French Language Blog

French Vocabulary: Housing Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Vocabulary

Do you have a dream of changing your life drastically, whatever that entails, and moving to France? Maybe you’re there already. Or maybe you want to make this drastic change for only two months, or even two days. Hotels can get very expensive when you are staying for longer periods of time. To keep it simple: let’s say you want to rent an apartment in France. You should start by looking at the following websites:

“Immo” is short for immobilier, which means “real estate” in French. This website has a large directory of houses and apartments to rent or buy. You can select the area in which you want to search, the number of rooms you are looking for, and your minimum and maximum budget. We will go over these French vocabulary words below (although you can also use the website in English, by clicking on the British flag under “langue” at the top right of the page.

Literally meaning “housing oneself,” this website is another popular place to search for rentals or homes for sale. In addition, it has many helpful articles on financing a house, working with real estate agents, and what to look for when you are buying real estate.

“Le bon coin” means “the good spot” or, literally, “the good (or right) corner.” This website is like Craigslist, where individuals can post announces (annonces) for items they are looking to buy, rent, or sell, including real estate rentals. Property is not often listed to buy, but there are many rentals (and even requests for colocation, or roommates!).

Here’s a list of vocabulary you should know to successfully navigate these websites and to find a perfect place for your vacation…or for the foreseeable future!:



les pièces — rooms (the French don’t use the number of bedrooms as a reference for the capacity of an apartment or house, but rather they count based on the number of livable rooms, excluding bathrooms and the kitchen)

le loyer — rent

location — rental

la surface — the square footage; area

la maison — house

l’appartement — apartment

le terrain — land

le prêt immobilier — real estate loan, or mortgage
l’impôt immobilier — real estate tax


l’agent immobilier — real estate agent
l’agence immobilier — real estate agency
louer— to rent
acheter — to buy
le bâtiment — the building
le bailleur — the landlord
le bail — the lease
charges (non) comprises — charges (not) included
commission (non) comprise — commission (not) included
le dépôt de garantie — security deposit
meublé — furnished
le propriétaire — the owner
Are there any other housing terms you would like to know? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!