Paris | Sofime le blog

🇬🇧 Costs to foresee when relocating

During a relocation, one does not necessarily realize that there will be a lot of payments to make at the same time. So as to prevent bad surprises, you need to foresee all the costs. And you need to have sufficient funds in your bank account on the D-Day ! SOFIME Relocation helps you get a better idea of how much you will have to spend upon arrival.

     → 1st rent

Depending on when your lease starts and how the rent is calculated, you will have to pay either a full month rent, or a prorated rent. The latter will be based on the amount of days covered by the lease in the first month.

     → Deposit

For a primary residence personal lease (which is the most common lease), the deposit is 1 month rent (charges deducted) for empty apartments. On the other hand it is 2 months rent (charges deducted) for furnished apartments. If the rental lease is a company lease, or a secondary residence lease, it might be even more! (see our article about the different types of leases, as well as the one about furnished / unfurnished apartment, for better understanding).

     → Agency fees

For a primary residence personal lease, the agency fees are regulated by law. Hence it can be maximum 15 euros per sqm (incl. administrative + check-in fees). However, for company leases and secondary residence leases, there is no maximum. As a result they can rise up to 13% of the annual rent. But if you rent your apartment directly with the owner, there are no agency fees.

     → House insurance

In France, having a house insurance is mandatory. As a consequence you need to subscribe to a house insurance as soon as you have signed the lease contract. The estate agency will ask you to provide an insurance attestation on the day of the checkin in the apartment. Importantly, if you do not have it, you will not get your keys… So make sure your housing insurance is valid starting the 1st day of the lease! The insurance contribution depends on the size of the apartment, how much protection you want against risks and on the value of your belongings. Count for a small 2 room apartment around 150 euros.

     → Moving costs

If you move with your furniture, do not forget to foresee the cost of moving. From one country to another, it can be very expensive.


What you need to know to start your home search
with the right mindset !

     Renting an apartment abroad is not a simple matter, especially if you do not know the country you are moving to… You have to ask yourself the right questions about what would fit you better. 

You also need to be aware of the real estate market of the city you chose to live in, so that your expectations match reality. From one city/country to another, you do not have the same standards for a similar budget. Especially in Paris, which often comes as a surprise for foreigners! Here is SOFIME Relocation insight about that:

     Demands exceed the offers

     France being a very centralized country, Paris has become the densest market for rentals. In Paris only, 2,2 millions people are living, and Ile de France (the administrative area comprising Paris) has more than 12 millions inhabitants, which corresponds to almost 20 % of the full French population (living on 2% only of the area of France). As you can understand, the housing market is constantly under pressure, and very dynamic.

Paris architecture is protected by law, and new constructions are scarce. The pool of available apartments is not growing, and hence is not following the demand. In the end, it means that there is a lot of competition: for every apartment available, there will be several applicants. And when an apartment is put on the market, it is usually rented in the next two days. So there is no time to think or ask for a second visit! This is less true for big apartments i.e more than 90 m2, and furnished ones.) 

     Rent prices are skyrocketting

     Because of the high demand, prices for rentals have massively increased in the past years. It reached a point where the government had to intervene, and implement rules. Now, in Paris and its close suburbs, there is a maximum price per square meter that cannot be exceeded. Now it is fixed by law depending on the district the apartment is located in. You can find here the detailed information.

This is theory. In reality, things are not as clear. If an apartment has something more than the average, landlords are allowed to exceed the price limit. (i.e high ceilings, amazing view, luxury furbishment etc.). And it seems in the facts that every apartment in Paris is exceptional, because this rule is constantly twisted!

     What is a typical parisian apartment?

     Because new constructions are rare, there are not that many modern buildings. A typical flat in Paris is around 45 m2, comes in a 19th century building and has wood floors that crack when you step on them. It will almost never have an air conditioner. Nor several toilets for instance ! Also, if a lot of old buildings have been equiped with elevators in time, most of the ones in the heart of Paris do not have one, as the staircases are far too narrow to welcome one!

 → Our piece of advice: 

Prioritize your criteria, because the perfect apartment does not exist. Hence you will always have to  make concessions! Therefore be sure of what you want and what you need before the visits are planned. You will have to make up your mind the same day in order to send your application! And do not  worry, with SOFIME Relocation, you always find the perfect place !


Avec MOBILI-PASS®, la recherche de logement ne vous coûtera rien !

Saviez-vous que les étudiants en alternance sont éligibles à l’aide MOBILI-PASS® ?

Bon à savoir quand on sait à quel point il est difficile de se loger lorsqu’on démarre sa vie professionnelle ! Cette aide prend la forme d’une subvention. Elle permet de financer une part substantielle des frais liés à la prestation d’une agence de relocation. Cela vaut pour la recherche de logement, mais aussi pour la réalisation de démarches administratives et l’assistance à l’installation.

     Chez SOFIME Relocation, nous faisons appel au MOBILI-PASS® pour nos expats qui arrivent de l’étranger, pour les salariés mutés d’une région à l’autre. Mais cela marche aussi pour les alternants ! Grâce à notre réseau et notre expertise, les dossiers des alternants sont valorisés et plus facilement acceptés 😉

     Les conditions pour en bénéficier ? C’est simple !
– L’entreprise doit faire partie du secteur privé, et employer plus de 10 salariés.
– La nouvelle résidence doit se situer à plus de 70 km de l’ancienne / ou bien l’ancienne résidence doit se trouver à plus d’1h15 du nouveau lieu de travail.
Les cases sont vite cochées dans le cadre d’un changement de région / département, pour les étudiants qui montent sur la capitale afin de bénéficier de son dynamisme et mettre le pied à l’étrier !
Alors gardez-le bien en tête, les frais de relocation de vos alternants sont couverts par l’aide MOBILI-PASS® !

 →TIP: Et l’aide MOBILI-JEUNE®, vous connaissez?
     C’est une aide au logement pour les – de 30 ans qui permet de prendre en charge une partie du loyer (à hauteur de 100 euros) pendant la durée de l’alternance!

     Des questions ou interrogations sur ces aides?
L’équipe de SOFIME Relocation se fera un plaisir d’y répondre: !

Welcome to Paris… With your dog!

To live in Paris with a dog could be a nightmare a few years ago… fortunately, it isn’t anymore! Here’s some basic rules you should know that will ease your everyday life.

Surely, the chores of taking out your dog remains, but Paris has, for a few years, made a consequent amont of efforts in order to make man’s best friends happier.

Therefore, we made you a guide of the parks along with their specificities.

Of course, everyone does not live near the Bois de Vincennes or the Bois de Boulogne, but it is still convenient to know that they don’t oppose any limits !

Some parks chose to transform their spaces to make them more welcoming to the dogs and their owner.

If you live in the 14tharea, do visit the Square Jacques-Antoine : it is the first canine park in Paris ! And it is open 24h/24 ! This 845 meters long’s park will make your dogs feel at home and make friends they’ll keep for a walk if not for life.

In the same spirit, the Square Saint-Eloi, in the 12th area, counts a training area for dogs, including the show jumping.

In the 15th, the Parc Georges Brassens proposes an itinerary for dogs with the « Allée aux chiens ».

A consequent number of parisien places will keep some space for your dog :

–     Some of the aisles of Jardin des Halles the in the 1st area.

–     In Parc Monceau in the 8th, only the Ferdousi and Comtesse de Ségur aisles will allow dogs.

–     Some aisles of the Parc Montsouris in the 14th ;

–     The peripheral aisles of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont in the 19th.

–     The borders of the Champs de Mars park or the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Here’s a full list of the green places and parks open to dogs and their restrictions.

Careful, the rule is to watch your dog and to keep him on a leash !

Do not forget to pick the excrements otherwise you’ll have to pay 35€.

Also, they are not allowed in stores.
Finally, if your dog is no teddy (more than 6kg), do not forget to buy a metro ticket before taking your train.

Strikes: the art of living « à la française » !

France wouldn’t be France without its strikes, as France wouldn’t be France without its baguettes!
It is a core part of the French culture, as far as the French History goes back.
You will probably come to know quite fast the french term « grève » for strike during your stay, as they regularly occur… Incidentally, the term derives from « grava » in Gaulish, the language of the tribes who fought against Cesar’s invasion of Gaul in… 58 BC.
2000 years later, the right to strike is considered in France as a constitutional right: this highlights how important it is for the French!
So as an expat, should you fear strike movements?

République metro station, December 10th 2019, closed at rush hour because of the strike.

Not quite, but be prepared ahead in order to not be caught off guard.

When strikes occur, the country is not fully blocked, as the foreign media like to stress. And this is fortunate, otherwise how would we go on?! It’s true, public transportation can suffer from drivers’ desertation, as it happens now… But bear in mind that luckily there are plenty of other means of transport. Carsharing. Bikes (such as Vélib or free-floating bikes). Electric scooters. And even… walking – French towns are not that large, you can cross the bigger ones in 1 hour, even Paris! All of which will give you an opportunity to discover the city you live in under new light, and maybe meet a friendly « fellow sufferer » on your way. Because yes, strikes bring people together: for or against the movement, you will have a lot to talk about with your family, your colleagues and even bystanders !As for the demonstrations, they usually make the streets seethe with excitement and a high proportion of them are cheerful: people march in music, encouraging passerbys to join. All in all, unless you decide to be a frontliner in an unauthorized protest, and as long as you stand by in the distance, everything should be fine!


Eventually, strikes might be a pain sometimes, but remember that historically, a lot of the social improvements around the world come from them.


So take a deep breath and relax, the « grève » will be gone as soon as it arrived… until the next one!

A chaque expat ses attentes…

Vous travaillez avec des expats ?

Mieux vaut savoir décoder leurs attentes pour bien les accompagner…c’est un peu aussi notre rôle en tant que société de relocation…on n’accompagne pas de la même manière un indien qu’un italien ou un allemand !

Ci-dessous quelques tips que nous avons relevé au gré de nos missions de recherche de logement…

Les indiens sont charmants, très conviviaux et vivent en communauté : ils cuisinent beaucoup, (miam miam les épices !). Un grand frigidaire et la présence de gaz dans la cuisine sont souvent un must-have!

Ils sont également très friands d’écrans, les plus larges possibles !

Mais aussi de grands lits, car leurs enfants dorment souvent avec eux !

Enfin, dans la famille du collectif, le chauffage se doit de l’être !

Une vraie recherche de collectivité et de partage !

Les italiens, grands romantiques, sont particulièrement attentif à leur salle de bain : ils la souhaitent souvent rénovée, dans l’idéal, avec une fenêtre !

Ce sont bien les seuls qui apprécient les bidets et les toilettes dans leur salle de bain !

Pour le reste, la lumière est un impératif.

Pour les allemands, la pièce la plus importante de la maison est souvent la cuisine ! Espace de convivialité ou l’on prépare le repas en même temps que l’on partage une « petite » bière ! Une grande cuisine peut être un élément décisif pendant leurs visites !

La baignoire est un must have pour un japonais ! cela est non négociable ! attention, pas de ballon électrique ! trop de risque d’être en panne d’eau chaude J… Ils recherchent également leurs fameuses toilettes japonaises, encore trop rare en France !

Le russe attend la somptuosité… dans la décoration, dans la vue, qui doit « en jeter » !

Enfin, superstition ou simple gout, le chinois déteste les appartements avec les poutres apparentes !


Et nous, français, quelles sont nos attentes quand nous partons vivre à l’étranger ?

Each nationality its request!

You work with expats ?

You better know their expectations in order to accompany them well… It is also our purpose as a relocation society… we don’t look at appartments the same way for americans, italiens, or germans !

Here are a few tips we noticed during our researches and missions with you…

Indians are lovely, very friendly, and they like the community way of life : they cook a lot, (miam miam spices !). A big fridge and gaz in the kitchen are often a must-have ! But also large beds, because their kids usually sleep with them. Finally, being collective also involves the heat, they like it collective as well. A true quest for collevtivity and sharing !

The italians, true romantics, are particulary attentive to their bathrooms : they want them renovated and, ideally, with a window.

They are the rare people to search for a bidet and toilets in their bathroom. For the rest, the light remains a must !

For the germans, the most important room of the appartment is frequently the kitchen ! A place of conviviality where they can prepare their meal and have a little beer at the same time.

The bath is a must have for a japanese expat, that is not even negociable ! Also, careful with the electric baloon, that will give you some cold showers if you stay too long in your shower… They also are looking for their rare and famous japanese bathroom, still not very popular in France !

Russans are looking for magnificence in decoration, in the view… They have to be stiking !
Finally, superstition or simple taste, chineses hate appartments with apparent beam.

What about us, french, what are we looking for, abroad ?