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Ballpark Figures For Owning An Apartment In Paris

Always on the lookout for practical information for our readers, I asked
three friends who own apartments in Paris for details about the expenses
of owning their apartments. One owns a studio, the second a one-bedroom
and the third, a two-bedroom. Based on their experiences, I can give you
an idea of the yearly and monthly costs of ownership you can expect.

Yearly taxes consist of the "taxe d’habitation" (Paris city tax paid by
all occupants of apartments) and the "taxe foncière" (real estate tax).
For both smaller apartments the taxe d’habitation is about 200 euro. The
larger two-bedroom apartment paid about 300 euro. The formula used to
come up with this is quite complex and will vary depending on whether the
apartment is your primary or secondary residence–a secondary residence
has a higher rate–where it is located, and a number of other factors.

The taxe foncière is based on the value of the apartment. It takes into
account the age of the building, the area of the city, the size, and
other factors. The studio, in an older building in the Marais (3rd), and
approximately 20 square meters, was assessed at 170 euro last year. The
taxe foncière was 200 euro for the 50-square-meter one-bedroom apartment
in an older building in the 5th arrondissement, and the 70-meter
apartment (also in the Marais) 300 euro. (Please see a more technical
explanation of the taxes following this article)

There are many variables that go into the monthly mortgage you will have
for an apartment. My friends bought their apartments a few years ago,
when prices were less than they are now. Two of them bought apartments in
dire need of total renovation, and were able to get good deals because of
this. Financing 80% of the purchase price, the mortgage on the studio is
800 euro per month (20 year loan); that of the one-bedroom is 850 euro;
and the two-bedroom is 1,150 euro per month. In today’s real estate
market you can expect your mortgage will be higher.

Apartment buildings in Paris are like co-operative and condo buildings in
the States. You own your particular apartment but share responsibility
for common parts of the building with the other owners. There is a
monthly "Copropriété" (co-owners) fee that pays for expenses involved in
maintaining the building; common utilities (usually including water for
all apartments), garbage collection, maintenance, etc. This charge runs
approximately 100 euro per month for all of the apartments we’re talking
about. Of course, if your building is undergoing major renovation work
(such as the installation of an elevator or the cleaning of the exterior
stone), your co-owners fees could be higher to pay for that work.

Utilities (gas, electric) for the two smaller apartments run 50 to 60
euro per month, and 100 euro per month for the larger one. Apartments
with electric heat could run much higher.

Basic telephone service is approximately 20 euro per month. On top of
that you pay a per-unit fee for each phone call you make.

Beyond those basics utilities you may want to include Internet access and
cable television. Prices for Internet access are very similar to those in
the States. A dial-up service will cost around 20 euro per month. Be
aware, however, you’ll also be paying per-unit fees for the telephone
usage. This can add up quickly (my first month using dial-up, before
having high-speed access, was over 100 euro).

Broadband access via cable or ADSL is readily available. After initial
modem and set up costs, these services will run around 45 euro per month.
The cost for Cable TV starts at around 20 euro per month for basic
service and goes up depending on how many channels you want.

So, compiling all these expenses into a total, keeping in mind there is a
variety of variables here, when you buy your apartment in Paris
today–not including the up-front costs of the purchase itself or
renovation costs–you can realistically expect your cost of ownership to
start at 1,000 to 1,200 euro per month.

A bientôt,

Schuyler Hoffman
Editor, Paris Property Insider
Email: mailto:[email protected]

P.S. TRAVEL ALERT FOR JUNE 2003: The world famous Paris Air Show
(, still partially under
construction) takes place next summer, June 15-22, 2003. Hotel rooms and
apartment rentals will be at a premium, and at premium prices, during
this period. Plan your travel accordingly and book as early as possible
to avoid paying exorbitant rates for accommodations!

*** EDITOR’S NOTE ON TAXES: Taxe foncière is determined by the "valeur
locative cadastrale" (local tax registry value). It represents the
estimated annual rent if the property was let on the open market. However
the valeur locative is often substantially lower than

the market rental
value. Every year, the valeur locative is multiplied by a factor to
reflect the national variation of price
s. After relief for various
allowances, the net base is multiplied by the current tax rates as voted
by the councils of the relevant région, département and commune. A
collection fee of 2.5 % of the resulting tax is added for the State.

Taxe d’habitation is also calculated by reference to the estimated rental
value of the premises as adjusted (primary vs. secondary residence,
existence of dependent children, etc). This tax is due by whoever
actually occupies the property on January 1 of any given year, not
necessarily the owner.


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