Arts et Metiers (again), Saint-Augustin, Ile Saint Louis

I’ve been a bad blogger.

What can I say?  The heat of June, the soldes, the thrills of the auctions, the World Cup and ensuing French soccer drama, travels and weddings and real life have all gotten in the way of our boring old apartment hunt.

Yes, we’re still looking.

Over the past two weeks I’ve received at least one phone call from a realtor every single day.  This is a great sign.  Unfortunately, these phone calls are often for apartments that are too expensive or in a neighborhood we don’t want so they don’t often result in visits.

So a quick recap to bring you up to speed:

Arts et Metiers – Last week I came full circle and went to visit a one-bedroom a few buildings down from one of the very first apartments I visited back in late December.  The street, Rue du Vert bois, remains as charming as ever.  This apartment was a 2nd floor walkup in a very rundown building.  The visit was doomed from the start – I asked the realtor about the price and how long it had been on the market, and he explained that he had sold it a few days before on the first visit.  The owner, unfamiliar with the Paris market and thinking that if it sold so fast it must be underpriced, refused the offer and raised the asking price by 20k.  Sound familiar?  This is exactly what happened to us way back when with the Ecole Militaire apartment.  As with us, the potential buyer ran ran ran as fast as she could from the seller and the agency, and now the poor agent is back to square one.  He seemed unhappy with the situation – it puts him in a bad position and reflects badly on him and his agency – and was clearly upset enough to tell me all about it.  Regardless, the small size of the apartment (barely 30 m2), the work needed (new kitchen, bathroom, toilet, floor, electric), and the poor condition of the building with no work on the agenda would have been dealbreakers.

Saint-Augustin – This morning I saw a very complete PAP description – 3rd floor walkup overlooking street with cave and concierge, completely renovated, and the address of the street.  I had everything I needed to decide I wanted to visit and when I called the owner to ask when the visits started she said “now!” and so I was there less than an hour later.  The neighborhood was great and the apartment is not even a block away from the beautiful Saint Augustin church with its neighboring park and lively square.  True to the description, the apartment didn’t need any work.  But.  27 square meters is just not possible for us.  Note to self: stop visiting apartments under 30 m2, everytime we walk away saying they feel too small.

Ile Saint-Louis – this one, I did not visit, but I have to share anyways.  Some realtors send texts instead of calling, and last week I got a hilarious text, “If I told you I had a 22 m2 one bedroom, 5th floor walk up, on Quai d’Orléans, that needed to be renovated, for only 370k euros, what would you say?”  Well, I didn’t reply to that one!  I’m not sure which is crazier – paying nearly 17k/m2 (or nearly $2k/sq ft!) for an apartment that needed to be renovated, or thinking that a 230 sq ft space is a one-bedroom.  Honey, where I come from, that ain’t even a closet.



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