We have all been there before – the days before travelling, the night before the departure; planning, packing, double-checking, and scouring the web looking for possible accommodation options at the destination we are travelling to. The hassle can be quite exhausting to the body and mind, even more, when the destination is a big city.
The focus of this article is on expats looking to relocate to Paris for work. Unlike the old days when you had to physically search for an apartment, today you can look for, and even pay for, a house on your computer or phone. The emergence of many companies that offer furnished apartments in Paris means that it’s easier than ever for expats to find suitable accommodation.
In this quick guide, we share everything you need to know about renting a Parisian apartment as an expat.
Call it due diligence if you will, but the foremost step is to get trustworthy and proven listing websites that operate in Paris. Start by conducting an online search to get a list of as many credible companies dealing in property here as possible. Read travel blogs and forums to identify companies that others have used and found to be reliable.
You can also seek references from your family, friends, or colleagues who have been through similar experiences. The idea is to avoid losing money to fraudsters who now operate in the thousands online.
Paris is quite an expensive city to live in, with monthly rent for a full furnished apartment averaging between $1,100 and $3,400. The cost is determined by the amount of living space and the location of the apartment. Rent is cheaper in normal areas and higher in areas considered to be expensive. A 30m2 furnished studio apartment in a normal area will set you back around $1,100 a month, while a similar one in an expensive locality could go up to $2,000 a month.
A fully furnished apartment large enough for a family of four will cost around $2,400 to $3,600 per month in normal and expensive areas, respectively.
Monthly food expenses will also vary depending on your locality, whether you prefer to cook or dine in restaurants, and the number of people in your family. If you plan to live alone, be prepared to spend between $200 and $400 on grocery shopping if you are the type that prefers to make your meals.
It will cost you more if you plan to eat out, with prices ranging from $13-$18 per meal in an inexpensive restaurant to up to $100 for a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant.
Paris is spirally layered out in 20 districts known as arrondissements. Although they are commonly referred to by their number, each district has a name. The innermost district in the spiral is referred to as the 1st Arrondissement while the outermost district is the 20th Arrondissement.
The 10th, 12th, 11th, 18th, and 9th are regarded as the most affordable districts to live in, while districts 1-8, together with the 15th, 16th, and 17th, are the most expensive ones.
Moving around in Paris is quite affordable and comfortable if you choose to use public transport. A metro pass allows you access to the underground trains, buses, trams and the suburban express railway for around $2.30 a day, $16 a week, and $90 a month.
Healthcare in Paris is near-free as the government pays for 70% of your insurance. A visit to a general doctor will set you back $30 in consultation fees.
The average Joe spends around $200 a month on electricity, water, garbage, and heating. Wi-Fi and internet connectivity cost around $35, however, some landlords and companies provide free Wi-Fi to their tenants.
Paris is considered a safe city, and all the 20 arrondissements enjoy a relatively high-security status.
Paris offers a myriad of options for expats looking for both short-term and extended stays. Whether you are looking for affordability, comfort, indulgence in history, or a premium experience of one of the world’s best cities, Paris has it all!
The infusion of technology into the property market has opened up lots of possibilities for would-be tenants. It’s now easier, faster, secure and more affordable to get an apartment through an online service as compared to a physical search. Always remember to exercise caution when contacting anyone online to avoid scammers.
Finally, read travel blogs, watch travel videos, and do research on the location you’re looking to settle in. You will be amazed at how easy it is to fit in when you know a thing or two about your new environment. I’ll leave you with an endearing quote: “Travel is like knowledge, the more you see, the more you know you haven’t seen.”