leboncoin.fr is the website the French go to when looking for or selling a property.
It is perhaps similar to a site like Gumtree in the UK or CraigsList in the US in that it covers absolutely everything that you could possibly want to buy, but the property section is maybe one of the best and widest selection of all the properties available in France.
So much so that there are many property agents that ONLY advertise on this site apart from their own sites.
And so there is no reason why you should not use this great site to look yourself for properties to suit you – its also a way to get an idea of the prices in the areas you are interested in, and be able to see whether you are actually looking somewhere thats going to be possible to buy for your budget.
So lets make a start –
If you are a fluent French speaker then just go to the site and follow their instructions.
If not, then then here we go – I’ll do it absolutely step by step, so please forgive me if you feel like primary school children !!
Go to the site – www.leboncoin.fr
Click on the map the region you are looking in, and it will highlight in orange
Then it will open a new window with all the options for that area
For searching property to buy click on ‘toutes categories’ and select ‘ventes immobiliers’ from the list in the ‘immobilier’ section.
(If you’re looking for something else then
Locations = rentals
Colocations = shared rentals
Bureaux and commerces = offices and business premises )
This will bring you to the page where you can select your criteria for the property
( You need to do this as there will be thousands in the whole region – 818,625 in this example ! )
Now you need to narrow down where you are actually looking, maybe by department or postcode, or even a particular town or village
Here I have put in a postcode, which then asks me whether want ALL the villages or towns (toutes les communes 86400 ) with that postcode, or I can click on a particular single place within that postcode
(or if you really want to search the whole department then instead click on the lefthand box and you will get a dropdown list of all the departments in that area and you can choose one)
Once you have set that area or place then you need to go to the price section just below and to the left.
Your minimum, usually 0, and maximum prices (Prix min and Prix max) can be set by clicking on them and selecting from the dropdown box list that will appear the relevant price that you are looking for.
Usually I would just set the maximum price here.
So I’ve chosen 50,000 euros as my maximum price.
Below the ‘prix min’ and ‘prix max’ boxes you will see a line that says ‘pieces entre’ – a ‘Piece’ is a ‘room’ and so with the drop down boxes there you can select the minimum or maximum number of rooms that you want.
Then to the right of the price selection boxes you will see a section for ‘surface entre’ – this is the area of the property itself in square metres and if you have a minimum or maximum area in mind then you can limit it here with the dropdown boxes again.
However, to be honest, in the lower price ranges certainly, it pays to ignore these bits and just put the search in with no particular number of rooms or floor area and then just see what comes up – narrow the number of results down maybe by exact location or type of property.
Now below that you will see a row of options for type of property.
Maison – house
Appartement – Flat
Terrain – Land
Parking – Parking space
Autre – everything else
I have opted just for the ‘maison’ option as I’m looking for a house, but if you don’t tick a box it will show you all of these that are available under your price limit.
Thats everything set – Now Click on the big Blue RECHERCHER Box at top right corner and it will then present you with a list of all the properties available with your criteria.
It will bring up automatically the ‘toutes’ column but you can also then click on one of the two other columns if you wish to seperate adverts from private sellers and commercial agents
The two columns are ‘particulars’ (private sellers) and ‘professionals’ (commercial agents)
This will give you your desired selection list so you can scroll up and down and pick out what you like.
(When you scroll down to the bottom there will of course be the usual ‘next pages’ thing as theres nearly always more than one page of results unless youre being very specific or exclusive with your search.)
If you click on to one of them then it will open into a full page of details – photos (hopefully, though not always ) and a short summary of the property and then usually a full description.
Links to outside websites are not allowed on here so usually the details are fairly complete,but generally you would then need to contact the seller and email contact detail and /or phone details are usually included
This is the start of your search – and if you put in the criteria for exactly what you want then it is amazing how often you will find a match.
In the next post we will go through the details and what is and, more importantly, what isn’t included in the descriptions.
And look at how to spot the best ones.
And also how to find out a huge amount of information about the individual properties so you dont waste time chasing the ones that aren’t for you.