Lending policies, debt ratios, loan to values, interest rate, insurance cover; mortgages can be confusing! At Spectrum International Mortgages, we have become experts at explaining all of the “how to’s” of obtaining a mortgage in France (How much can I borrow? How long will it take? How much will it cost me?).
However, there is another aspect you should not forget, the emotional roller coaster called buying a property and getting a mortgage approval. To mentally prepare for this, we believe a few useful tips could prevent a lot of stress!
The following advice is based on our own experience and the many conversations we have with our clients every day, assisting them the best way we can in their sometimes stressful projects:
1. Do not let yourself be influenced by the estate agent or sellers informing you that there are other potential buyers. Yes, this may be true, but it is equally likely that this is just a way of pushing you to make a quick decision. Choosing the right property, at the right price, is an important decision and should thus be carefully considered.
2. Do not worry because you require a mortgage while other potential buyers may be cash buyers. Once we start discussing and analysing your project and situation, we will be able to calculate your borrowing capacity. Our opinion, backed up with our access to dedicated underwriters at the bank, will give you the necessary confidence to make an appropriate offer. There are certain steps in obtaining a mortgage in France and approval that cannot be avoided, including a survey on the property (carried out by the bank) and a full study of all your information by the underwriting committee. This is why there is a legal framework in place (the suspensive clause), to protect your deposit while we obtain the necessary information from all parties.
3. Whenever possible, obtain additional time. Once your offer has been accepted (or before), please get in touch with us quickly. Although things will really get started once the compromis (the first legally binding stage in a property purchase in France) is prepared, we can review and submit your application earlier if it is fairly complete. The law requires the suspensive clause in the compromis to be set to a minimum of 30 days. Many notaires in France automatically increase it to 45 days. If you believe it will take you a long time to gather the supporting documentation, please try to extend it to 60 days.
4. Get ready to provide an enormous amount of information on your personal and financial situation. We have compiled a list of the documents commonly requested to assist you, but remember that additional questions may arise – don’t assume less is better. Trust us to assist you in gathering the documents and building your request.
5. Once the mortgage process has started, make it a priority. It is easy to lose track of time when there are 2 or 3 months until completion. Gathering all of the initial information is time consuming and you will certainly feel relieved once you have sent us all of your documents. However, don’t forget that additional questions from the underwriting committees, or other aspects of the mortgage such as opening a new bank account or organizing life insurance cover, are equally important. A week or two of delay towards the end of the process, when the bank needs additional time to release the funds to the notaire, could be a serious source of stress.
Spectrum International Mortgages are here to guide you every step of the way and take some of this stress off your hands. Please feel free to contact us today if you have any questions about a mortgage in France – we’re here to help!