real estate

Buying property in Europe

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Prices: Average home costs about $800/square foot (about 2,033 euros/square meter) for a detached house in the second quarter of 2009, according to Global Property Guide.

Transaction costs: 8.67 percent to 13.37 percent of purchase price (Global Property Guide)

Restrictions on foreign property ownership: No.

Buying process: 10 percent security deposit due at signing of purchase agreement. Buyer must provide a copy of birth certificate and marriage certificate, if applicable, translated into French.

Tip: U.S. buyers shouldn't expect French real estate agents to have multiple listing services, says Barbara Schmerzler, president's liaison from the National Association of Realtors to the French National Federation of Real Estate Agents.

"They are going to have to go from office to office to office and meet with many different real estate professionals in order to get what they want, if it's available," Schmerzler says. "This is very frustrating for Americans who are used to going in and having the entire ball of wax spread out in front of them."




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