How to become a homeowner at a lower cost?

Discover 3 tips to save money when buying real estate.
11 . 09 . 2022

For many French people, becoming a homeowner is a dream that seems out of reach. Real estate prices are far too high for their budgets. Are you one of them? Don't give up too quickly.

Buying an energy-inefficient home

To acquire enough square meters to house your family on a reduced budget, turn to energy-intensive properties. Called "thermal flats" because of their poor rating on the energy performance diagnosis (DPE), they sell for less than others. Since the new DPE will come into force in July 2021, the energy class is increasingly taken into account when setting the price of a property. So you can expect to save several thousand euros on the purchase of a thermal sieve - or buy more with the same budget. Don't forget to add the cost of energy improvements to estimate the cost price.
These energy-intensive homes need to be renovated, or you'll end up with very high bills.

The good news? The French government has set up anumber of grants to encourage the renovation of "thermal flats" . Thanks to these grants, you can upgrade your insulation, change your heating system or replace your window frames at an attractive price.

Buying a new home with a joint real-estate lease

Not much work for you? You'd like to buy a new property that's efficient and economical to run. Unfortunately, the price tag is way beyond your budget.

It's possible to buy a new home at a lower cost, provided certain conditions are met. The bail réel solidaire (BRS) is a scheme that enables low-income households to buy a new home at a preferential rate. How does it work? You buy the walls of your home, but not the land. The land remains the property of an "organisme foncier solidaire" (OFS). Thanks to this operation, you can expect to save up to 30% on the purchase of a VEFA apartment or house. But that's not all! You also benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 5.5% (compared with 20% for a traditional new-build purchase).

You'll find new BRS real estate programs all over France. The French Ministry of Housing regularly updates the map of approved "organismes fonciers solidaires" by region. You can access the full list at

As mentioned above, this scheme is not for everyone. Your income must not exceed a ceiling set by .

Buying a maid's room in a big city

You don't have any specific requirements in terms of surface area, but are absolutely looking to become a homeowner in a metropolis?

Unfortunately, in some cities, even studios are too expensive.

There is an alternative: the chambre de bonne. Ranging in size from 9 m 2 to 15 m 2 , this small apartment enables those on a tight budget to become homeowners in the heart of the city. Located in the attic, it is lit by one or more small windows at roof level, and accessible by stairs. It is equipped with a heating system and a drinking water supply. Initially, this room was used to house building service staff.

The good news? Maids' rooms are usually found in middle-class buildings. If you're looking for this type of accommodation, you may be lucky enough to live in a beautiful Haussmann building. In terms of price, you should expect to pay between €75,000 and €100,000 for an maid's room of around 10 m2 in the capital