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Buying property in Corsica

Corsica is part of France, and the rules for buying houses are very similar. Buying property in Corsica is actually much easier than one would expect, and generally easier than in the UK. Having undertaken this process ourselves, we have put together this guide to give you an idea of how to go about it.

Finding the property
This is the fun part! We are in close contact with the owners and agents of properties featured on the site, and will do our best to answer any questions you may have, both about the property, and about being an owner in Corsica. If you wish to view any of the properties on our website, we will arrange an inspection visit, and you don't have to worry if you don't speak French as we can usually provide an interpreter at a moderate cost which will be refunded if you buy one of the properties on our website.

Making an offer
In France, it is much less common to make an offer on a property than in the UK where it is standard practice, but that's not to say it can't be done! However, once you've found the perfect place, it's best to move fast so you don't miss out. If you are buying a property through an agent, he or she will help you agree the price and conditions with the owner and draw up the 'promesse de vente'; if you are buying direct from a proprietor then you will both need to go to a 'notaire' (solicitor) to have this done.

The contract
Once you have agreed the price and conditions with the owner, the next step is for both owner and buyer to sign a 'promesse de vente'. You will be asked to put down a deposit at this stage (5 to 10 per cent usually) and this document legally binds both buyer and seller to the deal. You can - within reason - make conditions, for example if you need a loan to buy the property you can make getting finance a condition, or if it is important that you obtain permission for, perhaps, an extension or swimming pool this can be stipulated. At this stage, you get a seven day cooling off period during which time you can pull out without penalty.

In either case, once the promesse has been signed the notaire takes over and starts to do searches and draw up contracts. It is usual for both buyer and seller to use the same notaire. A completion date will be agreed between all parties, usually two to three months after the signing of the promesse. This can be a useful period - to sort out a loan if you need one, perhaps to start to get estimates from local entrepreneurs for any works you plan to have carried out, and to plan whether and how you will let the property.

Surveys & Finance
It is extremely unusual in France - and in Corsica - for a buyer to have a survey carried out, and French banks and building societies normally do not require this. It is also unusual for a UK bank or building society to lend money using the Corsican property as collateral, so if you plan to borrow in England it will need to be against UK assets. Always check what fees will be charged

Completion
Once the searches have been completed to check the legality of the sale, rights of way etc. the final documents must be signed and the balance paid before the keys are handed over. Often there is no need for you to be in Corsica for this process to take place as you can appoint the notaire to act on your behalf.

Help
We are in close contact with the owners and agents of properties featured on the site, and will do our best to answer any questions you may have, both about the property, and about being an owner in Corsica. If you wish to view any of the properties on our website, we will arrange an inspection visit. If necessary we can usually provide an interpreter at a moderate cost - refunded if you buy one of the properties on our website.


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