General information on beginning the search / Where would you like to buy real estate?
House or apartment?
New building or old building?
What does the price of the object depend upon?
Who is your negotiating partner for acquisition?
The current market situation on the Cote d’Azur
Acquisition of an old building / Viewings / Appraisals
Preliminary Contract ( „avant contrat“)
Role of the notary / „acte authentique“
Additional expenses for the purchase („frais de notaire“ or „frais d’acte“)
Purchase of a new building
Purchase of land
Foundation of a S.C.I. („société civile immobilière“)
Purchase on the basis of pension („viager“) as a special form of property acquisition of real estate
Taxation of the gain („plus value“) from sale
Right of succession
Conducting a sale / Preparations for the sale
Landing stage for your boat: Buy or rent?
Purchase of land

It is essential to divide the property in 2 categories:

- solitary land which basically stands for the most possible individual freedom and

- land in a „lotissement“, in a development unit.

Regarding solitary land: That location, size, design and orientation of the property and the access to it must match your own ideas of living is understood. Furthermore it is necessary to ensure that the wishes of the buyer / builder regarding construction can be executed on the property. For this purpose the “plan d’occupation des sols / POS” in the city hall („mairie“) of the community must first be seen. The general regulations for land use in the community are stipulated in the POS. Accordingly it is imperative to apply for a „certificat d’urbanisme“ which is issued free of charge by the mairie, the „Direction Départementale de l’Equipement (DDE)“ or the préfecture. Normally it can be obtained within a time period of 2 months.

Everything in connection with the property which safeguards public interests is included in this authorisation and the qualitative constructional alternatives for the property are specified (e.g. expected development area, construction only in connection with already existing construction, agricultural use, constructible properties…) and it is specified to the C.O.S., the „coefficient d’occupation des sols“ which determines the maximum size of the living area which, if applicable, can be constructed on the property. The administration department only obliges the determinations of the certificat d’urbanisme for a time period of 6 months. For the duration of this time period it establishes legal certainty for the builder. However it does not constitute a building licence. A building application (“permis de contruire“) which is applied for within this time limit which takes the contents of the certificat d’urbanisme guidelines into consideration must be approved by the administration department. In any case it should be considered to render issue of the certificat d’urbanisme and / or a building licence for condition suspensive (rescinding condition) which allow the desired construction in a property sales contract.

It is also important to obtain information about possible land easement (e.g. right of way…).

Regarding land in a „lotissement“: A lotissement, a piece of property which is divided into several allotments or „lots“ (at least 3) which was usually formerly used for agriculture and which a „lotissseur“ has bought and for which he/she has obtained a building licence. The property is then divided into construction allotments ranging from 500 to 5.000 m² in size, provided with streets, energy, water and sewage systems and finally sold.

When purchasing such a piece of property the constructability of the property is already determined at the time of purchase so that application of a certificat d’urbanisme can be omitted. It is important to obtain information about costs for infrastructures („charges“) which are to be mutually borne by the owners of the lot and about the constructional regulations of the lotissement such as type of buildings, size, fencing, maintenance of the community property…).

The purchasing procedure can be compared to the one described in the chapter „old buildings“.

The tax on acquisition of real estate amounts to 4,89%. The actual notary costs comply with those in the chapter „old buildings“.