Sunday, March 28, 2010
Home sweet home
Finding an apartment in Paris is bloody hard work. I'm currently in my second apartment here. The landlord is selling so I'm on the hunt for my third.
The first one I found before I moved here. It was on craigslist and I sent the deposit and first months rent before i even saw it! On reflection I was mad, but at the time I felt confident as I had spoken to the woman several times on the phone. It was a 20 sqm studio in the marais. Very fancy area, very tiny apartment. When you were in the shower, the toilet was there with you. It was really expensive and living in an attic room nearly drove me mad! I lasted 5 months.
I found the next apartment by asking EVERYONE I knew. When I say everyone I mean everyone on the street, in the bank, my clients, everyone. And finally I fell upon this HUGE double apartment in the not so trendy side of the 18th. 'Oh the 18th' people say, getting misty eyed about montmartre, the sacre coeur and abbesses. Well no one really seems to know about the other side of the hill in the 18th. All kebab shops, halal butchers and dodgy men on every corner! But the price was right, the space was great, its on a good metro line and I had a great flatmate all chosen out in the form of the lovely Lizzie from Cape Cod. I didn't have to worry about references or anything as the landlord is a sweet middle aged gay man who just decided he liked us and trusted us and that was that.
Well now I've been searching for about a month. I found the perfect place. On a rue privee (its my blog picture at the top) with gorgeous furniture and a VIEW OF THE EIFFEL TOWER! Terribly small and awfully expensive, it was mine. But unfortunately after making me wait 2 weeks and after several negotiations I didn't get it as my 'dossier' wasn't good enough.
The word dossier strikes fear into every reasonable persons heart. Well reasonable people without a permanent work contract with a decent salary. Basically to rent in Paris you need to make 3 times the rent after tax. Which means that most people here could afford to live on the streets, as Paris is feckin expensive! Us anglophones think differently. We are happy to pay the most of our wages on rent to get a great place and then eat pasta or get a weekend job to make ends meet. They don't get that here. I work for myself. First bad point. I've only been invoicing proper amounts for the last 3 months. Second bad point. Even though I can get a guarantor from my dad (at aged 32 its ridiculous) he is in Ireland. Third bad point.
So my dossier is shit, which means I need to find an apartment outside of the system. Unfortunately there are obviously many like me, so the pool is very limited. I have been having a bit of a nightmare. I call agencies and they are rude and the apartment is gone. I call agencies and they are nice but thats because they want 250e up front just to see their apartments with no guarantee of anything! I contacted a guy on craigslist who was the biggest most obvious scammer I have ever seen. Etc etc etc.
I know I'll find something.. .that is if I don't go insane before hand! (Oh and if you know anyone with an apartment going..!)