Helyxir Group | Frequent asked questions
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Frequent asked questions

Are there any hidden costs or management charges?

1. Communal maintenance charges.

Communal Maintenance (co-proprietorship) charges at the Helyxir developments vary depending on the size on the development and the developments unmanned facilities.

 

2. Council Tax (Tax foncière)

The local “Taxe Foncière” is an annual tax payable to the local town – a real estate tax similar to the rates levied in most countries. It is used by the local authorities to cover the costs of lighting, maintenance, rubbish collection etc for the town’s residents. The tax is levied on the basis of the theoretical rental value of the property, and is adjusted annually in line with inflation; typically this equates to ~10€/M²/annum but can vary from town to town.

 

3. Council Tax (Tax d’habitation)

The “Taxe habitation” is applicable to all residents in France. This tax is calculated on multiple variables, including income in France and number of family members living under the same roof. In the circumstance that you have bought a property on the basis of a sale & leaseback scheme or regisited the purchased property as a holiday home that you do not use for more than 182days per annum, you will be exempt from this tax.

 

4. Accounting

The properties that have reclaimed their VAT, will require an accountant to file your annual tax returns. This will cost you ~350€/year.

 

5. Insurance

As any property in any country you will need to insure the property for both personal belongings and liability. The cost is approximately 150€/annum.

What Guarantees do I have if the developer goes bust?

In France, and under French law, any developer cannot develop a project without either a bank guarantee or insurance policy that guarantees each singular client that not only his property will be built but also any communal areas will be delivered once the client legally “completes” his purchase at “Acte de Vente” (exchange of title deeds).

 

The Bank guarantee/Insurance policy has certain criteria that the developer needs to meet to in order to comply with this policy. Typically the Bank or insurer requires a minimum of ~50% of off plan pre-sales, where the clients have signed a reservation contract, have transferred their holding deposits, that the 10 day cooling off period has expired and that they have an agreement in principal for personal finance if requested.
Once all of these criteria are fulfilled, the bank “green lights’” the insurance policy and the developer can start construction. Thereafter the notaire is in a position to conduct the “Acte de Vente” for each singular client.
For each client, what this means, over and above the simple fact of de-risking the operation, in the extreme scenario that the developer goes bankrupt before the development is built out, the Insurer will provide the necessary funds to pay all the contractors until delivery.

How do I reserve a property?

The 2 first steps to reserving a property are:

 

1. To fill in and sign a reservation form with the full property details as well as your personal details.
2. There after you will need to send 2% of the total price to the relative notary.

 

Once the funds are received by the notary the developer will take the property off the market while you go through the administrative process of purchasing the property. The 2% is held in an escrow account by the notary in your name. The deposit is fully refundable at any given time up to the 10 day cooling off period preceding the signing of the reservation contract. Thereafter it is only on the non obtention of personal finance that the deposit is refunded.

Can I sell my property at any time?

Yes, you are free to sell your property at any time. There could however be 2 main scenarios:
1. You have bought the property without any conditions attached. In this case you conduct a standard sale.
2. You have bought the property and claimed the VAT back on the property on the basis that you will not use the property for more than 182 days a year and will be renting the property out during the holiday season. In this scenario:
a. You will be liable to repay a portion of the VAT if the property is sold to an acquirer who does not wish to rent the property out. In this scenario the “unburned” portion of the VAT must be paid back to the French Government. (eg; 15/20ths of the VAT if sold after 5 years). It is common practice in this scenario that the acquirer accommodates the difference in price that this might reflect.
b. You sell the property to an acquirer that will continue the same scheme, and as such you conduct a standard sale.

Can I choose the furniture?

Furniture packs are sold on an ad hoc basis. We have several furniture options that typically have either a more contemporary or a more traditional atmosphere. Our interior design team is however on hand to personalise your environment with you.

Is there somewhere I can leave my personal belongings from year to year?

All of Helyxir’s properties have an “owners locker” that is big enough to leave swimming costumes, Golf clubs and belongings of similar sizes year to year.

Do I need legal Representation?

The regulations governing the sale and purchase of property in France are long established and strictly governed and enforced by the Notaire assigned to the project. As a Public officer under oath, the Notaire’s duty is to ensure that the transaction is fully legal, binding and equitable for both parties. As such, all French property transactions are conducted via the Notaire. However it is totally at the purchaser’s discretion to contract or not a legal representative to advise on the purchase on their behalf.

How much are the legal fees for purchasing a property in France?

All property purchases in France must be completed through a Notaire office, their fees are charged as a percentage of the value of the purchase + the personal finance, and will range between 2% and 3,5%. Depending on the nature of the mortgage taken out. Independent legal advice, if additionally sought, will be subject to agreement by buyer and representative.

When do I have to pay?

A reservation deposit of 2% is due within 5 days of signing a reservation form, and your chosen residence will be held in your name during this period. The reservation deposit is fully refundable until seven days after a reservation contract has been signed by yourself. The reservation deposit and subsequent payments are calculated against the price of the property inclusive of VAT.

 

Example of stage payments:

1. 5% Reservation Upon reservation
2. 29% Upon signing Acte de Vente/Start of Construction. Approx 3 months later
3. 33% Upon completion of the foundations Approx 3 months later
4. 16.61% Upon completion of roofing & external carpentry Approx 6 months later
5. 6.39% Upon construction of interior walls. Approx 1 month later
6. 5% Upon completion of the building. Approx 1 month later
7. 5% Upon handover of keys. Approx 1 month later

Once I have paid my holding deposit to the notaries’ escrow account held in my name, do I get a receipt from the notary or similar for the reservation payment?

The notaire will send Helyxir an email notifying reception of the deposit. However you may also request a receipt from the notaire.