Turns out it was easier to find a job than an apartment in Paris. Ten days in Paris and we are still at square one for finding an apartment. We were close a couple of times, or at least we thought we were… Only to have our hopes broken. There was the studio facing the Pompidou Center, but it was too loud and too small. Our next visit was supposed to be in the 2ieme arr., and when we got to the building it was only to find out the owner forgot about our appointment and that the studio was taken already anyway. We’ve been working with a realtor agency called Lodgis, and visited a couple apartments through them. Luke loved a studio on the 1st arr., in the heart of Paris, that had a view of the church St Eustache. We thought it was in the bag, having no idea other people were in the running. So we got slapped in the face hard when we found out we didn’t get the apartment. Since then, we haven’t heard much from our realtor agent, Walquiria, renamed Witwicky by Luke.
The apartment hunt is made even more difficult because I work 8.5 hours for 5 days a week. Luke went on three visits on his own, and gets around the city better than I (I don’t even know the monuments and buildings like he does), but he relies on me for phone calls and all kinds of translations.
When trying to hunt for an apartment in good location at a good price, there is a lot of competition, and I guess we were a little ill-prepared when going to visits. We were viewing apartments that owners rent themselves through a website called pap.fr (which is the reference here for finding an apartment). While some people were handing their inch thick rental application with ID copies, work documents, co-signers docs…, we were coming empty ended, exchanging contact infos. And our situation wasn’t very attractive for the owners: a girl with low-paying job, and a foreigner who says have a house he’s renting back in his home country.
On Sunday October 9th, we visited two apartments: One in the 17th district, and the other in the 7th (where the Eiffel tower is). The first one was on the 5th floor with no elevator in a 19th century building typical of Paris. It was furnished with the strict minimum: a bed, a table and chairs. That was it. The owner was friendly and seemed to like us but he never got back to us.
The one on the 7th was in an old building as well, on the 4th floor with no elevator. On the 3rd floor, we got stopped by a line of people waiting to visit the apartment. That was the first bad sign, and I already wanted to leave. But we came all this way, so why not try. Then after 15 to 20 minutes waiting we were next (and last with another lady) in line, and could hear the owner complementing a woman on her salary. Second bad sign. Then we came in, and she was basically lecturing two foreign students on how to apply for an apartment in Paris. The poor guys. Third bad sign. At this point Luke and I should have looked around and left, but I still wanted to talk to the woman. In the end I got basically the same patronizing speech as the foreign students. She was awful because she had the tone of someone lecturing but she was insisting that “it was to help us.” Instead the experience taught us that we had zero chance getting an apartment through the pap.fr
site. Anyway, we didn’t like the last apartment… the shower and bathroom were fused with the kitchen. Weirdo.