Want To Own An Apartment in Paris? You are Not Alone.

Is Paris Property Ownership Right for You?

WE KNOW THE FEELING WELL... A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT OUR FIRST PURCHASE.

Have You Been Bitten by the Paris Bug?

Have You Dreamed of Cooking Fresh Country Produce in Your Own Paris Kitchen?

Are You a Closet Francophile?

Before founding Cobblestone Paris, Jennifer and I came to Paris as tourists and like so many others, the desire to return again and again never left us. It wasn't too long before we listened to our hearts and bought our first apartment.

It wasn't anything grandiose, it was just a little studio that unexpectedly became the cornerstone of Cobblestone Paris Rentals.

When we first purchased STUDIO LA FONTAINE we had no idea what it would mean to our personal and professional lives.

Once this apartment was placed on the short term rental market, EVERYTHING changed for us.

In the first few years of our ownership, friends, associates, and guests like you added their properties to our portfolio and Cobblestone Paris Rentals was born. Now we live and work in the city that we love and the Cobblestone company is both a full time job and a passion for the both of us.

MAKING DREAMS A REALITY. We Can Help.

If you have ever harbored the dream of becoming the owner of a little piece of Paris, we would like to be there to help you make it happen. Many people don't personally know anyone who has taken the Paris property plunge. We didn't know anyone either, so we know how it feels to have the desire but no one to ask for advice. But now that we have done it ourselves, we can tell you that the process isn't as scary as it might seem and it can be rewarding in many senses of the word.

Emotionally, you will have the feeling of having taken a step that few people are bold enough to take in their lives. You will know that you are someone who is not afraid to follow your dreams and make your wishes come true. You will walk the streets of Paris and see it in a new light. You will have the pleasure and pride of having done something important that will bring you satisfaction for years to come.

. Financially, you can brag to your friends that your daring move into the unknown was not just a crazy dream but also a wise business decision. If you choose your apartment wisely, finance it correctly, and decorate it attractively, you can produce thousands of euros each month in profit. This cash can produce a regular stream of retirement money, or just spending cash for your next European holiday or your next real estate venture. The monthly income will give you short term rewards and the property appreciation will create long term value.

You have probably visited Paris several times and you are starting to feel that you would like to be more than a tourist. Staying in hotels and renting apartments can't help you achieve a deeper sense of belonging and you will always be seeing Paris from the outside. To truly immerse yourself in the magic of this city and to become a part of it, you should explore this option fully and decide if it is right for you.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Cobblestone help me find and purchase an apartment?

Certainly. We will give you the opportunity to tell us exactly what you want and we will provide our suggestions for the type of property that will be most successful as a vacation rental. Then we will contact all of the agencies that we know, and create a list of apartments for you to visit. These will be pre-selected from hundreds of listings, saving you an enormous amount of time and allowing you to benefit from our years of experience. Knowing what we know about the business, we can pick out information from the usually sparse listings that will make an apartment a potential success or immediate elimination. Then we will schedule for you to go visit them, and discuss the options with you once you have returned home at the end of a day of visits. We can also help you with the procedural elements like meetings with notaires (french real estate lawyers), opening bank accounts or getting a mortgage, and understanding the various signatures involved in the purchase process.

What Kind Of Occupancy Levels Can I Expect To Achieve?

Paris is at the top of global tourism year after year. The demand for accommodation far exceeds the available rooms and demand is always high. A well decorated, well located, and well managed apartment can reasonably be occupied 75 % of the year or more. Only the best agencies and apartments can achieve this level of consistent success. This is why it is so important to choose the right agency for your apartment and to renovate it to the standards that Cobblestone has established as mandatory for rental success. To read a little more about why Cobblestone is a special agency, please CLICK HERE.

COUNTING YOUR EUROS: Are most Paris apartment owners just breaking-even, or are they making profits?

Like any purchase, the amount that you keep each month after expenses, is directly proportional to the amount that you put down at the time of purchase. Further, rental income varies depending on the size and location of the apartment. We recommend putting down as much as possible in order to lower your monthly expenses and increase your positive cash flow. Even if this means downsizing from a one bedroom to a studio apartment, this is not as much as of a negative as it might first appear.

MYTH-BUSTING: Do you need to be rich to buy an apartment in Paris?

Not really. Like any investment, using other people's money is the secret to creating wealth. Though buying with no money down is not usually possible in France, if you have a down payment, the majority of your purchase money can be OPM. You can find a well-located studio apartment of 20m2 from 220,000 Euros. Compared to other large cities such as New York and London, Paris is still within reach.

Can a foreigner get a french mortgage?

Absolutely. The french banking system has realized that foreign owners are reliable borrowers and there is little risk for them to provide loans for foreigners. Cobblestone can assist you to choose the right lender that will be easy to deal with and receptive to your needs as a foreign investor.

The documents required for an application are similar to those anywhere else. Identification papers and residence address, proof of income, proof of adequate savings for a down payment, and tax returns are common requirements. You do not have to be a French resident to purchase a home in France. Interest rates are very attractive and down payments are flexible. 20% is considered the norm, however each mortgage provider will have different requirements.

CHOOSING YOUR PARIS APARTMENT: Size, Location, and Price. Some Cobblestone Tips.

It is difficult to say exactly how much an apartment will cost because of the many variables at play. There is no typical example that we can provide, as there are no "typical" apartments. There are different types of apartments, many locations, an array of sizes, fluctuations in real estate prices, a wide disparity in renovation needs, and of course, personal preference.

However, our opinion on the best recipe for success is :

  • 1. A mid-sized (25-50 square meters) one bedroom apartment in a charming neighborhood such as The Marais, Montorgueil, Latin Quarter, Bastille, or Isle St Louis. (Arrondissements: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th,11th)
  • 2. If no elevator is present, the Floor level must be no higher than the 2nd French floor (2 Flights of Stairs).
  • 3. If no elevator is present, and the apartment is above the 2nd Floor, it has to be especially wonderful to merit the climb.
  • 4. At least one Charming Parisian element must be present, for example: wooden beams, nice view, balcony, exposed stone walls, parquet floors, molding, etc.
  • 5. A high quality professional renovation, with a French theme to furnishings and decor, as shown in the Cobblestone Paris Rentals property portfolio.

Price will be a major factor in any decision, and one can reasonably expect to spend between 10,000-12,000 EUR per square meter for something in the areas mentioned here.

If cost is prohibitive to considering a one bedroom apartment, a studio apartment of 20-30 Square Meters, with all the above mentioned qualities is also an excellent investment and performs very well on the short term market, renting from 110-200 Euros per night based on location, amenities, furnishings etc.

For them or for Me? How to Blend your needs with those of the paying client.

Every potential investor will have their own vision for their perfect Paris apartment. If you realistically expect to live in the property one day, this would certainly change the direction of the search from one that seeks a property that is primarily for investment. The short term rental client will not need as much size as a long term occupant and location will play a much more important role than extra living space.

As owners ourselves, we choose to focus on the long term investment potential of an apartment instead of its suitability to our own preferences today. Though you might want to spend long periods of time in Paris in the long-term, buying an apartment that leans too far in this direction could hurt your rental income potential in the short term. The best path is one that is somewhere in between the desires of the renter and your own personal preferences. This will guarantee a steady source of income in the present while giving you the liberty to adapt your plans in the future. This will help you avoid being locked into a property that might have a limited return because you placed too much importance on your personal tastes and not enough on the desires of the paying customer.

Therefore, it is very important to make size, location, decoration, and layout decisions based on the desires of the tourist-guest because they will be paying your mortgage. If you make your purchase and decorative choices based too much on your own needs, do not be surprised if the apartment under-performs as a tourist rental. After all, you did not design it for them, and they will not pay as much or book it as often as one that appears perfect for their needs. To assist you in keeping this in mind, I will constantly remind you of this as we proceed in your purchase process.

DOING IT ALONE: Is It Possible to Purchase Without Professional Help?

Of Course, Anything is possible. BUT without professional advice it can be more expensive, more time consuming, and perhaps end with the purchase of an apartment that is not perfectly suited to short term rental. You could find yourself with an apartment that is not maximizing your investment potential. You could even choose one that is destined for failure, and then there will be nothing that any agency can do to help you. No amount of renovation or decoration can save an apartment that is poorly chosen from the outset.

Sadly, this has happened. More than one buyer has purchased without our direct guidance and contrary to our advice. The unfortunate result was an enormous waste of time and money for an apartment that has little or no potential to be a productive investment. Some of these owners then asked me to help, and there was nothing that could be done for them.

Because we will eventually be offering your apartment as a Cobblestone Rental, we will help you choose an apartment that we are CERTAIN WILL SUCCEED. When you succeed, we succeed, that is why you can trust Cobblestone to advise you in the best direction.

Trusting a real estate agent to suggest properties is not the best idea, because their priority is to earn the one-time commission for selling an apartment to you. They are neither short term rental professionals nor partners in an investment project. Their advice should be heard, but given the appropriate amount of weight. You are best guided by a team that wants you to succeed in the long term.

MAKING IT HAPPEN: What is it like to search for and buy an apartment in Paris?

Because of the distance, language, and different purchase procedures, becoming a part-time Parisian can be a challenging but also a truly rewarding experience.

Many are surprised that a Multiple Listing Service [MLS] simply does not exist in France. As a result, finding a property can be a daunting task, particularly if there are language problems or large distances involved. Amazingly, there are 3000-4000 real estate agencies in Paris alone and the time required to visit the dozens in your area of interest can be very time consuming and impractical for long distance buyers.

Trying to do this from outside of France can make the process even more challenging. Most people don't have the time or the resources to research and view so many properties or to easily attend the various meetings that are necessary during the buying process.

If you wait until you arrive in Paris to begin, you may waste several days before you see even one apartment with the potential for success. The secret is to let Cobblestone create a visit list and schedule BEFORE you arrive so that you can immediately begin to visit apartments that have been pre-screened by Cobblestone for having the greatest likelihood of being a winning property.

COBBLESTONE PARIS PROPERTIES: A Trusted Friend to Help You Succeed.

To have a trusted friend on your side will make the entire process easier, and more fun !

Cobblestone Paris Properties [CPP] is here to help you by taking on many of the more arduous elements of the process and sharing our expertise with you as a friend would share advice. By pre-screening hundreds of properties, our property search service will help you find the apartment that you are seeking with minimal effort as Cobblestone will do most of the footwork in advance. We will narrow down the choices to a few excellent options and schedule for you to see them.

Once you have visited the best apartments and made your selection, we can provide valuable guidance and assistance during all the necessary steps. We're ready to assist you with each aspect of the purchase: searching for the ideal property, arranging visits, making the offer, the signing of contracts and legal reviews, getting a mortgage, setting up utilities, organizing the renovation, and managing the rental of your property as a short term holiday investment.

When you are ready to take the first steps, we will send a you a QUESTIONNAIRE that will allow you to begin focusing your ideas into something that will guide us in our property search. We will schedule a phone call to discuss your questionnaire and together we will formulate a plan to make it a reality. Then, you can tell us when you will be in Paris and we will begin searching a few weeks in advance of your arrival. Your schedule will be ready when you arrive, and you can start visiting right away.

Properties sell VERY fast in Paris, and we can begin the search only once you have confirmed your travel plans. Armed with a list of your specific criteria, we will contact our network of Paris agents, visit various agencies, and identify viable properties. During your stay we will make a schedule for you to meet agents and to visit those apartments that we feel will best meet your needs.

You will need to take your camera with you to the visits. Because the pictures that agents send me by email are very poor, I will need you to take your own pictures during your visit to help me create a full evaluation. If you really like an apartment, I will ask you to send them to me at the end of the day. I will review them with you and advise you if this is the apartment to buy. We can discuss the positive elements, the negative elements, the unknowns, the renovation needs, and whether a second visit or a purchase offer is warranted.

TAKING THE FIRST STEP: Let Us Make You a Real Parisian.

If you are interested in learning more, Cobblestone Paris Properties and Cobblestone Paris Rentals will be an enthusiastic partner in this exciting and important adventure.

When you are ready to take your first steps in exploring this great investment opportunity, please write to us at:

EMAIL: properties@cobblestoneparis.com

or

Send a message using our CONTACT FORM.

We remain attentive to your needs and we look forward to answering any question that you may have.

Merci

Cobblestone Paris Properties & Cobblestone Paris Rentals