Apartment Hunting Abroad


My First Time on My Own

Can I just say that searching for an apartment sucks! I think that no matter where you are it is difficult, frustrating, and time consuming. But adding the fact that I am a 9-hour flight away makes it so much harder. And then add French bureaucracy and you got a grumpy Mimi. Why is it so hard to find apartments abroad? Well let me tell you why…

  •  It’s in French. This shouldn’t be a problem for me but I am so rusty that I don’t understand half the things.
  • You have to have a job. They want proof of employment in order for you to rent from someone or a company. So there goes me finding a place and then finding a job, now I really, really have to find a job.
  •  I don’t know what sites to use. Usually you learn these things through absorption. But in this case I have lived almost my entire life outside of the city, so there is no absorption for me. I guess its time for some research.
  • I can’t sign up for something without looking at it in person first. Whenever I finally find something that is exactly what I am looking for, I get sad because I know that I can’t do anything about it until I get there, and it will most likely be gone. And I have no job. So right now all I can do it research and not act on anything until it is July. So much for planning in advance.
  • I want to live in the center of Paris. This is where there are the smallest apartments for the most expensive prices and there are not that many of them. Yay!
  • The apartments are small. When I say small, I mean the tiniest living space for a Western country. 10 square meters for an apartment under 1000 euros is what I should expect unless I want to move further out of the center of Paris.
  • I’m stubborn. I know what I want and I do not want to sacrifice that. I want to be able to have a bathroom in my apartment and a kitchen. I would like to have a loft so that I am not sleeping in my bathroom/kitchen and so that my friends can sleep on the couch below when they visit.

So what does this mean for me? Well my plan is to get there, stay with family for a little bit, and search everything. Originally I was not going to use an agency, but in order to avoid scams, I am going to use an agency. It is more money up front but at least I will not have to worry about scams. I will contact some ahead of time in the beginning of July and then hopefully I can set up something for when I get there immediately. Check back in August to see how the process went.

Looking for apartments in Paris? Here are some of the websites that have been most helpful for my pickiness. 
pap.fr for rentals not through an agency (all in French)
seloger.com for rentals through an agency (all in French)
craigslist for rentals in English (less options)

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