There are a number of important benefits to buyers when buying off-plan in France and I will go through them below. You might have to wait a bit longer to move into your dream property but once you do the wait will certainly be worth it.
1) The build completion guarantee: This ensures that your property will be finished and to spec regardless of what happens to the developer or contractors. This is a financial guarantee taken out by developers in France with a large bank or insurance company and is a legal requirement before the notaire will allow any money to be taken from purchasers. France is the only country in the world that does this, making buying off-plan here very safe indeed. It also the reason why off-plan sales often happen so quickly in France while in other countries buyers can be very hesitant about buying a property that isn’t ready. If you wait till new builds are ready in France they are usually sold out or you will have very little choice- particularly in the more sought after areas.
2) 10 year build guarantee: This again is a legal requirement in France that ensures that any defects linked to the property construction will be fixed if they occur within 10 years. If there were any issues with subsidence or the roof for example these would normally become evident within that time frame and would be fixed free of charge.
3) Reduced notaire fees: These are typically around 3% for off-plan property compared to 8% for an existing older property which is a huge saving to make.
4) Possibility to get your VAT back: If you buy a new property in France the amount of VAT included in the price is indicated in the sales contract. If you decide to rent it out for short term rentals with a company providing hotel services and concierge like Avecoeur then you will get the 20% VAT rebated to you.
5) Highly energy efficient: Properties that are built today use the latest energy efficient technology and have to conform to specific building regulations that ensure that they reach a high energy efficient rating of A or B. Inspections are done independently once the property is finished and any improvements required are done by the developer/general contractor. Most older properties have an energy rating typically around D or E so buying new will usually save you hundreds and if not thousands in your energy bills.
6) Stylish and modern design: New properties are often designed to look sleek and stylish and are often bright and airy. They usually come with extra creature comforts and security such as climate control, electric shutters, rain water showers, heated towel rails and more.
7) Personalise your property: Buyers usually have the option to personalise their new property through a selection of floor and bathroom tile choices, taps and worktops etc. This is particularly rewarding, knowing the property has been created just to your taste.
8) No renovation work: Most older properties require some renovation when you buy them whether it’s new kitchens or bathrooms, painting or something bigger and more structural. Doing this is not only expensive but can also take a lot of time and in addition be a big headache to organise with local artisans especially if you are not living there and do not speak Fluent French. Buying off-plan avoids all these potential headaches.
So we can see that buying off-plan has some significant advantages over buying old property and when comparing like for like you have to remember the extra costs of buying an old property that could easily be another 30% once you consider the higher notaire fees and renovation works, not forgetting the higher utility bills. It’s important to remember these when comparing property prices online.