Living in France: Housing
I’m going to do two posts about finding an apartment. One before and one after we find an apartment. Since our family is somewhat portable, several people recommended that we find a place to stay for a month so that we can search for apartments once we get there. This is good because if you can see it in person it’s easier to commit to living there a year, you can usually negotiate cheaper rates, and you can take your time rather than trying to find something fast. The bad part about this idea is I have no idea where I’ll be living a month from now. (Super scary.) Our fingers crossed we can find an apartment we love in a neighborhood we like that is within our price range.
We decided to rent an apartment from Haven in Paris for the first month (Who is also an advertiser on OHD.) Renting short term apartments is very common in Europe (My English friends that vacation in Paris rent apartments even for short stays instead of hotels.) Besides Haven in Paris I’ve also used Vacation Rental By Owner and had good experiences.
I’ve started looking for our real apartment in advance but it can be difficult. A lot of the furnished rentals are just so cluttered, I would consider furnishing a simple apartment ourselves (I prefer sparse to someone else’s stuff) the only problem is “unfurnished” in France means it also doesn’t have a fridge or any other appliance. We are only planning on staying a year so it seems like a lot of work to round up beds, a refrigerator, a sofa, and pretty much everything else. The other interesting I’ve found is three bedroom apartments are very hard to find. We are expecting visitors so I had my fingers crossed for an extra room.
By the time someone has staged, photographed and listed a furnished apartment on a website it is likely on the high end of the going price range. I’m curious to see if we can find something more affordable in person. For our budget we are hoping to spend the same amount that we would spend on an apartment in San Francisco.
I’m secretly hoping for a partially furnished apartment. I saved the picture below from a Craigslist ad. It’s pretty much what I envision for my dream apartment in Paris. A two bedroom, sparsely furnished in the Marais with HUGE windows and a balcony we can sit on and work when the weather gets warm.
Here are the sites I’ve found helpful looking for an apartment.
Has anyone else had experiences renting apartments in Paris? Any tips?
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