Furnishing your new home in France

Once you have bought your home in France, whether that be a permanent home or a holiday house, you will need to think about furnishing it. This is easy if you are coming from somewhere else within Europe as there are no restrictions to moving goods around. In addition, if you are moving permanently to France from a non-EU country (and France will be your principal residence) then you should be exempt from duty and taxes on your personal belongings, as long as you have the correct paperwork. This includes an inventory of all the household items you are bringing to France, a customs form and proof that you are moving your primary residence to France. There are also some exclusions to the tax exemption such as motorbikes, bikes, cars, trailers, horses and professional or trade equipment.

If, however, you are buying a holiday home in France and live outside of Europe, including the UK, it is more complicated, and you cannot simply bring your existing furniture and goods to install them in your new property. Furniture and household goods are now liable for customs and VAT charges, and you need to be able to provide receipts for the goods you are importing or proof of their value so that the charges can be calculated. There is, however, an allowance of goods that each person can bring into France up to a value of €430 if you are arriving by plane and €300 by car without a need for a customs declaration.

Luckily it has become easier in the last few years to furnish your holiday house in France as there are now more homeware shops and places selling home equipment. In addition, you might find that the people you are buying the house from can be persuaded to sell some of their furniture, white goods and garden equipment, especially if it is a holiday house already or they are downsizing or moving abroad so this is always my preferred option for clients if possible. And it also means that you can move straight in and start enjoying your new home immediately.

If you need help with finding a property in France, please get in touch; nadia@foothillsoffrance.com


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