While the lifestyle, weather and scenery in the South of France may be very different from the UK, one thing doesn’t change – you are still going to need to acquire finance to complete your purchase. Your South of France surveyor can help, but it’s good to go in armed with a little advice ahead of time.

While many people will achieve this with the sale or re-mortgage of their UK property (depending on whether they intend to move to the South of France permanently, or have a second home there), this option will not be suitable for everyone. In these cases, it will be necessary to arrange a brand-new mortgage for the property to be purchased.


When it comes to arranging such a mortgage, you typically have two options. You can arrange a mortgage with a bank in the UK, or arrange one in your destination country, often through a specialist broker.

The UK Bank Option

All the UK’s big high street banks will have a department which deals exclusively with international mortgage services.


However, they will not all operate in every country and tend to only offer mortgages for the purchase of property in regions in which they have a physical presence. Please note that, although it does offer international banking, Barclays Bank recently sold much of its branch network in France, meaning it has a very limited physical presence now. HSBC has a branch presence in most French cities.


Other UK banks with a strong presence in France include Halifax, and Royal Bank of Scotland.


You can even visit with one of the UK-based branches and arrange the mortgage with a domestic advisor, although, once it’s set up, you will need to deal with the French arm of the bank, as the mortgage will be held with them.

The South of France Broker Option

If you want to arrange a mortgage with a French lender, you will be best served by using a specialist broker. These brokers are ideally placed to give you the best information and advice on getting a great mortgage deal in a foreign country. Special offers and negotiated conditions are often only made available to brokers, so you’re extremely unlikely to get a better deal by going directly to the bank.


One advantage of raising a mortgage in your destination country is that rates in the eurozone are significantly lower than in the UK (at the time of writing), increasing your chances of getting a good deal. However, if you are waiting for the other shoe to drop, overseas mortgage brokers are not covered by the same strict Financial Conduct Authority regulations as those in the UK. So, while you’ll be fine if everything goes smoothly, you may struggle to get any recompense in the event of being given bad advice.


Another downside of an overseas mortgage is that the amount of deposit needed tends to be higher (in the UK). It’s not uncommon for many overseas lenders to insist on deposits in the realms of 30-40%, so you should be prepared for that if looking to get a mortgage this way.


When choosing a broker, avoid the ones charge an upfront fee. These fees are often non-refundable, and you’ll be left out of pocket even if they are unable to secure you a mortgage. Look around for a reputable feeless broker in whom you have confidence.

South of France Surveyor

If you need expert advice on your South of France property buying journey, Charles Mackintosh has over 30 years’ experience in the region. He can assist you with everything from negotiating terms, property location, and advice on local amenities and customs.


Please get in touch today for more information.