Pernety, Pere Lachaise, Falguiere, Vavin, Denfert-Rochereau

4 days, 5 visits, 0 offers, 0 photos for anyone out there.  The theme?  Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre.

Wanting the butter and the money for the butter: is it really so unreasonable to hope for good location, good building, and light?  Apparently so because we’ve yet to find an apartment with all three…I’m this close to investing in a nice Santeria un-jinx bubble bath or air freshener.

If only finding an apartment were as simple as buying a “lucky” bubble bath!  On to the recaps.

Pernety: 2nd floor with elevator in ok condition in ugly 30s brick building in ok neighborhood.  Meh.

Père Lachaise: beautiful stone building with elevator, cave, concierge.  6th floor “courtyard” side but with panoramic views of the 20th and east Paris, in great condition.  The dealbreaker was the location: the listing said République, on the phone the agent told me Parmentier, but it was actually at Père Lachaise on the very border of the 20th.  If it had been anywhere else…

Falguiere: 2nd floor with elevator in nice stone building with concierge, cave.  Apartment was brand spankin new and maybe 5 minutes from our current place so location was perfect.  I’ve seen this listing on seloger for a few weeks but I thought the price was ridiculous.  I just saw it on PAP for a bit lower so I called to ask about view/light, and the owner assured me that even though it looked on the courtyard it faced west and received a lot of light.  You know where this is going: went to go see it ASAP and there was a view of the stone wall about 6 feet away.  “But it gets a lot of light!” she tried to assure me, before giving up and adding “you Americans all you care about is the view.”  Huh what?  NEXT!

3/31/10 update: I should really call this the yo-yo apartment because it was just relisted on seloger for the 10k/m2+ asking price.  Pics of the great view included.  Good luck with that one sweetie!

Vavin: Great location in the north 14th on a calm one lane road.  3rd floor walkup in nice stone building with cave and concierge.  Out of our price range with the work it needed – per usual “petits rafraîchissements” translates to everything – electric, bathroom, kitchen.  Three months in I still haven’t quite mastered the language of real estate agents.  Other negatives were super crappy layout and major vis-a-vis (one can be changed with more money than we have, the other can’t).  Oh plus a loony old woman who lives in the building harassed me and the realtor and told me to go back to America.  Fun times.  Next.

Denfert-Rochereau: 4th floor with elevator in beautiful building with cave and concierge, near 3 metro lines.  Looks on courtyard.  Plus we found it on PAP, which is not a bad thing in itself, except right now with the market the way it is the price listed in PAP is often just the starting price.  Owners aren’t limited to a mandat like an agency is, and by the time we saw this apartment there were already 7 offers on the table.*  I bet it will end up selling for 20k above asking price, more than we would like to pay for a courtyard apartment in that neighborhood.  Bizarrely the third time in a row I’ve encountered anti-American rumblings – the owners complained about a pair of rude Americans that had visited the apartment earlier in the day and said they would never sell to foreigners.  Next.

There were also quite a few apartments that I would’ve liked to visit but that were already sold by the time I called about them.  I got an email for one on Thursday morning, called and left a message ASAP, then called again on Friday morning by which time they already had six offers at asking price.  I asked about the highest down payment, to see if we had a chance at beating the best offer, and the realtor said unlikely since they already a cash offer without clause suspensive.  Holy moly we will never be able to make such an offer.  In fact, I don’t even think it’s possible to trump a cash offer without clause suspensive.*

Today’s lightbulb moments:

*Le vendeur est roi – the seller is king!  one agent exclaimed to me.  How true.  That crappy Square Baston Gaty apartment I didn’t like sold at asking price without clause suspensive in a matter of days – the agent said that now, to be sure to get an apartment, not only must you make an offer at full asking price, but also without the clause suspensive.

*Time is the ultimate luxury, not money – our failure to find an apartment (yet!) has nothing to do with our budget.  Ok, so we had to pass on that most amazing Commerce apartment (still dreaming of that beauty!) because it was out of our price range with the work needed, and of course it would be nice to have an extra 100 grand or even 50 grand lying around, but a successful outcome in this search turns on whether we can afford to be patient and picky.  We might have found a way around the May 31 deadline for the PTZ, fingers crossed…

*The Paris market is fickle – things seem to change from one month or week to the next.  We went out with Céline again recently and of course ended up talking about my favorite topic, the Paris market.  Apparently when Céline was looking one year ago, real estate agencies were going out of business and owners were worried that the housing market would crash, so the market was flooded with owners trying to sell as quickly as possible.  She was even able to negotiate a price reduction of 20k, which is just unimaginable right now.**

And that there ends my missive on the current state of affairs.  As always, fingers crossed for the coming week, even without jinx remover bubble bath.


*Here in France the legit agents can’t sell beyond the price stated in the mandat which is why it comes down to financing methods, not number value.  If I were selling an apartment right now I would totally list it myself on PAP just to open up the possibility of a bidding war which would not be allowed with an agency.  I discussed clause suspensive in the footnote to this prior post.

**For small, non-ground floor apartments.  The market for large apartments above 600k is not nearly as crazy – such apartments stay on the market longer and the prices are often open to negotiation.


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4 Responses to “Pernety, Pere Lachaise, Falguiere, Vavin, Denfert-Rochereau”

  1. Steelworks Museum in Pueblo asking for your “Steel Story” | Colorado Springs Real Estate News Says:

    […] Pernety, Pere Lachaise, Falguiere, Vavin, Denfert-Rochereau … […]

  2. MaryPius Says:

    Hi there,
    Your blog is really interesting to read! I dont know Paris that well ( I live in the south of France), but I am wondering why you were so against the location of the Père Lachaise apartment. I have been to Père Lachaise cemetery a couple of times, and while it is out if the center, it seemed like a nice area and easily accessible by metro. Is the distance from the center the only reason you dont like it?
    Thanks again for the fascinating blog!

  3. househuntinginparis Says:

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks! For the Père Lachaise apartment it was the location that got us, not the neighborhood. We would like to be on the 4/12 and 6/14 if possible (yet another reason we love our current neighborhood of Montparnasse – we have the 4,6, AND 12!). Like you noted Père Lachaise is far from the center, and more importantly inconvenient for our work commutes. My companion actually prefers the neighborhood of Père Lachaise to Denfert Rochereau even though Denfert Rochereau is a more convenient location. Admittedly we are spoiled by our current location and the 15-20 minute direct commute, and this is something we will likely have to give up if we ever find a place. 😉
    What is the market like in the South of France?

  4. MaryPius Says:

    Hi there,
    We are not looking to buy at the moment, but I think you would get a nice spacious 2 bed in a nice area in Montpellier for well under 300. Also, I get the impression there is a lot of room for negotiation and apartments do not move that fast. There is also a lot of building and a lot of new apartments for sale, but I think they are overpriced and seem to be smaller than 2nd hand apparts. People here seem to like new apartments, and also I think there is some sort of tax break for buying new builds so investors are taking advantage of it by buying new T2 or T3, but it is creating a bit of a bubble. The very best of luck for the rest of your search.

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