In France, renting a house or apartment is far more popular than buying, especially among ex-pats. If your stay is temporary, it is probably your best choice, as purchasing property can be very expensive. However, if this is a path that you are interested in taking, this guide also offers information on how to buy a house in France.
This guide provides you everything you need to know to find the perfect accommodation in France, from understanding the housing market in France to where to begin your apartment or house search.
Renting a house or apartment-
Buying a home may be the main aim for many ex-pats who are heading to France for good. However, it is a lot more popular to rent in French cities, and particularly among ex-pats. This is particularly true for many ex-pats who have just arrived in France, those who know they’re only going to be in the country for a limited period of time or are just not sure whether France is the best place to settle in just yet. Renting is therefore a great way to test the waters, especially given that a lot of paperwork can come with buying real estate (not to mention a hefty price tag). Forty percent rent their apartment or house from the French community.
Renting can seem like an opportunity to settle in France without strings and is always the most relaxed option at the beginning of an ex-pat adventure. Before signing a contract, however, there are important things to bear in mind.
In France, the average rent-
If you’re wondering how much rent you’d pay in France, you’ll quickly find out that rental prices in France differ depending on where you rent in the region. In Paris, rent rates can be high, but prices are typically far more affordable once they are outside the capital. Prices often rely on factors like whether you want to live in the middle of the city or the suburbs, as well as the number of spaces. On average, the rental price is a minimum of EUR 350 (USD 392) for a one-bedroom house outside the city center.
But in Paris, for instance, a one-bedroom apartment will cost more than EUR 1,000 in the city center (1,120 USD). You will find a spot outside the city center for an average price of EUR 800. (896 USD). The average monthly cost in Nantes is closer to EUR 500 (US$560) in the city center and EUR 400 (US$448) outside the city center.
The Leasing Process for a House or Apartment-
You would need to give yourself a few months to find a long-term rental that suits your needs if you are looking into Paris or any major cities, as it can be very expensive. A couple of weeks may be appropriate for other areas in France.
As several landlords and real estate agents are on holiday in August, the best period for an apartment search in France is between May and July. September and October can be a challenging time for house hunting if you decide to move to a university town, as this is the time when students begin their new semester, return to the area, and sweep up most of the available housing.
How to check-in France for an apartment?
Agent for Real Estate-
If your budget allows for it, you can use the services of a real estate agent to support you in your quest. Typically, agencies charge a fee equivalent to one month’s rent, but on the upside, the process can be simpler than negotiating directly with a landlord. If you’re in a hurry to find accommodation or if you’re trying to find a spot on your own, it can also be more convenient.
Speak to other ex-pats, coworkers, or acquaintances once you have an idea of where you would like to live, to see if they know of any vacancies. Via word of mouth, several apartments are recommended, and you may be able to find a place before it is even on the market. This method, of course, is easier if you already have a support network in France.
The classifieds pages of different local magazines and newspapers are excellent choices for finding a place to rent in France but bear in mind that there is fierce competition. The best method is to get a copy of the classifieds as soon as they are released and immediately contact the landlord. Your call will not be answered by many landlords, so it is up to you to be persistent. Before you get in contact with someone, be certain to brush up on the real estate lingo:
Learn how to ask for the floor, the number of rooms, and whether the apartment is furnished (furnished).
There are also several search engines for real estate and websites that are easy to find and navigate. They are updated periodically and allow you to filter outcomes or search for unique keywords, which can make your search much simpler and quicker. Unfortunately, on these pages, scammers also like to wander and upload, so be careful and use caution.
Equipped or Unfurnished?
You have the luxury of renting a place that is furnished or unfurnished. A typical unfurnished apartment contract typically has a longer minimum lease, usually three years, but the contract provides the occupant with greater legal security.
They must be fitted with a stove, oven or microwave, fridge and freezer, kitchen utensils, tables and chairs, storage racks, lighting, bedding, and housekeeping equipment. The furnished apartments have a standard minimum contract of one year.
Be sure to verify to ensure that everything is there and in good working order if you plan to rent a furnished apartment.
Various forms of leases Available in France
The following are some French forms of rentals:
Batside: These kinds of rentals are typically old in France, but you might find some new properties. They are detached buildings of square stone with flat, tiled roofs. Generally, these types of homes are found in the countryside and Provence.
Château: A palace or a castle, but not exactly like those in fairytales. Actually, some of these properties are very small in fact. Be mindful of the costs of repair and renovation that will come if you want to rent this type of housing.
Domaine: A house (estate) with lots of land in France, such as vineyards.
Fermette/Ferme: In the country, a farmhouse. The quantity of land will differ greatly.
Hôtel Particulier: Do not fool yourself with the word. This is not really a hotel in France, but a townhouse.
Longère: This is a long, rectangular property that can range from a barn to a one-story home.
Mas: This is a rural property that is most common in Provence and is located in France.
Maison à colombages: A half-timber house.