+33 411 932 599

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
à rafraîchir 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
idéal étudiant Ideal for students A small apartment with a very small surface area
un logement atypique Atypical accommodation 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!

Still searching?

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!

If you need help with a Rental Search, please contact us! Renestance has a network of contacts in real estate and we can be your ‘feet on the street’ in Occitanie!

Harriet Amazon-Brown

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

Pin It on Pinterest