate quickly the budget you need to buy a home in the Alpes-Maritimes with our map of real estate prices in the Alpes-Maritimes.

This section gives you a real-time overview of prices in the real estate market, validated by professionals in the sector, for the main geographic areas of the Alpes Maritimes. Statistics have been provided by the residential property observatory (OIH) which has been studying the Alpes-Maritimes real estate market for 40 years. Find out more on www.cote-azur.cci.fr/OIH

N.B.: The figures represent average prices per m2, and are for information only. They are not intended to be used to evaluate the value of a property.

To have an idea of the real-estate market, it is also important to consider:

  • the exact location of a property,
  • its condition,
  • the quality of its features.

An on line “housing map” from Fnaim Côte d’Azur is a useful tool for property sellers to analyse the real-estate market neighbourhood by neighbourhood : www.fnaim06.fr

Finding property

There are a number of ways to find property to buy in the private sector:

  • If you work for a company with more than 300 employees, contact your company’s housing commission (More information: here).

 

  • If you work for a company with more than 20 employees, contact your company’s “1%” collecting body. Some of these bodies have their own real estate (More information: here).

In either case you can :

  • Contact property developers directly (classified ads, websites etc).
  • Contact estate agencies. Most are organised into unions or associations and follow a code of conduct which will save you time looking for property and negotiating with the developer.

Looking for an estate agency ? : click here

Looking for  property developers ?  : click here

  • Websites listing property to buy.
    (remember to check the legal terms and conditions on the site).
  • You can look at the new website Bienici.com .

 

Buying an existing property

There are a number of ways to find property to buy:

  • If you work for a company with more than 300 employees, contact your company’s housing commission.
  • If you work for a company with more than 20 employees, contact your company’s “1%” collecting body. Some of these bodies have their own real estate.

In either case you can :

  • Contact owners directly (classified ads, websites etc).
  • Contact estate agencies. Most are organised into unions or associations and follow a code of conduct which will save you time looking for property and negotiating with the owner.

Looking for an estate agency? : click here

  • Websites listing property to  buy.
    (remember to check the legal terms and conditions on the site).
  • You can look at the new website Bienici.com .

 

Funding your property purchase

Help working out your budget

You can contact :

  • Your bank

 

  • Your company’s financial advisor (for companies with +20 employees).
    Ask your company’s “organisme collecteur” – the body responsible for collecting company contributions – about the free banking intermediation service (help to find the best offers on the market, a single contact for all your real estate financing, optimisation of total financing costs, putting together and submitting a mortgage application) which offers a tailor-made solution for company employees wishing to buy a home.

 

  •  ADIL – Housing Information Agency
    Advisors from Adil can provide a free personalised assessment, based on your current situation and future prospects: financial survey, information about the different types of mortgages and loans available, legal aspects etc. www.adli06.org

 

Help for property buyers

Mortgages and loans

Traditional bank loans

A mortgage or loan can be taken out to cover all or part of the purchase of a property, the cost of construction or of home improvements. A mortgage is granted by a bank or specialised financial organisation and is established over a long period (more than 20 years, on average).

PTZ zero percent loan

Changes in the state-aided PTZ (Zero Rate Loan) came into effect from January 1, 2016. This means-tested loan is granted to help fund the construction or purchase of a new build or the purchase of an existing property needing renovation work on condition that the borrowers have not owned their main residence in the previous 2 years. The loan may also be granted to tenants of social housing (subject to means-testing) who wish to buy a property from a controlled rent housing organization (HLM) or a PPP.
The amount of the loan depends on the location of the project and the number of people who will occupy the property. It may cover up to 40% of the purchase price.
Repayment of the PTZ loan repayment arrangements are made according to the borrower’s resources and the location of the property with the possibility for households to start repaying the loan after 5, 10 or 15 years.
The PTZ loan, which is granted by most banks and financial institutions, does not prevent borrowers from taking out any other loan.

PAS Homeownership social loan

The homeownership social loan (PAS) is a state-approved and regulated mortgage with a fixed upper limit interest rate granted by certain financial institutions. It is designed to promote homeownership among low to middle income first time buyers. Borrowers may be eligible for APL personalised housing aid

Who can benefit?
Households wishing to buy, build or renovate their main residence and whose joint income (including all members of the household intending to live in the property) does not exceed an upper limit.

Who to contact?
Your bank or approved financial institution.

Approved loans

An approved loan is granted by a bank or financial institution in agreement with the French state. It may be used to fully finance the cost of construction or purchase of a new-build or existing property , but also the costs of certain home improvements.

An approved loan is reimbursed with interest.

Who can benefit?

Any individual wishing to build, buy or improve a property can benefit from an approved loan, which is not means tested.  The borrower may be eligible for  APL (personalised housing allowance).

Who to contact?

Your bank or a State-approved loan company.

PEL and CEL

If you have a CEL (property purchase savings account) or a PEL (property purchase savings plan) you have the right to take out a  subsidised mortgage.

Who to contact?
Your bank or state-approved mortgage institution.

PAL home ownership loan

The PAL home ownership loan (previously called the 1% housing loan) is granted, (under certain conditions)  to employees of private companies (with a workforce of >10) for the purchase of their main residence.

Who can benefit ?
Employees of private (non-agricultural) sector companies belonging to the scheme.

Amount?
The amount of the loan, which depends on the location of the property, may cover up to 50% of the final cost with a minimum and maximum amount for each zone (minimum €6,400, maximum €17,600). The interest rate is 1,5% (nominal annual rate excluding insurance and fees).

Social Loan for Access to Rental Housing (Prêt Social Location Accession) – PSLA

The social housing ownership loan (PSLA) was set up to allow middle or low income families to get on the property ladder by giving them the right to buy their home after a minimum period as tenants.

For more information  : click here

Who can benefit ?

The income of the household must not exceed the maximum set according to the size of the household, and the location of the property.

Other loans

Most pension funds, complementary health insurance and works councils offer low interest loans to help finance home improvements or extensions.

Who can benefit ? 

Conditions (rates, amounts, eligibility) vary from one organisation to another.

Who to contact ?

Your pension fund, complementary health insurance and works council.

Financial aid

Personalised Housing Allowance (APL)

Personalised Housing Allowance  (APL) is paid directly to your lending agency. The amount is deducted from your mortgage payments.

Who can benefit ?

You may be eligible for personalised housing allowance (APL) if you are paying fees on a loan (Prêt d’Accession Sociale (PAS), Prêt Conventionné (PC) and if you are on a low income. For main residence only  (and only on area number 3).
To see area click here.

How ?

The amount of the allowance depends on a number of elements : income, family situation, type of housing, location, rent, number of dependents. The allowance is paid monthly to the main lending agency. the amount is deducted directly from the monthly payments and is reviewed at least once a year.

Housing allowance (AL)

Housing allowance (AL) is paid to homeowners to reduce their spending on mortgage payments when they are first time buyers.

Who can benefit?

If you have a low income, whatever your age, your family or professional situation, you may be eligible for a housing allowance for your main residence If it’s located  on area number  3.
To see area click here.

How ?

The amount of the allowance depends on a number of elements: income, family situation, type of housing, location, rent, number of dependents. The allowance is paid once a month and reviewed at least once a year.

Mortgage repayment difficulties

Renegotiating your mortgage

If you are facing difficulties making your monthly mortgage repayments, contact your bank to find a suitable solution.

Who to contact ?
Your bank or mortgage lender

CIL-PASS ASSISTANCE

If you are struggling to find or to stay in your accommodation, CIL-PASS Assistance may be able to help you reimburse your mortgage.

Who can benefit?

  • Any employee of a private-sector, non-agricultural company with more 10 employees.
  • Any employee of a public sector organisation or company which pays into the 1% housing scheme.
  • Any homeowner living in his or her main residence who is facing economic difficulties having an impact on housing.

FSL – Housing Solidarity Fund

The Housing Solidarity Fund (FSL) may help you cover any outstanding mortgage payments or building service charge payments if  you live in a sensitive urban zone (ZUS), a planned housing improvement zone (OPAH) or safeguard plan zone. The FSL can also provide financial aid in the form of a grant and/or loan to pay utilility bills, wherever you live in the department. This financial aid is paid directly to the loan company, building manager ‘syndic’ or utility suppliers. The Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur gives this aid on its area.

Who can benefit ?

For individuals who are facing difficulties staying in their home due to low income or a particular situation.

These funds are allocated according to criteria linked to the amount of the loan and the individual’s resources.

Refinancing loan

This is a loan to cover the full or partial repayment of any mortgage taken out to buy property that is the borrower’s main residence, or the full or partial repayment of loan charge arrears if caused by a change in economic situation (unemployment, early retirement etc.) or family situation(separation, divorce, death).

Maximum amount  €40.000

Who can benefit?

Mortgage holders :

  • Employees or those on early retirement from private sector (non-agricultural) companies with >10 employees, or job seekers whose previous employment was with such a company.
  • Recently retired employees (less than 5 years) from a private sector (non-agricultural) company
  • Owner-occupant in a co-owned, degraded property

Household debt commission

The task of the household debt commission is to seek solutions for individuals who find themselves facing excessive debt or are suffering from a sudden loss of earnings.

According to the extent of the financial difficulties facing the debtor, the commission may direct the debtor towards:

  • a mutual agreement  based on the negotiation of a contractual recovery plan acceptable to both the debtor and the creditors
  • or, personal recovery proceedings, or a declaration of civil bankruptcy if the debtor is in a hopelessly compromised situation

Who can benefit?

Means tested. Household income should not exceed an upper limit depending on location of the property and the size of the family.

Mortgage arrears

The BESSON Law allows housing benefits from the CAF to be maintained and paid directly to the lender in the event of unpaid debt.

Who can benefit ?

Anyone receiving housing benefit

Other financial aid for homeowners

Home appliances and furniture

The CAF des Alpes-Maritimes (family benefit office) provides loans to buy basic household appliances and furniture.

Who can benefit ?
Means tested

Moving allowance

An allowance may be granted to large families who need to move to accommodate a growing household.

Who can benefit ? 
Depends on size and composition of the household.

Financial aid from CAF

The CAF des Alpes-Maritimes (French Riviera Family Allowance Fund) supports families with a dependent child receiving family allowance  to help them put in place a project or to face difficulties such as rent arrears or unpaid bills, home improvements, the purchase of domestic equipment, school canteen bills etc.

Financial help “aide sur projets” of up to 2000 € may be granted by a social action commission in the form of a loan and/or a subsidy.

Requests must be made through your social worker.

Who can benefit?

Those with a dependent child receiving family allowance.