Posts Tagged ‘75005’

September update – there is nothing to update

September 20, 2010

A few phone calls, a few ads that have interested me, but no visits since the last time I posted.  I’m feeling very “over it” and sometimes a few days will pass before I check the throwaway email account for all my explorimmo, seloger, pap, etc alerts.  And even if I do see something that kinda piques my interest, most of the time I can’t even be bothered to call.  The longer we wait, the pickier I get, and now I am deadset on remaining within a few blocks’ radius of our current place.  Yes, I am in serious need of motivation.

The only two notable tidbits I must share are about two apartments from the past.

The first is that Rue du Pont Neuf apartment that we attempted to buy, a few months ago, for either €220k or €250k, I honestly can’t remember.

Surprise, surprise, it’s back on the market with a brand spankin new price.

This really upsets me because it means the agency we dealt with was not at all forthcoming with us – we made our offer at full asking price and normally that’s the end of the story, the apartment should have been sold to us.  And now it reappears a few months later, with the exact same agency, and in the exact same condition, but with a new much higher pricetag?

Something’s rotten here.  I’ve been bugging my darling to call the agency for an explanation since he’s the one who dealt with them, not me.  Don’t hold your breath.

Similarly, this one-bedroom in the 5th was also relisted for a much higher price.

I think this one was initially listed at €260k or €280k, but we didn’t even go to visit it because it is a 3rd floor over a bar and a very loud boulevard.  When I saw that it was relisted for at least €55k higher, I had to call and ask why.  Apparently the owner paid for the roof to be redone and also did some interior work on the stairs.  Whether or not this deserves a €55k price increase remains to be seen, but at least there is a (somewhat) reasonable explanation for the jump.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the return of the fresh market, the vide-greniers that accompany the rentrée, and these sunshiny days of early fall.  Apartment hunting, and thus this blog, have completely fallen by the wayside and my lack of updating has everything to do with that reality.  Hopefully next time I update it will be something actually exciting to share, or at the very least an actual apartment visit!


Notes on the Paris market, riddle me this edition

August 3, 2010

It’s August and many if not all real estate agencies will be closing for a week or two if not the entire month.  I have absolutely no expectations for this month so there might not be any postings.

That being said, in the past week or so I have noticed a “flood”* of listings for outrageously priced studios in the 5th and 6th.  These are not the same properties being posted over and over again, but they all fit the profile of what expat investors look for when buying a pied-a-terre.  Small apartments in central, touristy locations with elevator.  No more no less.

The first few times I saw such listings I kinda gasped at the prices — usually between €12k and €13k the square meter — and moved on.  But since I’ve seen a few of exactly the same type of apartment during a very weak time of the year for the real estate market, I have to wonder, why are these types of properties appearing on the market now?

Are foreign investors pulling out of the market now that the Euro has recovered a bit?

Are sellers considering when potential foreign buyers may be in town on vacation?

Is this the prime time for well-off families to buy an apartment for their child heading off to university in the fall?

Or maybe for families who want to enroll their kids at Henri IV or Louis-le-Grand?**

Pure coincidence?

What are your theories?

To give you an idea of the type of properties I am talking about, today alone I received emails for the following apartments:

€340k, 29 m2 “one-bedroom” near the Pantheon

€330k, 30 m2 studio at Place Monge in the 5th

€350k, 27 m2 studio on Rue Dauphine in the 6th

*”flood” is a relative term for the Paris market.  At least five, perhaps even ten.  I have never seen so many of this type of apartment in these neighborhoods in such a short period of time.

**Henri IV and Louis-le-Grand are two of the most prestigious public schools in Paris, both located close to the Pantheon.  Families will buy a maid’s room or small studio nearby just to have an address within the school zone.

On the meaning of vis-a-vis

May 24, 2010

In my many French classes over the years, I never learned about the particular dialect spoken by real estate agents.  This week, five months into the search, I finally learned the official definition of vis-a-vis.  I always thought that vis-a-vis meant anytime there was no view (i.e., a view of a wall), but actually, vis-a-vis only refers to lack of privacy when other windows look onto your apartment.  Moreover, looking on a stone wall does not technically count as vis-a-vis, and even street-facing apartments can have vis-a-vis with the apartment buildings across the street.  What I should be asking realtors is not whether there is vis-a-vis, but whether there is a vue dégagée – a view.  The more you know!

Let’s go through the visits that illustrate this vocab lesson.  When I saw this listing for a 2nd floor walkup one-bedroom just steps away from Canal Saint-Martin, I called immediately.

Killer location?  Check.  Beautiful building?  Check.  As to the rest . . . well, not so much.  The realtor was upfront about the condition of the apartment, as it needed major updating, but she sidestepped the issue of view.  When she said it was over the courtyard I asked if it received light or if there was any vis-a-vis.*  Her response?  That it was a huge courtyard and there was nothing choquant about the view.  I should have followed up right then and there to ask her to clarify what she meant by “shocking.”  Because we clearly have different ideas of view:

"View" from the living room

Moreover, the apartment didn’t even look on the “huge” courtyard, but a little courette.  I apologized and said that it wouldn’t work and the visit was over about thirty seconds in.

Later in the week, an agent called me about a US 4th-floor walkup near Cambronne in the 15th.  I couldn’t really talk at the time so I agreed to the visit without asking many questions.  I don’t think I even asked the price!  We met at the agency beforehand to go over things and I told him straight up, if there is any vis-a-vis or wall it’s not even worth going over to see it, I don’t want to waste your time or mine.  He smiled and said that there was un petit peu of a wall and a little bit of vis-a-vis.  Which amounted to this:

Ok, so technically there is no vis-a-vis, and I suppose the “view” is an improvement over the Canal Saint-Martin one.  But we need a real view of the street or the rooftops, not just a partial view of the building next door!  Next!**

The final visit of the week was in the 5th one block away from the Pantheon, at a teeny studio apartment with no work needed and a very nice view (SouthEastern exposure!):

Now here's a view!

It was priced at 12k/m2 – 10-20k/m2 is the average on that street, the view and light is worth it, and the neighborhood is great even if the apartment is probably a 7-8 minute walk from the nearest metro.  This apartment would be a smart investment for anyone looking for a pied-a-terre or a seasonal rental, and it is probably one of our overall favorites.  But we really need about 5-10 m2/more and a separate bedroom (or at least sleeping area) so we had to regretfully pass.

Here’s to learning new vocab…and hopefully finding an apartment along the way!

*At the beginning of the search, courtyard-only apartments were an automatic dealbreaker for us.  However, courtyard-only is not necessarily mutually exclusive with view; it just depends on the building, what floor the apartment is on, the courtyard, and the surroundings.  We are now open to visiting courtyard-only apartments but I clearly have a long ways to go before I will be able to efficiently screen apartments based on the realtor’s description alone.

**Adding salt to the wound, this was a third-floor walkup with no view in an boring lime stucco building without concierge in a less desirable neighborhood than the Gobelins one from the very beginning, plus it was in worse condition and 7 m2 smaller, and yet the Cambronne one was more expensive!

Worst photos ever?

April 2, 2010

What the heck.

Is the plant included with the apartment?

Out of 9 photos the realtor posted, there is not one of the kitchen or bathroom, but a close up of this fabulous succulent, and an “artsy” shot of a mirror.



That being said, absent major problems with the bathroom or kitchen, the price seems right for that location.  If we could afford it I would be on the phone with the realtor right now.  Check out the listing here.