Need to find an apartment in Calvi?

Where to rent in Calvi? That is the million dollar question. When I moved here, I tried to look online but I had NO IDEA of the terms in French so I couldn't even find the right search words (I put all French terms in italics next to their definition). In addition, there are two ways of renting in France, and so I'll try to explain this as best I can. Finally, I'll recommend what cities you should look in, whether it be for a vacation, a month stay, or for a permanent apartment. 

In France, most rentals are signed through an immobilière, an agency or person who provides contractual services for both the owner (propriétaire) and renter (la locataire) for the rental (la location) of an apartment (un appartement) or house (une maison). The owner pays a monthly fee for their services to the agency, and the renter typically pays a one time fee to the agency for the work of finding the apartment and finalizing all the documents (in France this one time fee CANNOT be more than one month's rent), including the lease contract (le bail). If you work with an agency, they will typically be your contact for any maintenance problems, etc.

Updated august 8, 2014: here is an article that explains a new law about agency fees. It looks like it will be effective September 2015.

In France, you are obligated to pay a residency tax (taux d'habitation) near October/November of each year. However, this tax is rated based on where you were residing January 1st of that year (residence on January 1, 2014 will be my tax bill October 2014). Many people will not tell you about this when you move in, so BE AWARE that it will be around 500-800 euros in addition to your monthly rent, so plan accordingly. 

Also, many apartments that are in residential properties will have building/maintenance fees. They are called either Frais de batiment or Charges de co-proprietaire. Ask about them when you speak with an agency or owner, as they will not always tell you until the first bill comes. 

Often it is very difficult to find a year long rental, or even a weekly/monthly rental to visit the 2eme Rep in Calvi. I just moved and found our new place with Blandine and Nathalie at Kalliste Immo. And what's even better, they speak English and can advise you on rentals, towns, and setting up all utilities within your price range. Don't hesitate to call or write them if you are searching!

If you are looking for a rental from a private owner or if you want to do some research on your own, definitely use It is a much better and more dependable version of Craigslist. Be sure to notice if under "posted by" it shows a person or an agency, because you will have an agency fee with all agencies. 

If you have questions about specific terms or words, is the best translation site for words and small expressions. 

If you do not have or will not have a car when you arrive, I recommend that you find an apartment for you and your Legionnaire in Calvi. There is regular bus service in the afternoons to come home from work, and there is bus service in the morning to get to work from center Calvi (although its not always dependable so he should verify it every night before he leaves work for the following morning). Since Legionnaires with less than 5 years service cannot arrive to work in tenue sport, he cannot run to work but must arrive in uniform every morning. 
If you will have a car and will transport him to and from work everyday - like we do - you have many more options. I suggest you stay within 10-15 minutes of base because, especially in the first 5 years, there are always emergency call backs and changes of plans. Calenzana, Lumio, St. Ambroggio, and even Algajola can be within 10 minutes of base. The train service is NOT a dependable transport, since they strike OFTEN and the hours are typically not early enough to get to work. In my opinion, L'ile Rousse and Zilia are too far from base to risk getting back in time for an alert, etc., at least for the first 5 years. 

The first apartment will always be easier if you go with an agency like Kalliste. They speak English, are honest and understand military life here so they can give you the best advice.