Real Paris: Finding an apartment

Have you ever wondered what living in Paris is like?  What kind of apartment your money will get you?

Well, I’m here to answer those questions.
Europe is very different from the U.S.  in the regards that it’s much more squishy.  I’m not talking about feeling-wise, but space wise.  Part of this is due to the size of the city — Paris is much much smaller than a normal American city is.  (I can only put this in Chicago terms, but it’s basically the size of the Loop up the Lincoln Park.  So pretty tiny…)  Also, there are restrictions throughout all of Paris that make it so there are no sky scrapers — the Eiffel Tower is literally the tallest building in the city.
Anyways, all these size restrictions make real-estate not only much more expensive, but much smaller for what you get.
Take our apartment for example.  We pay about US $1000 for this place.  Here’s the grand tour.

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Now, you should know that we’re kind of living the high life.  Most people who pay in our price range have a toilet in our apartment, but their shower is sur le palier (out in the hall — aka one that they share with everyone else on the floor).  Plus we have two burners rather than one.

Also, since all of our stuff is in storage in America (if we’re staying here past the 2 year mark, then we get to ship our stuff!  YAY!), we had to find a furnished apartment, making the whole ordeal a little bit harder.
A little bit about the logistics of getting an apartment in France as an American.  Warning — no one here wants to rent you an apartment unless you are a. already in France and b. have a French bank account!  We went through so many great apartments because we didn’t meet the first requirement!  We originally thought we were going to have to spend our first week or so in a hotel while we apartment hunted, but stumbled across this one on an agency website and they were more than willing to rent to us (maybe because they know only desperate Americans would take it with the hot pink wall and lime green bed spread…).  Whatever the reason, we’re grateful to have it.
So there you have it.  Any questions?

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