Real Estate in France
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in France? How do you find a home in France? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?
How do I find a place to live in France?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"I had an inside contact, so it was somewhat easy. If you aren't so lucky, I recommend a couple of websites: www.seloger.net and www.seloger.com and www.logic-immo.com. Local classified sections can be helpful, too. Var Matin and Nice Matin newspapers, etc," added another expat who made the move to Saint Raphael.
"Our first place was determined because it was close to my work in Geneva, Switzerland but on the French side of the border. Colleagues at work told us it was less expensive to live in France. When I retired we moved to the Orleans area to be close to Paris without living in Paris (too much traffic, noise, polution typical of any big city in the world). We found this house to rent on a French real estate website which was large (for France), in a quiet neighborhood and close to shopping and other services. The added benefit is that our neighbors are all very, very nice and welcoming," explained one foreigner living in Orleans, France.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in France?
"Three storey town house with no garden - enables us to travel by car around Europe with no home-worries," said another person in Eymet.
"I live in an apartment that I share with someone else. Most of the few expats I know in my town also rent appartments, as buying is very expensive in this coastal town," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Saint Raphael.
What is the average cost of housing in France?
If you are thinking about moving to France, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Housing costs are lower here than in my home country, but high for France. For a studio, expect to pay about 400 euros, for a one to two bedroom, about 500-700 euros a month," said another person in Saint Raphael.
"I know this house would rent for twice the 1000 Euros we pay monthly in the area we lived in Florida. I know because I had to arrange housing for our foreign executives and houses this size rented for $2,500 a month. I would say that Orleans is far less expensive that Paris but if you live in the country, you will naturally pay less. However, you won't have the conveniences we have," added another expat who made the move to Orleans.
Should I buy or rent a home in France?
If you have not spent a lot of time in France, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:
"I rent, this has been very easy. I avoid buying because I know I plant to move again in a few years and experience a new place," said another person in Marseille.
"We had bought our home in 2004 and spent all our holidays (winter and Summer) at the house making a few changes and keeping the garden in check. Like any purchase in a foreign country there are different rules and regulations so it is as well to ensure you have a reliable agent and notaire to guide the process. If French is not your first language, or you are not fluent,or your notaire is not bi-lingual, then it is a requirement to have an authorised translator at the signings," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Aude and Herault Departments.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
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