Jules Joffrin

I was all prepared to do a nice write up of the apartment I visited yesterday at Jules Joffrin in the 18th.  It was a cute, cosy apartment: 350 sq ft one-bedoom on top floor (8th US) with elevator, a whopping THREE balconies, TRIPLE exposure (the building is at an angle of two roads – southern, eastern, and northern exposure), view of the Sacre Coeur and the Town Hall of the 18th, working marble fireplace, new windows, no work needed.  And lest I forget the most hilarious part of the visit – the owner met us at the door while breastfeeding her newborn, and continued to show the apartment with the baby latched on, no biggie.

Until I realized that I hadn’t even learned my own lesson from the previous post!  This morning, I found the same apartment listed on ebay of all places for €15k less than the agent’s asking price.

La vache! Anyways, back to the visit.  The nice freestone building from 1910 (the one on the corner behind the kiosk):

Florist and papeterie on the ground floor - charming!

The view from the living room during daytime:

That big building on the right is the town hall.

I ended up visiting this apartment by chance.  I called the agent about one listing I had seen on seloger, but it didn’t have an elevator.  The agent was very go-getter and motivated (dare I say American in attitude?) and told me that he had just received this listing this morning, already had an offer, would I be interested in seeing it immediately?  You have to ask?!

One hour later, I was visiting this charming apartment that met practically all of our wishlist.  The catch?  The location.  While the immediate surrounding area of the apartment was ADORBS, with a merry-go-round and little church and market street, the 18th just feels so far.*  Plus there is no concierge and the parties communes of the building were not well-kept.**  Other minor negatives were the tiny bathroom and kitchen, which were manageable but far from great, and the low ceiling height – normal for the top floor and on the other hand you have the charm of the exposed wooden beams, but it makes the place feel so much smaller and poses a problem for my tall companion who would be likely to bump his head.

I do not regret walking away from this one, and after much discussion the 18th is off the table.  Paris Perfect mentions this test when considering a neighborhood:

For ‘color and emerging’ neighborhoods, there is a safety factor which remains an important consideration: Our quick check is to ask: ‘Would we let our adolescent children walk around here at night?’ If the answer is no, we say no.

I have young cousins who might visit us this summer.  Sometimes I walk the dog at midnight, alone.  The area immediately surrounding the apartment was adorable, picturesque, perfectly safe.  The Jules Joffrin metro is practically across the street from the apartment.  But the walk to the Simplon metro station, about 5 min away, is a whole ‘nother story.***  And that’s the problem with/the charm of the 18th – everything changes from one street to another.

*The truth is we’re spoiled because we live at Montparnasse, which feels like the center of Paris to us. =) (10 min walk to Jardin to Luxembourg, 10 min walk to the Bon Marche, 4 metro lines and too many bus lines to count).  None of our friends live in the 18th, we don’t work anywhere near the 18th, we never go out in the 18th, and the last time I went in that neighborhood was 2 yrs ago to take a visiting friend to see the Sacre Coeur.

**Now I compare everything to the Gobelins apartment/building, and ça n’avait rien à voir.  In this building, the staircase needed to be redone/refinished, but it was not yet voted on nor paid by the homeowner’s association.  It will be on the agenda at the September meeting and the contribution for the apartment was estimated at €700.  Not a big deal but I didn’t craque for this apartment anyways.

***Notably, you pass through Rue Baudelique, which is where 2000 undocumented immigrants have taken over a warehouse.  Blvd Ornano is no picnic, either.


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One Response to “Jules Joffrin”

  1. Struggler Says:

    Ebay of all places? Goodness. It does sound like a cutie, but location is obviously the hardest thing to fix. Your current neighborhood sounds wonderful but I imagine it’s priced accordingly.

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