Hey y'all. Here's a quick hello from Paris-town. I'm searching for apartments right now, and it's la galère totale (a total shit-storm). Most of the problem stems from the huge assymmetry between supply and demand here. Today, I picked up the magazine called Particulier à Particulier (independent to independent), which specializes in transactions between private parties (i.e., no agencies). It comes out once a week, every Thursday. I picked it up today at 9am, fresh from the printers, and when I started calling numbers around 10h30, all of the numbers I called had one of these three characteristics:
- The apartment was already rented
- The contact person's answering machine was already too full to leave a message
- The line was endlessly busy
For the apartments that have "open" visiting hours, you show up at the location at there are already 100 people in line, mostly with their parents standing over their shoulder, dressed in their finest "we are aristocrats" attire. I didn't even stand a chance.
To add to this, I've heard from some friends who have relatives connected to these sorts of companies, the employees of magazines like PàP often have access to the content of ads before they're published, and make use of them for their own interests or pass them along to their friends before the apartment is even officially on the market. So much for free-market capitalism, eh?
I've had better luck with Craigslist postings, actually, although you really have to dig through all of the holiday-rentals and scams. I've got a 27m2 studio near parc Buttes-Chaumont that I'm going to visit tonight, so wish me luck! Anyway, I won't be blogging regularly while I'm gone, so here's something to tide you over: