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Enness’ Services

US residents and nationals interested in buying high-value French property will have access to a range of finance options and services, including:

  • Residential Mortgages
  • Second Home Mortgages
  • Expat Mortgages
  • Refinance, Remortgage and Equity Release
  • Buy to Let and Limited Company Mortgages
  • Refurbishment and Development Finance- not really
  • Short-Term Mortgages and Bridging Finance

With access to European private banks, Enness can negotiate competitive property finance in Paris, the Alps and the Cote d’Azur and Monaco for American residents and citizens.

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France’s Allure For Americans

For United States residents, France remains a popular location for buying property. 

Mountain resorts in the Alps remain property hotspots: Megève is a particular favourite, especially given its proximity to Geneva airport (offering direct flights to the US). Courchevel and Val-d’Isere and the surrounding areas are also sought-after by American buyers.

Naturally, the Côte d’Azur is particularly desirable. Americans tend to be drawn to France’s beautiful coastline, which provides ideal real estate for holiday homes and second homes. The stretch of coastline between Ramatuelle and Roquebrune is home to some of France’s most desirable properties.

Lastly, Paris is also a coveted location for US property investments. Given the city’s diverse range of cultural and culinary activities, as well as world-class shopping, holiday homes and buy-to-let properties in the French capital remain popular. Paris is seeing increasing interest in from international investors, driven by the city’s appreciating property prices over the past decade, particularly in the central arrondissements.

Regardless of where to are looking to purchase high-value property in France and whatever you budget, there is almost always a diverse range of choice. Property in France remains some of the most desirable in the world, and there is real estate across the country which can cater to the most discerning of American buyers.

Mortgages in France For Americans

Given the importance of liquidity in the French property market, in an ideal scenario, you would contact Enness to discuss property finance options before beginning your property search. Despite the range of finance options on offer for American citizens and residents, who you know and presenting your case well can be key to getting the best deal.

Logic would dictate that using a French bank for a French property purchase would make sense, and sometimes it can. However, many French retail banks cater mainly to lower-value property purchases, and straightforward purchases (holiday homes with low loan-to-value taken bought by European property investors with a significant income stream, for example). If you have global assets or multiple income streams which you would like your lender to consider when assessing how much you can borrow, mortgages over the million-euro mark can be a challenge.

When it comes to French property, the very best mortgage rates and terms are generally offered by a few, highly select lenders. These lenders can be both French and international, and the best choice for you will depend on your financial background and personal situation. Many lenders specialize in particular scenarios, or cater to certain types of borrowers.

In the most desirable locations (namely the Côte d’Azur, Paris and the Alps), high-value properties are particularly in demand. Buyers who are looking to proceed with real estate purchase in principle offers may struggle to find a lender who can assure finance within a short timeframe. The higher value your property, the mor difficult It will be to secure a significant French mortgage in a short period of time; therefore it is important to plan ahead wherever possible.

Not every lender – including private banks – can offer French mortgages. It can be extremely time-consuming to approach lenders individually, and you will have no way of ensuring you have the best deal. Enness has access to over 500 lenders and will act exclusively in your best interest during the transaction. Your broker will be able to search the entire marketplace to secure the best rates and terms for you.

French Mortgages For Americans

If you are based in the United States or are an American citizen and want a French mortgage, the lender and finance package that will be right for you will depend on:

  • What you are looking to borrow and for how long
  • The deposit you are able to put down
  • Your openness to place assets under management with lenders if doing so will get a more competitive deal
  • Your income and the currencies your income is derived in
  • Your assets and their location
  • How liquid you are
  • Enness’ brokers will work with you to assess your requirements and assets. Then they will be able to approach lenders. It’s important to note that there are no ‘ideals’ for your situation and requirements – some borrowers don’t want a new relationship with a private bank, others have significant assets but relatively little liquidity. Enness will be able to cater to all situations and scenarios.

At the top end of the French mortgage market, there is a lot of lender rivalry, which can open the door to negotiating highly advantageous property finance packages. Enness will negotiate mortgages that meet all of your requirements, instead of aiming purely for the lowest price mortgage. A lender that offers flexibility, the terms you want and will let you borrow for the length of time that is most practical to you, is often on a par with price in terms of priority.

Enness will always aim to deliver competitive rates and terms to you, based on your requirements and needs. Enness has access to all the lenders that offer French non-resident mortgages. Your broker will maximise how much you can borrow, as well as reduce your overhead mortgage costs as much as possible while quickly securing a French mortgage. With access to over 500 lenders, Enness knows exactly which institutions to approach and, depending on your situation if it will be more advantageous for you to borrow from domestic or international lenders. Enness is also able, if necessary, to structure French property finance and build a mortgage vehicle that is as tax efficient as possible, working alongside your professional team of lawyers and other advisers.  

Mortgages For French Expats Living In the United States

If you are a French expat living in the United States, obtaining a mortgage in France remains complex despite the fact that you are a French national. You will most likely need to reveal your worldwide income and expenditure to lenders, so you will need to plan and structure your property finance carefully. Domestic lenders in France typically allow French expats to borrow up to 80% of a property’s value, up to €2 million. For higher value loans, international lenders and private banks may better serve your needs. In order to get the most competitive mortgage and maximise the amount you can borrow, careful structuring and negotiations are paramount.

Getting a Mortgage in France from a Private Bank

If you intend to buy ultra-prime French property, private banks can usually offer the most competitive mortgages. Compared with France’s retail banks, who have a rigid underwriting process, private banks will often take a more holistic view of your wealth. The way that private banks will assess your situation and the affordability of the mortgage is usually beneficial if you have significant assets in various countries, multi-currency income, if you have a high net-worth but little liquidity or if you have an unusual background or situation. It is worth noting that most private banks will require that you put assets under management in return for a high-value mortgage.

How much you will need to put forward will depend on the property you are looking to buy, what it costs and how liquid you are. There is no universal standard for how much banks will require borrowers to pledge in AUM. However, assets under management totalling between 30% to 50% of the property value is standard. Placing assets under management can however offer far more advantages, from more competitive rates, to increased flexibility and occasionally the ability to borrow more.

Your broker will advise you on whether a mortgage with a private bank is right for you, as well as the type of assets you may want to use as collateral. Enness has access to French private banks and international players, therefore can approach the institutions which offer the best French property finance to meet your needs as an American buying property in France.

Mortgages For French Property

For many US residents and nationals buying a French property, a mortgage makes sense from a fiscal and cash planning perspective. Mortgages for French buy-to-let properties have always been popular, and over the past ten years, there has been a significant rise in non-resident investors using mortgages for second homes, holiday homes and other property investments.

French property is some of the most desirable in the world and it has a price tag to match. Prime French real estate can easily cost in excess of 1 million euros, with significantly higher prices in Paris, the Côte d’Azur and popular mountain regions. Due to this, even high-net-worth Americans tend to opt for mortgages to buy French property. When planned alongside your advisory team, French mortgages can be tax-efficient and ensure you retain liquidity for other investment opportunities, purchases or projects.

There is an abundance of mortgage products on the market for non-resident borrowers and leading banks and non-bank lenders recognise the current opportunities in the French property market. Both domestic and international lenders offer mortgages for Swiss residents and citizens. Compared to France’s high street lenders who tend to offer package deals, international private banks and niche lenders can offer the most competitive loans.

French lenders – especially retail banks – typically enforce very strict loan-to-value ratios and will monitor affordability very closely, so your liquidity and income will be paramount. Although these mortgage providers are not ideal for every borrower, there are some great deals to be had if you have a significant deposit or need a low loan-value-loan mortgage.

France’s retail banks may find it harder to cater to you for a high-value loan if you have multiple income streams, generate multi-currency revenue and hold global assets. Both international lenders and private banks have been keen to offer international investors – including American residents - French mortgages. These lenders will be able to accurately assess your worldwide income, assets and wealth to determine affordability, which usually positively impacts how much you can borrow.

The Paris Property Market

Parisian property has always been popular with non-resident investors, particularly Americans.

High-value properties in Paris remain in high demand for non-resident investors either for personal use or as buy-to-let opportunities. A well-thought-out Parisian real estate purchase can generate a steady income, meaning they are popular with US-based investors.

If you’re thinking of buying in Paris, it’s important to understand the speed with which the market moves. The best properties in the most desired locations – even those costing several million euros – come and go off the market exceptionally quickly. Should you come across it, ‘bargain’ property will move off the market even faster.

Intense competition for Parisian real estate means that sellers have their pick of buyers, therefore having property finance lined up is imperative, particularly for buyers for whom securing a mortgage may be slightly more complex – as an American buyer, you will generally be in this category.

Many international buyers will opt for mortgages when buying French real estate. Although generally domestic retail banks typically don’t lend to non-residents, competitively priced mortgages and other property financing products are readily available for Parisian property purchases. French mortgages for Americans can sometimes be more readily available than in the other parts of France due to the buoyancy of Paris' real estate market.

French mortgages can be complicated for American nationals as non-resident investors, despite there being many options for financing a property purchase in Paris. Highstreet French banks sometimes lend to French non-residents, and they typically find American buyers very challenging to work with. If you are operating alone, going from lender to lender in search of a finance package while simultaneously trying to navigate a property search away from home can be complicated and time-consuming.

Mortgages from domestic retail banks are often standardised as package deals and won’t provide the most competitive rates and terms. Enness will be able to negotiate property finance from lenders who can consider global income and assets, structure Parisian mortgages effectively from a tax perspective and mitigate exchange risks between the euro and the US dollar.

Buying Property in the Côte d'Azur

The French Riviera is another of the most popular regions for American residents to buy property. Second homes, holiday homes and investment properties are all popular choices. Mortgages are increasingly used for high-value property purchases here, due to the significant prices of property in the region and the need for quick access to liquidity in the competitive market.

Liquidity is paramount to a successful property sale in the Côte d’Azur due to significant competition for the best properties. Many American buyers seek in principle offers before they start their search, however, if you find a property you would like to buy before you’ve considered financing options, Enness can also secure property finance quickly on your behalf.

Property prices have appreciated significantly in the Côte d’Azur over the past ten years and the trend looks set to continue. International lenders tend to feel comfortable lending against property in the region, therefore the area provides solid investment opportunities for American buyers and securing a mortgage can be relatively straightforward.

Property in the French Alps

France’s luxury chalets in the Alpine ski resorts are popular amongst American buyers. A property purchase here can provide a lucrative income stream if rented, as well as being able to use it for your own enjoyment. Although rentals in winter tend to be more popular, the Alps have year-round appeal. Generating income in the summer months is also possible with a property management team that can market your property

Luxury new-builds in the Alps are particularly sought-after, but they can be few and far between. As a result, there is also considerable demand for development projects where owners can renovate a property.

In the more famous and popular resorts in the French Alps, property investors should expect competition. Private banks and international lenders in particular, are able to offer property finance for Americans buying French real estate, and with Enness to support you, you will have a choice of lenders. How you present your case will be essential in securing both high loan-to-value mortgages and dry mortgages.

Structuring French Mortgages

It’s important that a French mortgage is carefully structured. There may be small differences in the processes and how you structure your finance package can make a difference to tax liabilities. Given that France’s taxation system is one of the most complex in Europe, structuring your deal in the most advantageous way possible in essential.

Rather than simply sourcing and negotiating a mortgage for you, Enness is able to secure a deal that mitigates the currency exchange risk, considers insurance requirements and is optimal from a fiscal perspective.

US buyers luckily have a range of property finance options available when buying property in France. Bridging loans, various types of mortgages, real estate refinancing, development finance and equity release are all available from various lenders. Enness will present you with the best deal and the most competitive pricing by utilising experience and contacts in France, the United States and internationally.

Accessing the cheapest and most flexible French mortgages at the top of the market can often depend on who you know, and being able to put forward an application in the best possible light. Speed particularly matters in France, meaning the speed at which you can secure the finance you need will impact how easy it is for you to buy. Your broker will also be able to source preferential rates and terms that are not readily available to others.

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Contact Enness

One of the leading international brokers in French mortgages, Enness has a track record helping Americans to finance real estate purchases in the French Alps, Paris and the Cote d’Azur. If you are considering buying French property and want to learn more about how Enness can help you, get in touch, The team will be delighted to talk you through your options as an American buyer and answer any questions you have.

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How to Buy and Finance Luxury Property in France

France is one of the most popular property markets for foreign nationals: we are all aware of the chic appeal of Paris, the enduring allure of the Riviera in the summer or the freshness of the mountains in winter. 

However, buying a property in France, especially as a foreign national or non-resident is particularly difficult. France’s legal and financial systems are unique. Culture and customs are often a learning curve.

Here at Enness, we are lucky to work with many of the leading experts in the French market: real estate agents, search agents, notaries, and developers. Together, we cover every aspect of the French property market and the buying process.