I have estimated my budget and know approximately how much I can put down for my acquisition in France, so I start my search.

How can I look for my property?

Private individuals, real estate agencies, classified ads, notaries' offices, auctions, etc. – I have many options to find my future property in France.

I speak directly to a private individual

I do not call on a real estate agency, so as to avoid agency fees and work with the owner directly for easier price negotiations. For a non-resident, this option is clearly not the best as there may be communication issues with theowner.

I consult a real estate agency

A real estate agency is an intermediary between potential buyers/tenants and those looking to sell or rent a property. Agencies can seek out the best property on my behalf. They can handle simple searches and negotiate sales. They can also mediate between owners and tenants.

I consult a notary

Notaries can guide my research, but they must first be my councilor / negotiator. The notary will help me better choose my accommodation and negotiate the price.

I look in the classified ads

There are hundreds of classified ad websites and magazines with a wide offering of accommodations in France. Unfortunately, online data is generally insufficient. It is best to compare current offers on specialized sites to know more about the properties on sale.

I should not rely solely on information available online and on the ground; besides the accommodation, neighborhood and environment, I must also ask to see official documents and do research at city hall myself, if possible.

When I have found my property

As I do not live in France, I probably could not visit all properties that could satisfy my expectations. However, once I have short-listed several properties, it is best to visit them several times if possible.

  • Room size and surface area in accordance with the Carrez act. The law provides for measurement of all types of accommodations to be sold thatare in co-ownership with a minimum surface of 8 m² (the minimum size for an inhabitable room). It concerns "floor area of closed and covered areas." Floor area occupied by walls, ducts, windows, stepsand partitions is not taken into consideration, nor is floor area with a ceiling below 180 cm. Note that the owner is responsible for paying for the Carrez act analysis;
  • Room layout;
  • Exposure (due south or southwest is often clear and hot while north is darker and more difficult to heat);
  • Window openings;
  • Bathroom and kitchen ventilation (presence, sound level, etc.);
  • Storage;
  • Parking lot and/or basement, etc.


I verify the condition of the property

  • Wall and roof insulation;
  • Current technical diagnostics;
  • Walls and ceilings (paint, pest and insect control treatments, asbestos, lead, etc.);
  • Opening and closing of doors and windows (operational or stuck);
  • Verify that electric installations meet standards; Verify that the electrical system is grounded;
  • Type of heating (individual, central, collective);
  • Condition of heating units;
  • Sanitary installations;
  • Energy used (fuel, gas, electricity, urban heating network, wood, solar);
  • Age of the property and building materials;
  • Water distribution.

I inquire about the location and the environment

  • Sought-after neighborhood;
  • Quiet location, surrounded by greenery, public gardens, no noisy thoroughfares, etc.; Transportation, schools and distances to shops and services;
  • Proximity to possible sources of pollution, etc.

What to look for in an older home

Building condition

  • Structure, beams and rafters, etc.;
  • Gutter maintenance;
  • Main sewer connections, etc.

Zoning and urban planning certificates

If I wish to carry out renovation work on my new accommodation such as extensions or additions, I first read the POS (Plan d'Occupation des Sols, the zoning map) or the PLU (Plan Local d'Urbanisme, the local urban plan). These documents are available at the city hall of the municipality where the property is located. They illustrate the building grounds. I can also consult the urban planning certificate, which indicates zoning ordinances and specifies any local urban planning and administrative restrictions.

Existence of a right of way

I ask the owner if there is a right of way on my property or that of my neighbor. A right of way is the agreement with my neighbor (an agreement written in the property contract) allowing me to cross his property to reach mine if I have no other possibility of access (and vice versa).

What to look for in an older apartment

Condition of common areas

  • Walls and ceilings (paint, pest and insect control treatments, asbestos, lead, etc.);
  • Elevator (in order, last upgrade, etc.).

Condominium fees

I check for potential condominium charges and planned renovation work (restoration, roof and stairwell repair, installation of an elevator, etc.), which are listed in the minutes of the general meeting.

Advantage If possible, I always visit the property at different times and days, and bring friends to get their opinions. I should not hesitate to ask neighbors about the neighborhood, facilities, etc.

I conduct an additional financial review of the purchase

If I fall in love with a property that requires additional fees or work, I check my budget and recalculate the loan amount for my real estate project. I consult the Chamber of Notaries' website to estimate notary costs.

I found my property and understand the potential additional expenses. I now know how much I'll need for my real estate project. I can therefore contact Meilleurtaux online to verify the loan amount needed for my acquisition, my personal investment and any inherent set-up fees. From there, Meilleurtaux guides me through all phases of my project.

You are committed to reimburse your mortgage Loan. Verify your ability to reimburse before committing.