A general guide and brief introduction to the "buying procedure"

is the conveyancing process in france similar to that in England?

No the french legal system and the formalities when purchasing a house in france are very different from those in England. For instance the preliminary contract can be signed almost immediately you have to decided to purchase 

The purchase of a property in france is divided into 2 stages 

first there is a preliminary contract called the "compromis de vente" This may be prepared  either by a notary public(notaire) or by an estate agent 

Secondly there is a formal deed of sale called the "acte de vente" at which time completion takes place. This is signed in front of a notaire 

The 2 documents are normally separated by time span of 8 to 11 weeks or by agreement between vendor and purchaser

What is the compromise de vente?

This is a binding written agreement between you and the seller of the property by which you agree to buy the property 

It is made subject to conditions know as "clauses suspensives" conditional clauses 

These state that the contract will only become binding if certain things happen for example, providing the stated conditions are fulfilled. that the buyer obtains a mortgage within a stated time. that the notaire ensures clear title to the property. that there are no covenants, easements...that adversely affect the property

Inspections on the property

Prior to the signature of the compromis de vente, the vendor must supply certificates relative to inspections for asbestos, lead, termites, electricity, gas, energy performance and natural and technological risks. these inspections are carried out by fully registered and insured experts who are approved by their local prefecture  and are specifically designed to project you the purchaser.

The cost of these inspections is borne by the vendor and not included in your purchase coast 

In addition to the 7 days of reflection (during which you the buyer can pull out of the transaction without financial loss) you can also be released from the contract if conditions in the contract are not  fulfilled thus the compromis can be signed at the very earliest opportunity to project the interests of both the seller and the buyer 

on the signature of the compromis de vente a deposit normally of 10% is paid by the purchaser and held in an escrow account by the notaire until completion takes place.

What is the acte de vente ?

The completion takes place with the signing of the title deed proving who is the owner of the property and containing a detailled  description of the property itself

whereas the compromis can be prepared by an estate agent, the deed of sale has by french law to be prepared by and signed in front of a notaire 

the full balance of the purchase price plus notaire s fees and government taxes must be in the notaire s account by the date of the signing of the acte de vente 

Do i have to be in france to sign for the transaction


as a representative of the french state, the notaire can take power of attorney from the purchaser client in respect of the compromis de vente if they are unable to attend themselves . Most clients attend personally for the final acte de vente but it also possible to proceed by way of power of attorney if needed 

Prior to completion at the notaire s office the notaire will have sent the buyer a completion statement showing the balance of the purchase price of the property and all other registration fees for the purchase which are the responsability of the buyer 

can i take money into and out of france freely ?


buying off plan and new property

When buying off plan a contract called a contrat de réservation will be used and the deposit will be 5 to 10%. The building of the property may not have started and the contract will  specify  the payment schedule. Payments are made at each stage of construction. Your morgage company  wil continue the stage payments after you have paid your contribution but will always check with you prior to forwarding a payment. prices on new "off plan" properties are not normally negociable.

Why buy in Chatel


An intimate break for two, a family holiday,a weekend with your friends... Whatever you choose to do here, in Chatel you will find everything the perfect village resort has to offer. A lively village centre, perfectly preserved mountain architecture, skiing in the vast unspoiled spaces of the Portes du Soleil, with little side routes here and there that you can follow on foot, on snowshoes or on skis. The countryside is as magnificent as the old chalets in the valley. Here, the atmosphere is a tempting mixture of a tranquil way of life, friendliness and fun! The village possesses a top selection of traditional French restaurants, a diverse range of bars with a great apres-ski atmosphere and live music nights, plus a late night bowling alley. Of course all of your shopping needs are catered for too, plenty of ski shops, a range of souvenir shops, plus a selection of specialty food shops so you can stock up on Savoyard sausages and cheese. On arriving at the end of the valley, just before you reach the Swiss border, you come upon Chatel nestling in a valley in the middle mountains, a delightful blend of attractive houses, mountain pastures and forest... Looking at Chatel, you can see it is peaceful...The mountain traditions have been respected. The chalets have been built in a style that blends beautifully with the traditional architecture. There are no large buildings, only small houses and chalets that fit perfectly into the scenery.

Skiing in Chatel

Chatel is situated on the French / Swiss border and surrounded by the Portes du Soleil ski area, one of the largest linked ski domains in Europe. Comprising of 12 resorts on either side of the border, you can ski between the resorts

Other Activities in Chatel

  -Dog sledding


-Ice Skating

-Cross country skiing

-Horse-drawn sleigh rides

-Snow shoeing

-Ice Diving under the lake

-Ice Fishing under the lake

-High mountain trips

-Evening skiing

-Trips to Thermal Spas

Easy access

Located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, Chatel is just 20 minutes from the Swiss motorways, 1 1/4 hours form Geneva international airport and 45 minutes form Thonon-les-Bains railway station.