Vingt Paris’ 10 Top Tips For Buying Property In Paris
Before your search:
- Take a long-term view based on your personal circumstances, the financing required, how much personal use to reserve and how much rental time to allow (if any) and whether you plan to pass the property on to your children.
- Assess your financing options before visiting your first property. It is possible to take a mortgage of up to 75% to 80% loan-to-value – a good way to off-set any Wealth Tax (ISF) that could be due.
- Determine the upper and lower range for the size of property you are looking for, the price and the must-have elements. The more information you can give to your estate agent, the more focused your search will be.
- Long-term rental yields vary depending on the area but you can obtain a 5% to 6% return. In Paris, short-term (vacation) rentals are restricted by Paris City Hall. If you are planning to rent the apartment, pick a reputable management company based in Paris and regulated by French law who can handle the specific areas you might need such as rent collection or on-call support for tenants.
During your search:
- Explore the areas of Paris that appeal to you. Visit the Mairie (local town Hall for each of Paris’ 20 arrondissements). Spend time looking around if you can, both on a busy work day and on a Sunday. Check out the best restaurants and local markets (and if they are week-day or weekend, based on when you can visit).
- Hold out for a view of a garden, monument or even better, a landmark. It will help the rental and re-sale appeal of the property.
- Go for light every time; Paris is a famously grey city. Narrow streets, especially in areas like the Latin Quarter and the Marais can be darker than you think. Visit the apartment in the daytime!
- Don’t obsess about square meters. Go for a good floor plan. A well laid out 80m2 can be more practical than 100m2 apartment with a useless long corridor. Why pay for square footage that you can’t use.
- Forget about parking, unless you want to live in a modern high-rise (you don’t, they are badly constructed and would have less appeal to the top end of the market for rental or re-sale).
- Check out all the background (more on this below). Re-visit the property in the evening and try and politely collar a neighbour on the way in or out of the building – most will be delighted to give you the inside scoop! Check on the rate of the Annual Tax Fonciere and quarterly building charges. Make sure to research the Co-ownership of the building: any works and spending planned?
- Fall in love with Paris but not with the unbelievable bargain. If it sounds too good to be true, Caveat emptor.
- Brace yourself – most property will need renovation – get a recommendation for a contractor and hire a project manager even if you can come back and check progress.
Paris prices remained stable. The Chambre des Notaires de Paris reported a new record reached in October 2012 placing the average property price at €8,440 euros (euros EUR) per square meter (approximately €780 euros per square foot) equivalent to an increase of 37.1% over the past five years while the average for the greater Paris/Île-de-France area was stated at €5,590 per square meter (approximately €520 euros per square foot) equivalent to an increase of 23.7% over the past five years.