Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finding home...in France. Part 1: Finding a place to stay.

After having lived in so many different English speaking countries I have arrived this year in France.
As in any country where you don't speak the language, the most ordinary his in your daily live can become an almost insuperable obstacle.
So here what I learned along the way in this past year in France.

Part 1: Finding a place to stay.

Without an income (and I mean a really good income) it is almost impossible to get a flat for yourself in Paris. A one bedroom flat of 33m² for 1300€, excluding all bills, is standard. We therefore decided to go for a shared flat or house where my boyfriend and I would share a room but would be able to 'escape' each other in the common areas.
And yes we found one. The greatest one there was, so much in advance, but the way to get there was rather  complicated in comparison to my experiences in the UK.

There is several websites specialised in flat-sharing or "colocation" as they say in France. I was a bit shocked that you have to pay in order to get the contact details. But that's the way it is here. The real estate market is one of the biggest hotspots in Paris so in order to have just truly interested people according to the conditions stated: you have to pay. Depending on the site it's something like 2€/day or ~25€ for 10days.
We went with appartager.com and found what we were looking for. After viewing dozens of ads and just as many phone calls, we got selected for interviews and got lucky in the end to be chosen by the flatmates.

The landlord required us to give absolute disclosure about our income revenue and on top to produce a warrantor who would sign and commit to pay in case we wouldn't. We chose to go with my boyfriends dad, just because it was easier than producing all documents in French instead of having to translate German ones.

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