French banks lending to CH residents for Real estate investment?

Dear Community,

I hope this message finds you all well and that you’re all living your best mustachians lives!

We are a couple based in Geneva with Swiss contracts and thus earnings CHF. We want to buy an apartment and then rent it in nearby France (cheaper than Switzerland). My wife already has an account in a French Bank (in €) but we’re facing a massive hurdle since all banks we reached out to told they could:
A. Not lend money to non French resident
B. Only lend money if we’re bringing a minimum 28% cash upfront

Did some of you faced the same problem ? If yes, did you managed to find a more cooperative bank ? Or is bringing those 28% the only solution? We reached out to swiss banks as well but since our project is to buy in France they were asking for a minimum of 30% cash. Hardly a good option!

Many thanks for your help and looking forward to your feedback!

Have a great day,


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We have bought several investment properties in France; one of them with 0 down. We have always used the same bank (Credit Agricole), and only need to show income statements and sign some documents stating that we understand that there are currency exchange rate risks since we get payed in a foreign currency. Currently, cashflow from properties is high enough to get further mortages without too much problems – though it is harder to find interesting properties compared to 10 or so years back.

To be honest, we had more trouble with Notaries that wanted to make sure we know what we are doing. They always ask for lots of documents and really, really want to be sure we understand the legalese French they make us deal with. (On the plus side, their fees are much lower than in CH, and generally picked up by the selling party).

Hi, credit agricole des Savoie for me. Worked well. Good luck

Hi Fliss,

Many thanks for your detailed answer. That’s reassuring to know !

This would be our first investment… Do you remember by any chance how much initial cash they asked your for your first investment property in France?

Duly noted that Crédit Agricole seems to be a bit more open than others.

Have a great day,


Hi Bardamu,

Many thanks for your swift answer ! Do you happen to remember how much they asked you in cash for your investment ?

Have a great day,


Hi Sbet

I was in contact with BNP Paribas which has a department which is dedicated to non-residents.
I can share with you the contact if you’re interested.

Total purchase was 82k, we paid down 20k or 25k (don’t quite remember).

Didn’t know a whole lot about investing back then. But, it turned out well. Rental income always paid all taxes, charges etc. and was sufficient to pay of the mortage (4.7% interest in those days).

I could probably have gotten away with a lower down payment; but basically, I paid in what I got reimboursed from my Swiss 2nd pillar when we left the country for the US. I didn’t want the money to sit around doing nothing…

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You’re welcome. If I remember correctly they asked an initial amount of 15% . The credit agricole was my French bank and I talked directly to my banker. For your information once the credit granted and signed you can change credit insurance the first year, cause CA conditions are really not interesting. Good luck

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Thanks for these insights that’s great ! Goal for us it to have rental income ccovering mortgage + charges and taxes. Let’s hope it works ?

Thanks again !

Hi BadCownboy! That would be great thanks. Feel free to DM me if that works for you.

Thanks !

15% that’s pretty good! And you were leaving in Switzerland at that time?

Yes in Geneva. We ve been through several banks and refusals but finally CA is more open than others. Wish you luck

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Many thanks bardamu!

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