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Words, terms used by French real estate agents, immobiliers, builders, Notaires.

Words and phrases used by French real estate agents, immobiliers, and builders.

abri small outbuilding, often a garden shed or shelter
acajou mahogany
acceuil reception, welcome
acompte deposit
Acte Authentique Deed of Sale
affaire bargain
agence immobilière real estate agent
agglomere chipboard, particle board
aménagé converted
ardoise slate tile
atelier workshop
attenant contiguous, attached
attestation d'acquisition a written certificate from the notaire that the property purchase has been completed
bail lease
batiment building
bergerie sheep barn
bon de visite a form you sign before viewing a house with a French immobilier.  You are agreeing that you will not approach the owner directly if you want to make an offer on the house. Agents will tell you that you are agreeing to make the offer though the agent who introduced you to the house but this is not the case.
cadastre local town planning register
carreleur tiler
carte de séjour resident's permit, obtained from the Préfecture of the department
carte grise vehicle registration document
cellier pantry or store
certificat d'urbanisme zoning certificate - land use certificate
CU zoning certificate - land use certificate - same as certificat d'urbanisme
chambre bedroom
chauffage heating
clause suspensive a clause which is used in the Compromis de Vente detailing a condition to be met before the deed of sale can be signed
combles attic
Compromis de Vente initial document in the sale process which legally commits the two parties
concubinage status of living together but not being married
constructible land which can be built on based on local zoning
cuisine kitchen
EDF/GDF utilities - Electricité de France/ Gaz de France
en tontine inheritance arrangement whereby the surviving spouse takes full ownership of joint assets
expert comptable chartered accountant, CPA
expert foncier professional to check on the state and value of the property (usually an architect)
FNAIM - Federation Nationale des Agents Immobilier national association of estate agents, provides a compensation fund for defaulting agents
fosse septique septic tank
frais de notaire total amount of money paid to the notaire on top of the sale price (includes, notaire fee, registration duty, land registration duty and other charges)
grange barn
grenier attic
immobilier property or real estate
lu et approuvé phrases written accompanying signature of contract "read and approved"
maçon builder
mairie town hall
meubles furniture
notaire Notary, independent legal 'referee'
permis de construire planning permission
permis de construire building permit
plan cadastral the village plan; each house has a plot number which will comprise a number, a section e.g. A, and a 'lieudit' ('the place known as')
plomberie plumbing
Préfecture the administrative HQ of the department, found in the main town
prêt immobilier mortgage
remise barn
salle de bains bathroom
salle d'eau shower room
salon dining room
SAM (salle a manger) dining room
séjour living room, lounge, sitting room
Société Civile Immobilière (SCI) a company which can be set up exclusively to purchase property. Often used when several families are purchasing jointly.
surface habitable habitable space, usually does not include bathrooms and garage - expressed in square metres (M2)
T - Type (T3, T4) classification of property type and size. The number is usually the number of main rooms, so a T3 will invariably have 2 bedrooms and a living room
taxe d'habitation a local tax, partly means-tested, payable only from the December of the year in which you were the owner on the 1st January. e.g. close (complete) on July 2002, pay only in December 2003 for the year 2003.
taxe foncière a government tax on property, payable pro-rata from date of completion (closing date) to the end of December
toiture roof
tout à l'égout on a sewer system - mains drainage
TVA (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée) Value added tax - VAT