Apartment Search Paris
Paris apartments are furnished and are either owned by an agency or under contract with a landlord for whom they rent out the apartment. You can search through listings on an agency's site, or in some cases, you can contact them with your requests and let them find an apartment on their books that meets your criteria. The security deposit is month's rent or more, and if booked through the agency, there’s usually an agency fee of up to a one month's rent. The utilities will already be connected, but you may have to transfer the electric bill to your name, depending on the terms of the lease. Housewares and linens are provided. All you need to bring with you is your luggage and personal items. You can buy other sundries you need once you get to Paris.
Types of Paris Apartments
Paris apartments will be listed as studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms, etc., but there are some special terms you should know that might not be spelled out in an apartment ad.
For those of you looking at studio apartments, you may see the terms "alcove," "loft," and "mezzanine" as you’re shopping around. If a studio has an alcove, it means that the sleeping area is physically separated from the main living area. "Loft" and "mezzanine" mean that you have to climb up a ladder to get to a bed located above.
"A chambre de bonne" is a former maid's quarters on the top floor of a building, typically only accessible by stairs (i.e., the service entrance). They're tiny and they feel an attic — because that’s exactly what they are. Most ads will not mention that the apartment is a chambre de bonne, because it’s not a desirable feature. In the apartment photos, look for a sloped ceiling and walls that meet at weird angles —that’s the dead giveaway.
Apartment Search Paris Leads
You’ll find that there’s an enormous amount of listings for furnished apartments in Paris out there, when you take into account all the apartment agency web sites, the classified ads in newspapers, and the listings on owner-direct web sites. The trick is to narrow the field so you don’t get overwhelmed. Here are a few places to look for Paris apartments.
Word of Mouth and Personal References
Word of mouth is by far the best way to cut through the clutter and find an apartment in Paris. If you receive an apartment recommendation from someone you know, then you don’t have to worry about the offer being a scam, and you have a first-hand reference who can tell you about their experience with the owner and the apartment.
Have any of your friends done a study abroad program, or might they know anyone who’s lived in Paris? Ask your French classmates, teacher, and the staff at your language school. Ask your co-workers. Ask everyone you know if they know anyone in Paris or who’s lived in Paris who might be able to recommend an apartment. Mention your goal of living in Paris at parties and other social settings. People will perk up and start offering advice and trying to recall who they know that lives or has lived in Paris.
Travel Articles and Paris Guidebooks
Check out agencies that have been profiled by travel writers in books, newspapers, and magazines. These agencies have a reputation to uphold and are inclined to do whatever it takes to maintain it.
Paris Apartment Costs
Furnished Paris apartments are less expensive than an unfurnished apartment in New York City, about the same as an apartment in Washington, DC or San Diego, but more expensive than most other U.S. cities. Plus, the apartments are smaller and older. Be prepared to pay higher prices if you want something spacious and modern, or in the most sought after neighborhoods.
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