Finding/Owning French Property

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Selling main home in France

Due to ill health we are thinking of selling our main home in France and moving back to the UK.

As homes can take a long time to sell, we are trying to find out how long a main home is exempt from capital gains tax after we return to UK.  Some sites say 1 year, and other sites are emphatic that it is five years before capital gains tax is due.

Any guidance would be welcome.

Many thanks in advance,


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Re: Selling main home in France

I think that like most things in France it's open to interpretation, it's not box ticking exercise and it's not a thing anyone can be "emphatic" about.

If you put it on the market immediately and keep it on the market at a reasonable price, and you have years of tax returns showing that it was your long term main home, there is a very good chance that the administration will accept that it was sold as your main home. Basically they look for "good faith". If they get the impression that you actually held off from selling it for a few years after you moved back to the UK so you could keep it on as a holiday home, say for instance if it was priced unrealistically or not put on the market immediately or it kept being taken off the market, they'll act accordingly.

Also, if you decide to rent it out while it's on the market, you could no longer make a case for it being your main home and CGT would become due.
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Re: Selling main home in France

A few years ago (2010) it was possible to request an extension of a further year to the standard one year allowed for completing the sale of a main residence.

I suggest you ask the question via the messagerie in your espace personnel on the impots web site to get a definitive answer.

Under "Nous contacter" on the first page after signing in,

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Selling main home in France

Think positive. Two local couples who I know locally have put their houses on the market during the past nine months and they both sold quickly.
Coincidentally the both used Leggetts.
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Re: Selling main home in France


I had never heard of Leggetts until I joined French forums. LOL.

If I wanted to move in France again I would not think of/bother looking at their website.

I really don't see the point. A bloke that used to work in Kwik Fit or some women who used to work in Tescos trying to flog houses to numbty Brits in France to earn a living because they can't get a proper job.

Le Bon Coin is the biggest website for selling and buying houses in France. Why go to Leg-its
ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: Selling main home in France

In my example I would have thought that the point of using Leggetts was pretty obvious even to the blinkered. Both houses sold very quickly. These sales also blew the myth that only houses under €100000/€150000 will sell. One sold for €430000 (fees included), the other for €260000 (plus fees). A good house at the correct price will sell.
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Re: Selling main home in France

430 k In Brittany ???

Flipin eek I hope it was a chateaux.

What myth are you talking about there Brit ???

150 k around ere will get you a cr&ppy 2 bed flat !!!...with on street parking. And you will have to renovate it as well. LOL.

150 k buys nothing in (dare I say it) mainstream France.

Nothing, rien.

Our first house cost 180 k 15 years ago and that was a ruin in the middle of nowhere.
ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: Selling main home in France

Depend what you call "mainstream France" alf.

Around here 150 k would buy you a small house in good condition. Of course, if you were looking for a 5 bed lux pad, you'd have to fork out lots more.

But then again, if you've nothing to flog but a dead horse...
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