Archive for December, 2010

Buying a French Riviera Property – Our Top Ten Tips for 2011

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

1.     No Hasty Decisions – Don’t buy a French Riviera property on the back of a 2 week holiday in glorious sunshine and holiday euphoria. Is the property you are looking at equipped to keep you comfortable throughout the year? And the location? Before you even start to look seriously for your property then come and visit the region and really experience the lifestyle and culture on offer. Do your homework!

2.   Avoid the language barrier –  The French can be credited with inventing bureaucracy and this can best be seen in action when you are buying a property. A little French can almost be more dangerous than none and the services of an English speaking estate agent or officially accredited translator are imperative to the successful purchase of your property.

3. Save time and money by using a Property Search Company - In France it is quite usual to see the same property in the windows of several estate agents and at differing prices. It is also part of the selling game in France that advertised properties do not carry the address of the property and potential buyers will often find themselves visiting the same property with a different agent having already decided that this particular villa is not on their short list. Using the services of an English speaking Property Search company will save you time and money. Generally the services are free of charge to the buyer and you will be able to work with the property consultant, in your language to ensure that you are only visiting properties that meet your criteria. As the consultant is already familiar with the area and the agencies, when you decide to buy a property they will conduct the negotiations on your behalf with an in depth understanding of the value of property in the area.

4. Consult Financial and Tax professionals -  Bear in mind that the inheritance laws concerning property in France date back to Napoleonic times and that the priority at that time was for children to inherit property from their parents. Today this can cause major issues for potential buyers who have children from more than one relationship. Taking Financial and legal advice about how you buy your property and putting the appropriate mortgage and tax plans in place can ensure that you are able to structure your purchase in the most appropriate way for your lifestyle.

5. Beat the Bank Charges –  If you are buying a house in France and you need to convert currency to Euros then using your bank can prove expensive. Talking to a professional currency broker will mean that you save yourself the cost of bank charges and that you are able to take advantage of the best currency exchange rates available.

6. Property Survey – Always have a professional survey made of the property before you buy. Unusually, the over cautious French have seldom seen the need to use the services of a chartered surveyor. Many international buyers have fallen into the trap of buying with out a full survey with no hope of redress when a serious problem occurs.

7. Find a good English Speaking Notaire –  It is very usual in France for the same Notaire to work for both the buyer and seller during a property purchase. Having your appointed English speaking Notaire working for you means that you will understand the French buying process and have a complete understanding of the many anomalies of the property purchase system in France. Your property search consultant will always be able to recommend a good English speaking Notaire.

8. Is a refurbishment or a building project a good idea?  Buying and restoring a property or even building from scratch can be a great idea, but without careful management the costs can spiral out of control and the management of the project can be more than stressful. If you are thinking of buying a property to restore or a plot of land to build on then appoint the services of an English speaking architect who can design and manage the project in your absence and who’s services include interior design, garden design, pool construction and increasingly important the installation of technology including internet and international TV connections.

9. Making your property investment work for you - Many international buyers purchase a property on the French Riviera as an investment with the intention of renting it out during the peak summer months. If you have decided to generate income from rentals then engage the services of a good English speaking property rentals and management company. They should be able to demonstrate excellent knowledge of the rental income you could generate and demonstrate that they have track record of successfully renting similar properties in the area.

10. Get Local – Install yourself in a local café and engage the owner in conversation, it’s surprising just how much you’ll learn about the area, your potential neighbours and of course the feud between Phillipe and Jacques that dates back to the days of their grandfathers….after all, this is France……

Ellisium partners are a group of companies offering every service for your luxury home on the French Riviera. Each member of Ellisium Partners is individually qualified in their field and has extensive experience of working within the luxury home market on the French Riviera.

Services include – Luxury property search, Interior and exterior design, garden design & maintenance, mortgages and financial planning, tax advice, currency transfer, home security systems, home entertainment systems, proeprty rentals, property management….you need more??!


French mortgages and why its a good time to buy

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We’re coming towards the end of 2010 and what a year it has been….! The French property market has had a real turn around following the difficulties of 2009 and prices have definitely started to stabilise in most areas and we have even seen an increase in prices in certain parts of France, particularly for property in Paris and French Riviera Property.

French Riviera property is still a great investment. French Mortgage interest rates are at one of the lowest levels seen in France for a long time. Property prices are moving upwards as we have said but there are still some great bargains to be had along the Riviera in areas such as  Mougins, Grasse, Valbonne, Biot, Antibes, Nice and Cannes. Whether you are looking for a property in beautiful condition or you don`t mind renovating your French property, there are some good deals to be found.

France was recently named for ther fifth consecutive year as ” The best place in the world to live”  by International Living Magazine.  When you take into account the quality of life, the beautiful scenery, the culture, the cuisine, the health system and the infrastructure in general you can start to see why. On top of this, on the French Riviera you also get the climate of course with more than 300 days of sunshine per year and the nearest ski station less than an hour away for the snow lovers amongst us.

If you’re thinking about buying a  Cote d`Azur property and securing a low rate French Mortgage then it is advisable to speak to an independent Mortgage broker on the French Riviera. It is important that the broker is independent so you can get unbiased Financial advice, the mortgage advisor should deal with all of the lenders and offer advice on all of the bank rates available.

 Ellisium partners’ mortgage partner is Tim Yates of the Spectrum group. He has been based on the Riviera for many years and works with clients from all over the globe. All of our partners are specialists in their area of expertise, we work openly and honestly with our clients and ensure we offer the highest level of service.

Whether you are looking to buy, rent, build, renovate, finance or sell your French Riviera property, our partners are here to help you every step of the way. For more details visit


Investing in French Riviera Property

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

For many people around the world,  The French Riviera has always been a firm favourite when it comes to finding somewhere to buy a French holiday home. No matter what you look for in a holiday home location, The Cote d`Azur has something for everyone from golden sandy beaches to top quality food to long sunny days and long party nights, not to mention access to world class ski slopes. Regardless of whether you love this area for it’s laid back lifestyle or its jetsetting reputation,  you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for you.

French Riviera Property is very sought after and to ensure you find that dream home, it is a good idea to work with a qualified property search company with a good repuation, their job is to listen to exactly what you are looking for and then search the entire market for you based on your criteria… Using a proessional for this can save you time and money!

When you find a property, its also important that you discuss french mortgages and take financial advice from an expert. Tax advice is also very important as there are a number of ways to structure your French purchase depending on your personal situation. If you live outside the Euro zone then its also important to consider your currency exchange. Working with a money broker can save you money as they will ensure you get the very best exchange rate possible for your currency conversion.

How about once you have bought the property? Do you need to carry out any renovation works? updating a bathroom or kitchen? instally a home cinema? building an extension? putting in a home security system? landscaping the garden or installing a pool perhaps? You obviously need to work with a reputable architects or perhaps a project management company to help in these areas…

 No matter how excited you are about your new holiday home you’ll probably want to see some sort of return on investment. Any property is costly to run so letting it out could be a great way to recoup some of those losses. The rental market on the French Riviera is strong with luxury riviera rentals being in high demand in peak season,  in fact there is a demand for villas to rent on the French Riviera all year round.

For all of the above situations, Ellisium can help. We are a partnership of specialist companies who work in and around the French Riviera property market. From finding you a property, helping you to raise the finance, advising on your tax situation and exchanging your currency through to renovation works, IT and security solutions, landscape gardening, villa rentals and management, we have it all covered. All of our partners work the highest standard and guarantee their clients that they work openly and honestly at all times.

One call to Ellisium Partners means that all you have to do is relax and enjoy your luxury home on the French Riviera. Our Partner Pledge is your guarantee of great service, every time.


French Property to renovate – Mortgage advice

Friday, December 10th, 2010


I am currently considering buying a property on the French Riviera and I would like to renovate it. I have the money available to buy the French property and complete the work, but I would also like to know what the options are for French mortgages?

The thought of renovating a property in France is very popular with those who have some time available and are looking to purchase a French property and increase the value of their home.

Firstly, financing a project such as this using a French mortgage is achievable. There are a few points to be aware of however, Here are the three options available to you:

- Using a purchase and renovation mortgage to fully finance the purchase of the property and renovation.

- Using a mortgage to purchase the property and then paying for renovation works yourself. This is only possible if the property is in a habitable state when purchased and/or you have the available funds.

- Buying the property and paying for the renovations in cash and then arranging an equity release French mortgage at a later stage. However, the maximum loan to value will be lower with this option plus the interest rate higher and it’s less tax efficient from a wealth tax perspective (assuming it is a high value property)

If you are looking to finance the renovation with a French mortgage, the work needs to be carried out by qualified and French registered builders. This will ensure that the work is completed to a certain standard in the eyes of the lender.

The  benefit to using these qualified contractors is that they will have to have comprehensive insurance to cover all of their work. Quite often it pays to have a French architect or building company to oversee the works to a high standard.

When applying for a purchase and renovation mortgage (or renovation mortgage on its own), you will need to submit quotes from the contractors who will be carrying out the work. Once the mortgage is approved, the funds will then be released directly to the French building company by  lender.

Ellisum partners are equipped to help you out with all aspects of buying and renovating a property in the South of France.  Our property search partner Home Hunts, cover the whole market on the French Riviera and can help you to find your property, our finance partners can help with mortgage, tax and financial advice, we also have a currency exchange partner. For renovation, we have architects, builders and interior designers as well as home security and technology specialists and landscape gardeners. We are here to turn your property dream into a reality and it can all be done from one phone call!

Call Ellisium partners today on 0044 486 685 045 or visit the site –


Buying a Luxury Property in France – Avoid The Language Barrier.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
French Riviera Homes

Realise your dream with Ellisium Partners

So you love France, you’ve fallen in love with the French Riviera and you’ve decided to invest in a second home in the region. The only problem is that your French is limited to those well worn phrases that enable you to order a coffee or a bottle of wine. The thought of buying a luxury property on the Cote d’Azur means that you will need to involve estate agents, mortgage brokers, interior designers and ultimately a property management company. And there the dream goes on hold…or does it?

Ellisium Partners means that you can fulfill your dream without having to struggle with the language barrier. Each of the Ellisium Luxury Property Partners bring years of experience of helping international buyers to buy luxury property in the South of France and best of all, they all speak English. Home Hunts offer a luxury property search service saving you time and money and Tim Yates of the Spectrum Group will organise the property finance and mortgage for you. Buying a luxury property in France will mean that you will need to take some tax advice and Rosemont Consulting will advise you on the most tax efficient way to buy your luxury property in the South of France. And to complete the financial services, the Foremost Currency Group will make sure you enjoy the best exchange rates available.

Once you have the keys, then FG Design are on hand to redesign or refurbish your new luxury home and Celtic Golf will ensure that your outside space and pool is as gorgeous as the inside of your luxury property. Riviera One specialise in technology and security for your home and will install alarm systems, international television and of course high speed internet access.

Finally, we understand that your luxury property in the South of France will need to generate some income for you and L&F, luxury property rental specialists will organise and manage the rentals of your luxury property year round.

So, instead of reaching for your Phrase Book, contact Ellisium Luxury Property Partners and we guarantee that your dream of owning a luxury property in the South of France will quickly become a reality.