So you’ve decided to take the leap and look for a nest in France? You’re about to embark on one heck of an adventure! We’ve put together this special insider guide to help you decipher the many ads you’ll see during your search. Whether you’re looking to purchase or to rent, the list below will help you feel confident whilst improving your French vocabulary!
First Stop – Abbreviation Stations!
It’s well known that the French LOVE abbreviations and acronyms, and one place you’re sure to find plenty of them is real estate ads. We’ve listed many of the common ones below so that you can become a real estate abbreviation whizz and hopefully reduce your search time!
AL : à louer = to let as opposed to AV à vendre = to buy.
Appt : appartement – flat/apartment.
Arb : arboré = wooded/with trees – nice to have trees in your garden or neighborhood !
Asc : ascenseur = lift/elevator – good news when the proposed flat is on the 6th floor!
Av : avec = with. You will also sometimes see “cpt.” comprenant = including.
Anc : ancien = old building – the property may hide some important renovations to be done.
Balc : balcon = balcony
BEG : bon état général = good general condition – the essentials are there, but some refurbishment – or even renovation – may still be needed.
CC : charges comprises = including charges or commission comprise = including commission.
Cg or Chauff : chauffage = heating
Chcg : chauffage central au gaz = gas central heating, may be individual or collective.
Cuis éq : cuisine équipée = fitted kitchen
CV : centre-ville = town center
DG : dépôt de garantie = deposit (for a rental)
DPE : diagnostic de performance énergétique = energy performance diagnostic – this is now mandatory for all sales and rentals and must be shown on the listings
Disp : disponible = available
Et (ou etg) : étage = floor (as in 3e/3rd or ⅚, meaning 5e/5th of 6 floors total)
Éq : équipé(e) = equipped/fitted – most often referring to a kitchen.
F2/3/4 : = the number of rooms in the property. Bathrooms, toilets and kitchens are never counted (F2 means a one bedroom)
FAI : frais d’agence inclus = agency fees included in the advertised price.
Fn : frais de notaire = notary fees to be added to the sale price.
HC : hors charges = excluding charges -indicated on the rent or sale price.
Jard : jardin = garden
Nég : négociable = negotiable price.
Ouv : ouverte = open – often referring to the kitchen.
Pk (ou pkg) : parking = proximity – often used to indicate the property is close to shops or public transport.
Rdc : rez-de-chaussée = ground floor.
Rgt : rangement = storage
Sdb (ou sb) : salle de bains = bathroom, with an actual bath.
Sdd : salle de douche = shower room
Sh : surface habitable = living space in m2
Terr (ou tess) : terrasse = patio or terrain (for the first abbreviation) = land
US : refers to an american style kitchen or open plan
Vue impr : vue imprenable = stunning view.
Insider tips: decoding some common expressions
Now that you’ve decoded some of the alphabet soup, we can move onto expressions. To attract potential buyers or renters, some advertisers won’t hesitate to embellish reality, so watch for these convoluted real estate expressions…
|un quartier animé
|An animated neighborhood
|A potentially noisy area
|To be refreshed
|A property that requires major work
|un quartier en pleine évolution
|An evolving neighborhood
|Could be a positive or negative development (think shopping center vs new park)
|un appartement avec du potentiel
|A flat with potential
|This hides major work to be carried out
|un appartement « idéal pour un jeune couple »
|A flat that is “ideal for a young couple”
|Generally has just one bedroom and is located on a high floor, often without a lift.
|un quartier très recherché
|A highly sought-after neighborhood
|Synonymous with a very high price
|Ideal for students
|A small apartment with a very small surface area
|un logement atypique
|The layout of the property is unusual and can be awkward
|un appartement charmant
|A charming flat
|A small flat
We hope that you find this insider vocabulary guide helpful! Do you have any other real estate vocabulary to add to this list? Please let us know in the comments section below. Be sure to come back soon and check out our next blog articles about how to navigate the French real estate world. Until then, à bientôt!
Like many things in France, finding a rental can take longer than you anticipate, and patience is key! However, there are always exceptions and ‘word of mouth’ is a great way of finding your French dream home, especially in a buzzing international community like Montpellier!
Harriet is a British born, French raised, European who loves resolving problems and knowing when she's helped out. Her energy and positivity are a great fit with the rest of the Renestance Team and a treat for customers!
All articles by: Harriet Amazon-Brown