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French mortgages are registered for the most part via a notary. The mortgage deed is a notarized deed which is then registered with the national mortgage register (Conservation des hypothèques) and the cost related to this is often referred to as the mortgage registration tax.

The lender registers their first charge on the property via the notary and mortgage deed and they take out a guarantee on the property. There are two main types of legal guarantee available to non-French residents, a “hypothèque” and an IPPD guarantee.

For those living and working in France there is also the possibility of a mutualist guarantee which can be considerably cheaper but because the guarantee has to be approved by their underwriters also, it is not possible to provide this type of guarantee for borrowers not residing in France.

Both hypothèques and IPPD’s need to be registered via the notary and there is a cost relative to registering these. Furthermore, when the mortgage is paid off and the legal charge needs to be removed there is a further charge to remove the legal charge.

Overall an IPPD is less expensive than a hypothèque. IPPD guarantees are not available on new build or heavy renovation projects; they can only be registered on existing property. It is the bank that will decide on the type of guarantee that they will take and this information will be communicated within the mortgage offer.