Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So I need some advice here - I went to see an apartment yesterday and I'm really hesitating about whether or not I should take it. Here's my list of pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Literally at the foot of l'Hôtel de Ville
2. Safe neighborhood
3. Excellent public transportation
4. Great view from the living room
5. It's sublet, so I wouldn't need to sign a lease

Cons:
1. A bit more expensive than I was looking for
2. There are two roommates, and I was only hoping for one (though one of them is gone for work 95% of the time)
3. I'd been hoping to live with a French person, and neither of them are native speakers
4. The kitchen is quite small and the oven doesn't work that well
5. The hallway needs repainting but the owner doesn't want to do it because it's a sublet

I just can't decide - the roommate who's never there is a fashion photographer from South Africa and he's always traveling for work (though they did have a shoot for men's Vogue in the apartment a few weeks ago and the girl I'd be replacing said the place was crawling with gorgeous male models - definite plus, lol). The other guy is half-German, half-French and is some kind of designer for a women's clothing line. He is there more often than the other guy, and sometimes his girlfriend stays over (and sometimes he stays at her place).

I'm really tempted by the location though - I absolutely love being able to walk home every night, and not having to worry about getting on the last metro. And you really can't get more in the heart of Paris than l'hôtel de ville. It's also furnished and there's a cleaning lady that comes twice a month to clean the common living areas, so I wouldn't have to worry about always cleaning up after two guys.

But on the other hand, I'm kind of liking living on my own - the thing is, with the budget I have and the location I want, I won't get anything bigger than what I have now. So it's either live with roommates or live farther out. The timing is perfect too and I really haven't found any other viable options for the moment. I did see a really good apartment this morning, but it was at metro Stalingrad and I just did not feel super comfortable there, even in broad daylight. But so what should I do? Should I hold out for something else? There isn't much on the market now, but I'm thinking things might pick up after August 15 when people start coming back from vacation. But considering I'd ideally like to move out for Sept 1, that doesn't leave me much time. Not to mention the herds of students that descend on Paris every September, all looking for housing. Help!

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20 Comments:

Blogger Patricia said...

Hi Sam,
I think it sounds great. Even if it is a little mor expensive, you will save money because you will be able to walk to places instead of paying for transportation. Also, the one roommate will be gone 95% of the time and the other will be with his girlfriend some of the time. I once lived in a house with guys and I liked it - there was not as much "drama" as with some girl roommates I had! But, I think the biggest decision is location, location, location! Even if your roommates get on your nerve you can just walk out your front door and walk around Paris!
Good luck!

August 7, 2008 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Take it! If you don't have to sign a lease, it means that you can leave the place if you end up finding something better later down the track.

August 7, 2008 at 5:30 AM  
Blogger Sev said...

take it!

August 7, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
OpenID lusks said...

I agree with Lisa. If it doesn't suit you move on.

August 7, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger misplaced texan said...

I'd take it, too! You can always change your mind after you've settled in a bit, but you can't go back and take it if you pass it up. Good luck!

August 7, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Since you're not signing a lease then that frees you up to move out if things don't work out. I'd say take it and see how you feel. At least you won't ever feel lonely!

I lived with two guys once, the big problems were the cleaning and that they were constantly getting drunk (but they were Australian so that's normal) and the fact that you have a cleaning lady is great, that takes away a lot of the fights most housemates have!

So yeah, take it. I think the Parisian market is really bad right now, Christophe's sister is having a hell of a time trying to find something (even in the north of Paris) and she's been rejected twice on the grounds of salary even though she's working full time and doing pretty well for herself.

August 7, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Eastern_enchant said...

Finding a good location pretty hard to find, even you manage to find, but it will be expensive and french loves bureucracy stuff,there will be endless of paperwork and furnish them with so many proof...maybe you should go for it, and keep on looking after you move in(since you're not tie up with lease agreement)

Nat

August 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger The Bold Soul said...

When I was looking for my apartment here, in the end I ended up taking the one that was a bit over my budget because it "felt" right to me. Forget the lists of pros and cons for a moment... what is your intuition telling you is the right thing to do? Location is nice, and of course you need to feel safe wherever you live, but I'm not sure how living with two guys would work out (i.e. are they clean? Do they do their fair share of the cleaning? Men aren't always so good about housework) For me, I'd rather have a smaller place on my own, but then again before I fell for Georges I had lived alone for several decades!

August 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I used to live just next to Hotel de Ville and loved it there BUT... living with other people would be a nightmare, especially two guys.

I suggest you find something small which you'd have to yourself, you'll be much better off.

August 7, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Deagman said...

Hi Sam!

I think it sounds good! When I was there in France, I met some people that had an apartment that overlooked hotel de ville and it was a GREAT location! So much goes on right there and it is safe like you said. The only downfall I see is the two roomates, esp. with the one that has the girlfriend staying over sometimes...but then again, I've never had much luck in choosing the best people to live with! I would be careful about the kitchen...I think that is very important. When you have people over, everyone usually ends up in the kitchen...you want to feel comfortable have have space not just for you, but for your lifestyle! Do you need to stay there for a year like most places in the US? How long do you have to accept it? I suggest looking at some other places first and not jumping at the first one.

August 7, 2008 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

Hmm... I know everyone is saying take a place by yourself, but before you were saying you'd prefer to have roommates. What are your feelings now? It's a hard decision - location is really important for me too, but if you don't think you'd feel comfortable there, then I wouldn't take it. On the other hand, since there's no lease, you could always move on when you find something better. So I'm no help.
And didn't you say *both* guys were gay? :) What happened? lol

August 7, 2008 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Have you visited other apartments? I can't remember. Because if you haven't, I would strongly encourage you to do so instead of limiting yourself to one option. I would see 3-5 minimum. I think living with 2 guys would be fine, I would just pray that the girlfriend isn't over there all the time because that could lead to a sticky situation. I think the fact that it's a sublet and furnished is definitely positive. Since you're not under any obligation, you could always try it out for a while and then leave if you don't like it/find something better. I would maybe do that. Good luck!

August 7, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I've seen two other places, in really dodgy neighborhoods. It's not like Bretagne - there's so little housing for so many occupants. I've called a million places and everything is either taken or available immediately and I can't pay two rents in August.

And I go back and forth on the roommate thing - I'm actually liking living alone, but on the other hand, the only thing I can afford by myself is a shoebox on the outskirts of town. Whereas at least with roommates, there's more space and the possibility of a better location.

The girl that lives there now (not a friend of either of them) said they're both nice roommates, though one does take a while to do his dishes. But either than that, the common areas stay pretty clean, and since there's a cleaning lady, she never ended up being the maid.

They do want someone to stay for a year, but I guess if I don't have a lease, they can't really hold me to it (unless they threaten to keep my deposit). I'm kind of leaning towards taking it right though - I figure that a year from now, I'll have a better idea of what kind of situation I'll be in and might be better able to afford something on my own.

August 7, 2008 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

TAKE IT! Sheesh woman. T A K E I T

August 7, 2008 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

there's absolutely nothing like living down town. one minute you're in bed thinking about what you want to do today, the next minute you're out doing it.

you can save money when you're old, baby grrl. flanerie now.

August 7, 2008 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger MISS YURI said...

dude, you do NOT wanna live in the outskirts of town. for years you've been living on the outskirts of civilisation and you have just now gotten a taste for what it's like to be in the center of everything. don't go back to being in the boonies. it'll be annoying at best and at really depressing at worst.

this place sounds good. i would go for it.

August 8, 2008 at 3:26 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Take it.

August 8, 2008 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Yeah, sounds like Yuri's got it in a nutshell.

Go forth and houseshare!

August 8, 2008 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger jchevais said...

I'm with Yuri too.

August 8, 2008 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Sam,

Our old place (21 sq meters but on Ile Saint Louis) might be available Sept 1, and our landlord is American and doesn't do leases (but does lettres d'hebergement and all that), so if your budget includes 900 euros a month (all but electricity (including tv and internet, and it's furnished), which ran us 300 euros every 6 months), then let me know and I'll put you in touch.

Lauren

August 9, 2008 at 11:19 PM  

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