I’m finally here. In Paris. Not just for a tourist trip but to actually live in this city. Quite crazy. I want to share with you guys about my apartment hunt and my new place in this city of love.
I don’t know how much you know about finding a place in Paris but it’s extremely tricky. Not only are places expensive and nice ones can be tricky to find but the procedures are extra complicated for foreigners. French landlords ask for a guarantor. Someone who already lives in France, pays taxes in Paris. So that person has to provide proof that his income is 3 times as big as the rent of the place. Now when you don’t have relatives or super close friends in France it’s impossible to provide. Therefore you are left with either agencies or private listings that make exceptions on the guarantor part.
Since the Estonian community in Paris is so small and very helpful I decided to ask help from within the community and what luck I had – one Estonian girl was just about to move out from her apartment and suggested me to her landlord. So my search went relatively well. Although I had been browsing through various agency pages earlier and almost wanted to cry when I saw all the prices I had a place ready and waiting for me in Paris. I know that many people fly to Paris to find something and it still might take them weeks if not months to find a decent apartment.
So how much does it cost to live in Paris? My tiny room in a shared apartment is 630€ per month (good thing I have my scholarship!). Not bad considering that the house is nice and the location is good. I live inbetween 5th and 13th arrondissement, right next to Saint Marcel metro stop. Since Paris is huge it’s really nice to have a metro so close to you. Seine river is just 5 minute walk from my place and even Notre Dame is a 25 minute walk away. Also, there is a Monoprix supermarket just 50 meters from my place, a boulangerie and various cafes just downstairs and a gym around the corner. My school should be about 25 minutes away from my place by metro. Since I don’t have a washing machine I will do my laundry in a place that’s 5-10 min walk from my apartment. It’s not the most convenient scenario but it’s relatively common here in France to not own a washing machine.
The apartment itself is very tiny, as I previously mentioned. There are two bedrooms (mine is smaller), a bathroom and a “kitchen” which is also a small hallway. But that’s Paris for you. I also feel like I hardly have any privacy since these old houses are all crammed together and I can see my neighbours from my bedroom window. Also, funny thing is that there is a window next to the shower and another building 5 meters from that. So my neighbours have a perfect view of us taking a shower. The windows look very cool and Parisian but since they are old they also don’t hold any noise. Every time someone goes to throw out their trash I will hear it for sure. Good thing my windows are not facing the street! But hey, I can’t really be complaining. It’s Paris for God’s sake!
My room didn’t look like this when I arrived – I moved the furniture around, I bought new bed sheets, blankets, curtains and little extra decor. I wanted to make this place my own. But I must say I had a good room to begin with – just look at that fireplace, the ceiling and that big Parisian window.
Next days will be filled with bureaucracy – opening a bank account, getting a phone card and a metro pass. Wish me luck!