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15 things to find out about a Paris apartment when property-hunting
Buying a luxury apartment is a major investment. So you want to be sure you have all the information about it at your fingertips before you visit – and certainly before you buy.
French real estate dossiers often give only a minimum of information about a property, which foreign buyers may find surprising. Property reports for luxury properties in other markets are usually more detailed. And, in the French market, very little staging takes place to present a property in its best light.
Here’s some of the information you might want to find out.
Before you visit:
- When the building was constructed and what style it is in. This should tell you how the property looks. For example, 19th-century Haussmannian buildings have spacious apartments with ornate moldings, herringbone parquet floors, marble fireplaces, double doors, and floor-length windows.
- Which floor the apartment is on and if there is an elevator.
- What structural and decorative condition the apartment is in. If it is in an old building, how long ago was it restored and what major renovations have taken place?
- If it has a balcony or an outside space. Balconies are not uncommon but outside spaces are at a premium in Paris.
- Whether a parking or garage space (extremely rare in period buildings) and separate storage space in the building are included.
- If the building has a caretaker.
- How close the local amenities are – transportation, shops, markets, leisure facilities, parks, etc. – to the property.
- Are appliances and furniture available for purchase separately? Are the appliances of recent date?
When you visit the property, take plenty of time to look around and don’t let anyone rush you. In particular, look at:
- The architectural features, construction style and materials. Are they original and have they been restored in keeping with the style of the building?
- The layout of the apartment. Does it fit the way you want to live? Has it been carefully planned to make the most of the living space?
- The condition of the rooms. Have they been decorated recently? Are they clean and well kept?
- The plumbing and electrical installations. Are they modern, unobtrusive and fitted with convenience in mind?
- What security measures do both the building and the apartment have in place.
- The condition and cleanliness of the common areas of the building.
- The level of neighbor and street noise.