Housing in Paris: How to prepare your apartment hunt?

Paris Attitude
| | Read : 4 min

Looking for apartments for rent in Paris can seem to be a daunting task, but you simply need to choose the right method.

What's important to keep in mind is that there isn't one single magic formula to find the flat of your dreams. Rather, you need to consider your personal situation and ask yourself the right questions.

Some key points to focus on are the type of apartment you are looking for, the length of your stay, and the area you want to live in. Once you have determined those elements, you are ready for success. Let's have a closer look at the questions you need to answer before you get started.

Define your goals

What can you afford? What is your budget?apartment hunt

The best way to find an apartment is to use the appropriate method, and the right tools.

The first thing you need to think about is your budget: how much money can you allocate to your monthly rent, so that you can live comfortably? Rents in Paris are notoriously high, and you need to make sure your income is sufficient.

So, before you do anything else, define your budget, and stick to it (aim for three times your salary for rent, no more). Once you have the amount in mind, simply set it as a filter on the website you use, so that you see only listings you can actually afford.

How long is your stay?

The second essential element to take into account is the length of your stay.

Depending on how long you need to rent a flat in Paris, your needs will be different, and you should ensure you look for a place that is adapted to your living conditions in terms of surface and amenities.

Looking for a short-term rental is quite different from hunting for long-term accommodation, and your strategy should reflect that. Luckily, most (if not all) online resources allow you to define the length of your stay as a filter, so once again that makes your search much easier.

Furnished or unfurnished

Finally, whether you are looking for two-bedroom flats or student apartments in Paris, a key question to ask yourself is: furnished or unfurnished?

The answer depends on many factors, including the criteria we mentioned above, but it's important to understand the pros and cons of each option.

While unfurnished accommodation is usually less expensive to rent, it offers less flexibility and requires you to bring or buy your furniture. Furnished flats, on the other hand, are ideal as they are ready for you to live in and your notice period is shorter.

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Choose the right neighbourhood

In or out of Paris?

Once you have dealt with all the practical questions we discussed, you need to choose if you want to live in Paris proper, or in the suburbs.

The best websites to find apartments all offer filters by area, allowing you to refine your search and save precious time.
Living outside of Paris is a great way to spend less money on rent and sometimes to enjoy a more peaceful environment. On the other hand, choosing to stay in Paris means you are right in the heart of things and your daily commute will be shorter. It's all a question of priorities!

Paris district map of prices

If you decide to live in Paris, you need to be aware of the rent price in your chosen neighborhood. As we've seen before, your budget is an important criterion, so don't wonder how to find an affordable apartment if the area you are looking at is clearly out of your price range. Below is a map detailing the level of rent prices in all Parisian arrondissements


Paris districts specificities

With 20 arrondissements and 80 neighborhoods, Paris is diverse, to say the least. When determining how to find a good apartment for you, remember that between the very chic and upscale (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 16th and 17th), cosmopolitan and popular (10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 18th 19th, 20th), or historical and cultural (1st, 4th, 5th), among many other atmospheres, you are sure to find an area that suits your needs.

More residential neighborhoods can be found in the 3th and 15th arrondissements, if you are looking for a quiet, family-friendly place to live, while the 2nd and 12th offer great nightlife options.

Whether it is the iconic Marais, Quartier Latin and Montmartre, the international Batignolles, Belleville and Ménilmontant, or the exclusive Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Ternes and Champs-Élysées, your perfect Parisian neighborhood awaits!


Choose the type of renting

House Share

The final question you need to ponder before starting your apartment search is whether you want to live alone or with other people. Both options have pros and cons, so once again it's all about your priorities and preferences.

Sharing a house presents an extensive list of advantages, the most obvious one being the price of rent.

Besides this very pragmatic, albeit essential, element, living with other people means you'll not only enjoy company, share dinners and activities, but also split costs and cleaning duties, and maybe even make friends who'll help you in times of need.

Not to mention, you'll live in a much more spacious environment. House sharing is ideal for extroverted individuals who love meeting new people and being part of a community.

Paris apartment rental

Advantages of living by yourself

When you live by yourself, on the other hand, you can enjoy complete freedom and flexibility. You organize your days and nights the way you see fit; eating, working, cleaning, watching TV or using the bathroom whenever you want to.

You don't have to make any compromise. Also, having your own studio apartment in Paris is the perfect way to indulge in peace and tranquility, especially if you are a student or if you have an unconventional schedule. Finding apartment rentals that fit your character and lifestyle is essential for a happy, stress-free stay in Paris. 

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