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Essential guides

La Dordogne

  • 430,000 inhabitants. +56,000 inhabitants over the last 50 years (+ 15%)
  • Internationally renowned natural and heritage resources
  • After Paris, the department with the largest number of listed monuments in France
  • 1st tourist department in France off the coast: 3 million visitors, 26 million overnight stays.

4 major poles – nb of inhabitants in thousand :

  • Périgueux 180,7
  • Bergerac 105,7
  • Sarlat 84,2
  • Nontron 56,1
        INSEE 2016

Privileged family life

The Dordogne is a family department par excellence. The quality and cost of living allow you to settle there with peace of mind.


Schools are on a human scale, and the quality infrastructures guarantee education in the best possible conditions. Number of schools:

410 schools

46 colleges

31 high schools

90 higher education courses


Housing, whether you buy or rent, is very affordable, with good profitability. The Périgord has a real estate market where many old character buildings are available for sale. 


The region also benefits from an excellent geographical location and is close to large cities such as Bordeaux at 1h by car, Toulouse at 2h15, Paris at 3 hours …


4 key steps to buy

1 –  Search and find the property you like 

Be clear about your search criteria: what type of property, where, old or new, budget…. You will thus optimize the time of your research by visiting only properties which correspond to you. We will accompany you throughout this step.

2 – Sign the sales agreement

After you have made an offer to buy and agreed to the final price, you are ready to commit to buy, and the seller to sell. It is therefore a preliminary contract which makes it possible to prepare the final sale of the property. The sales agreement will be signed by both parties with a notary, and will include several mandatory documents such as diagnostics or documents relating to the co-ownership if existing. Note that you will have 10 days to retract after signing the compromise by registered letter with return receipt or by bailiff. 

The payment of a security deposit will then be requested (5 to 10% of the price of the property from the sale price). This amount is kept by the notary or real estate agent in an escrow account until the day of the signing of the authentic deed.

If the sale is successful, this amount of money will therefore be deducted from the amount you have to pay. If the sale does not take place because one of the conditions precedent is fulfilled, this sum of money will be refunded to you. In the event of cancellation without the fulfillment of one of the conditions precedent, the seller may then preserve this sum of money as compensation. 

3 – Finalize your financing plan

The sales agreement is signed, now you have to find the funds. You have 45 to 60 days to finance the purchase of the property. Ideally, you will have already anticipated this crucial step. After you have obtained an agreement in principle from your bank, validated the insurance, obtained the necessary guarantees, and signed the loan application, you will receive the loan offer by post by registered letter. The law imposes a mandatory 10-day period of reflection on you.

Obtaining the loan is part of the suspensive clauses. If the bank refuses to accompany you in this purchase, the sale may be canceled and the security deposit returned to you.

4 – Become owner !

Here comes the D-Day, the signing of the authentic deed of sale which is done in the presence of 3 people: you, the seller and the notary. You will then have to pay the property, the notary fees. The notary informs you and the seller of all laws, legal consequences and penalties if the commitments are not respected.

The signing of the authentic deed of sale must take place within 4 months after signing the loan offer. 

Some French laws to know


Established in 1986, this law makes it possible to know the exact surface area of a dwelling. It consists of precisely determining the private area of a property. This law protects buyers from certain sellers who would like to overestimate the surface area of their property. It is also part of the list of mandatory property diagnoses and must be mentioned at all costs in the deed of sale. It concerns all accommodation with a surface area of over 8m² and a ceiling height of at least 1.80m. The calculation does not take into account car parks, garages, cellars, balconies, terraces, land to be built. Conversely, attics, basements, verandas, with respect to the height of 1.80m, are included in the calculation.

LA LOI MALRAUX – Renovate a property to pay less taxes

It is a tax exemption system which concerns the renovation or total rehabilitation of preserved old housing. Its objective is to participate in the safeguard of the French architectural and historical heritage. For real estate to benefit from the Malraux device, it must be located in one of the following protected areas:

  • a SPR, a remarkable heritage site
  • a QAD, an old degraded district
  • a ZPPAUP, a protection zone for urban or landscape architectural heritage.

If you plan to invest in real estate through the Malraux Law, you may be eligible for a substantial tax reduction. 30% for housing located in SPR or QAD, or 22% in ZPPAUP. But you must meet certain conditions: the work must apply to the entire building and the amount must not exceed € 400,000 over 4 consecutive years and they must be checked by the Office of Architects of Buildings of France. 

LA LOI DENORMANDIE – invest and get tax exemption in old real estate

The Denormandie tax exemption plan entered into force on January 1, 2019. Under the provisions of this law, the investor acquires old housing located in one of the 245 French towns eligible for the law (including Périgueux). He then undertakes renovation work on the property to bring it back into conformity and offer a decent housing offer to future tenants. 
The renovations of the property must represent 25% of the total cost of the operation (amount of work included), within the investment limit of € 300,000. Before the start of the renovations, the investor will have to carry out a home energy performance diagnosis (DPE). The work must either improve the DPE of housing by at least 30%, or involve two types of renovations out of a package of 5 proposed:

  • Roof insulation
  • Window insulation
  • Change in jot water production
  • Boiler change
  • Wall insulation

Once the work is finished, the investor will have to carry out a second energy performance diagnosis. The aim is to demonstrate the reductions in energy consumption that the work has generated. Once the renovations are completed, the tax administration requests 2 types of documents: on the one hand the two diagnoses carried out and on the other hand the invoices for the work: they will specify the types of work carried out, their place of performance and their criteria. performance.

The 2020 Finance Bill provides further clarification and extends the list of eligible work to 25% of the cost of the operation. From January 1, 2020, the following operations are added to the list of eligible work:


modernization and development of living space (basements and roof space included),

And any creation of additional living space within the accommodation.


As part of a real estate investment, you have the possibility of benefiting from a tax exemption plan: bare ownership. Through its secure system, it attracts new investors every year, with the idea of benefiting from the advantages offered by this type of taxation. 
This appeared in the early 2000s, and is aimed primarily at people subject to significant tax pressure and not having immediate income needs. It allows the investor to acquire a property separate from his initial rights, which correspond:

  • the right of disposal of the property purchase and resale of the property,
  • the right to use the property right of residence,
  • the right to collect income and collect rents.

The owner (or bare owner) acquires the premises and entrusts the enjoyment of the property (the usufruct) to a third person (the usufructuary). The separation of rights between the 2 parties gives rise to the temporary dismemberment of the property.

The conditions for establishing a proper bare ownership contract are as follows:

  • determine a period of temporary usufruct between 15 and 20 years and concerning the usufructuary,
  • undertake to provide a deposit upon entry into use,
  • retain the substance of the property throughout the duration of the dismemberment,
  • support all small repairs and maintenance of the home,
  • pay the property tax.

This system provides investors with many advantages: the system allows them to diversify their assets and to set up a supplementary pension without impacting their taxation. The acquisition of the asset can be made using a discount of 40% of the purchase price of the initial asset. If the investor commits a loan as part of his acquisition, he can deduct the interest on loans from the land income received on other properties.

Once the period of dismemberment of the good is over, the bare owner becomes full owner again without paying the transfer tax. He will once again have all the rights relating to housing and can dispose of them as he sees fit.

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