I have been having a time finding a place to stay in Paris for the past months and now that I am on the other side of that hurdle I thought I might share some of the insights that I have found about the experience.
1.) Please know that you aren’t alone!
I can not tell you how many times I would begin to explain my housing situation to local Parisians and they would be able to empathize. From my hotel guest services rep to the waiter at my favorite local bistro it seems like every single person living in Paris has a perilous story related to housing – no matter how long they had lived there. So, take comfort we are ALL in this together.
2.) These are the five best websites that local Parisians use:
3.) But don’t forget the mainstays like AirBnB.
Of course you have your mainstays – airbnb.com, vrbo.com, and booking.com but most of the folks in the international house rental community know that out-of-towners will be using those sites for the convenience and will purposely raise their prices exorbitantly to make as much as they can.
4.) If you are in Paris and have never lived outside of the United States ALWAYS visit the property that you are considering.
Sometimes you will be tempted to just go off of pictures alone but if you are in Paris it is always best to visit the place you are looking to rent; especially if you are not used to homes of this size. I am used to apartments and homes in the South in the United States so the sizing and spacial setup of some of these apartments were shocking to me. It helped for my roommate and I to visit the homes that we liked to get a feel for them. Every time we did we learned something now. If you can’t visit some folks will have an AI visit, a 3D visit, or a Youtube video that gives you a tour of the space. There is no shame in asking for one of those either.
Okay, these are my European house hunting tips. Make sure to immediately message the owner or agency if you find a space that you like. Housing goes fast in Paris and you want to make sure you give them all the information that you need to get the place that you want.
I always stated my interest in the space, how long I would need to stay, and confirmed the amount that I would be asked to pay in my opening message. It helps everyone to be on the same page immediately.