The 8 Best Tips for Buying A Paris Apartment

Ready to start searching for your Paris dream home? Begin here with our collection of expert tips that highlight the concerns and smart moves required to navigate the Paris real estate market.

Please read more about our tips here, including:

The 8 Best Tips for Buying A Paris Apartment

Paris is a city to love; it literally grabs you and never lets you go. Many of us want to live in Paris and be Parisian, at least part of each year. Our dozens of owners can tell you that it was the best decision ever. We have assisted over 100 buyers to find their perfect apartment in Paris. We’re very proud to say they have all been delighted with their purchase, including the remodeling we carried out for them. In fact, each owner has realized an excellent capital gain on their investment.

Our team would be happy to help you find your ideal property. If you’ve decided to look for an apartment in Paris, here are some of our favorite tips that will benefit your property search.


TIP 1: Full Purchase or Shared?

Having assisted dozens of buyers to find their dream apartment in Paris, we set up our expert search services with trusted colleagues.

A successful new trend has emerged in luxury resorts and cities throughout the world – purchasing a fraction of a property for the time you will spend there, rather than a full second/third home.

We began our Paris Perfect Shared division knowing we had the essential skills to locate, remodel and manage the absolute best properties in Paris and Europe. These skills have been developed over two decades of experience.

Fractional ownership allows each buyer to purchase deeded ownership in hands-down the most beautiful apartments in Paris, for one month per year, at a fraction of the price of full ownership. Owners live their dream of living part time in Paris at a very reasonable cost. 

The idea took off, and we have developed and manage four fractional properties of varying sizes, with more to come.

This option could be your best bet. Thus, we invite you to learn more about fractional ownership here.

Tip 2: Where to Buy in Paris: Find Your Favorite Neighborhood

Start your search by exploring many neighborhoods in Paris to find the right balance between the areas you love, your needs and the security of your investment. Paris is made up of little villages in its snail-like structure. Each arrondissement has special features, attractions boutiques, bistros and markets. We know that you’ll find many which you can call home. Our advice is to explore, talk to others and walk, walk and walk. What could be more pleasurable in this beautiful city? Take walks in the evening and during the day to see how the character changes.

Some buyers choose trusted locations that hold their value, century in and out. Others want to push into emerging arrondissements that are up-and-coming. Our core advice is to think defensively. Meaning, in a weak market, will the location you’ve chosen still be highly sought after if the market turns south? As in any city, the best neighborhoods tend to hold their values even in bad markets. Click here for our tips about finding the right neighborhood for you. It’s all about location, location, location!


Tip 3: Find That Perfect Apartment; Don't Settle For Less

For serious Paris apartment shoppers, we provide food for thought as you start the process of searching for and selecting your ideal Paris apartment. Click here to read our advice on clarifying exactly what you’re looking for, how to use real estate agents effectively, tips about changing your mind, deciding quickly, transaction fees, remodeling costs and more.  You’ll find that a continuing theme of ours is to be prepared.  Know exactly what you want – what kind of building, preferred floor, old or new, street or courtyard view, elevator, even the specific street… and don’t settle for less. It may take months or years, but it will be worth it.  Read our advice here.

Tip 4: Real Estate Agents: Tell The Agent You'll Pay The Market Price

One of the most important tips we’ve learned when contacting a real estate agency is to say we’re prepared to pay the market price. Yes, they may overprice a property, and yes, we’ll negotiate hard if it’s overpriced.  But they won’t even notify you of the listing if you’ve already set a budget at the low end of the market in a specific arrondissement. Get in to view the property first, and then decide what you want to pay.

Importantly, if the apartment is ideal for you, and especially if it possesses irreplaceable features such as a balcony, lovely view and elevator, then grab it even if it’s a little more than you planned.  Read on here.

Tip 5: Remodeling Costs Are The Same, Whatever The Location

Remember that it will cost the same to remodel your apartment, whether it has an elevator or is six floors up via the stairs! Costing around € 3,000/m2, you don’t want to save money on the location or apartment only to spend a fortune to remodel it. Read more here.

Tip 6: The Most Important Rule of All - If You're Not 100% Certain, Sleep On It!

If you think you‘ve found a terrific apartment, but have some niggling doubts, use discipline to say thank you and leave. Have dinner and sleep on it before making a decision the following morning. This is hard! I know! Click here to read more.

Tip 7: There Is No MLS Or Multiple Listing Service in France: The Value Of A Search Agent

There are over 3,600 agencies in Paris and NO Multiple Listing Service. In short, you will be overwhelmed by the listings when you search online or contact individual real estate agencies.  Remember, without an MLS, each real estate agent has a very limited selection to offer you and their goal is to sell only what they have for offer. As anywhere, the best listings sell fast, so agents will sell what they have left. You’ll receive very limited information about the apartments. An agent is going to tell you it’s been on the market for a year, because it’s overpriced/overlooks an ugly courtyard, is dark or other negatives.  

For that reason, our advice is to consider engaging a property search agent, one who knows Paris real estate, who has worked with multiple agencies and agents and who works only for the buyer.  But first, check out real estate classifieds yourself, visit as many agencies as possible when you’re in Paris, so you begin to understand the complexities. That experience will help you refine your search, judge more quickly and you may even get lucky and find your perfect home! Read on here.

Email us for more information about our services:  [email protected]

Tip 8: How Does The Purchase Process Work

Whether it’s a thorough notaire, a good search agent or expert tax and legal advice, take the time to find the best advisors for your needs. Interview and speak with experts until you find ones you’re comfortable with. France has unique rules for purchasing property that are important to keep in mind when thinking about buying property in Paris. The important news is the process is clearly defined and the buyer is protected by rules set in place since Napoleon.

Read more about The Purchase Process

Please read more about our tips here, including:

Tip 1: Full or Shared Ownership in Paris
Tip 2: Finding the Perfect Location to Buy in Paris
Tip 3: Finding the Right Apartment -- Don’t Settle for Less
Tip 4: Getting the Best Results from Paris Real Estate Agents
Tip 5: Remodelling Costs in Paris
Tip 6: If You’re Not 100% Certain...
Tip 7: No MLS in France: The Value of a Good Search Agent
Tip 8: How does the Purchase Process Work in France in Simple English

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