How Much Should I Pay For A Monthlong Flat in Paris?
January 6, 2014 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Going on honeymoon in June to Paris. I have a friend who runs a business renting apartments in Paris for a month at a time, and he's just sent me the first two options. One costs 1390 Euro, the other 1250 Euro. Both are crazy good locations with crucial amenities like bathrooms. Is this about right, or should we ask for cheaper quotes?

For background, I haven't been to France since I was a teen and my fiance and I would just like to be able to do this cheaply but without giving up too many comforts (i.e. not a hostel, but not too expensive either). My father-in-law-to-be will be paying, but he's a keen businessman and will balk if he thinks we're getting fleeced. My partner and I would just like to walk around and experience the city, probably only paying for things like the Louvre as big expenditures. The second apartment I listed is 3 blocks from the Louvre and has things like a shower, electric heat and a/c, toilet, stove, microwave, and wifi. Also, oddly, linens (which makes me think -- would we need to bring our own for some places?)

I got this idea of an apartment for a month as cheaper than a hotel from searching past AskMeFi questions on travel, but I can't tell if this is good or not. Any help is GREATLY appreciated and I can provide more information here or in PM. Thanks!
posted by Locative to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You should check prices for similar apartments on AirBNB
posted by pocketfullofrye at 12:24 PM on January 6, 2014

Do you need accommodation for the full 30 days? If so, it'll be extremely difficult to find anything cheaper than that in June without being in a terrible location. Break it down by day -- the more expensive one is 46 euro/night. I don't think you'll see prices anywhere close to that outside of hostels.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

That is outrageously cheap. Bite his hand off and grovel in gratitude.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:28 PM on January 6, 2014 [15 favorites]

We went to Paris 18 months ago and did EXTENSIVE research on VRBO. My opinion then was that there was a huge difference in quality when you compared the Under-1000Euro places vs. the Over-1000Euro places. So your price range for nice places in good neighborhoods sounds about right. Can you post more details? Things to consider:
-- what streets are they on
-- what floor they're on and if there's an elevator
-- if there's any view…an interior courtyard view could be stultifying after a month…or the quiet could be blissful
-- what the management situation is like -- is your friend's company full service? will they step in if you have an applicance break, for example, or a burst pipe? This is worth a lot, not to have to deal with a French landlord directly.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:29 PM on January 6, 2014

The second quote is 6th floor apartment with elevator, next to the Chatelet Metro station. View of a courtyard. The company provides support so I would contact them with maintenance issues rather than deal with a landlord.
posted by Locative at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2014

That seems quite inexpensive to me, and I have not been back to Paris since 2004. Are you sure that's the price for the full month? Or is that the weekly/fortnightly cost?
posted by elizardbits at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2014

Google renting apartments Paris and see what the best deals are for something equivalent. I would be surprised if you get a quote anywhere near as good.
posted by biffa at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2014

We rented a place from VRBO for 3 weeks at 1600 euros in the 3rd Arrondissement near Place de la Republique. It was on the cheaper end of the apartments we looked at and there were definitely some drawbacks to the place (peeling paint, insect sightings, weird washer/dryer, no natural light due to being in a deep courtyard). The equivalent price for a month would be about 2100 euros so I think your place sounds so cheap that I would wonder what was wrong with it.
posted by matildaben at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2014

elizardbits, the price is quoted as "Monthly Rent: € 1250 / $ 1700" and my friend knows we are just staying a month (three weeks, most likely).

I picked a similar-looking (at least to my untrained eye) place on airbnb and for 24 days it would cost $2,806.
posted by Locative at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2014

Is this broker a real friend? 'Cause if you can truly trust that it's someone who wouldn't do you wrong, I'd jump on either place ASAP. The prices are good, the locations are good, the amenities sound good. Have you seen pics of the interiors?
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2014

Those are really reasonable prices, especially for a courtyard view. Other posters are correct in that you will not find rates like that anywhere inside city limits except at hostels. "Inside city limits" is the operative caveat, but it's a good one in that you're guaranteed to be walkable if you're inside.

Paris is only 8 x 10 kilometres, or 5 x 6 miles (again, inside city limits). In other words, at the farthest end of Paris, you could walk to the opposite end in about an hour and a half.

Are the windows soundproof? Even if they're not, that is a great deal.
posted by fraula at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

BlahLaLa, the broker is a close friend of a close friend and I've known him casually for several years. I met him when he was getting the business off the ground a couple years ago, and he seems to check out as ok on my bullshitometer. He lives in France part time with his wife and kids, they are quite well off. I contacted him first because some of the other sites I looked at seemed shady, and I have known this guy for a while. There are about 15 photographs of the interiors.

Fraula, does not mention soundproof windows, but I grew up in a big city so I'm somewhat immune to constant street noise.

I notice laundry is not mentioned. Is coin laundry easily accessible in many locations? Last in Paris in 1995, so I wasn't really cognizant of this stuff.
posted by Locative at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2014

$1,700 per month for an apartment in a good location in Paris seems pretty inexpensive. Have you seen pictures of the place?
posted by dfriedman at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2014

Hi. I live in Paris and I find the quote from your friend quite reasonable, especially given the details. If there is laundry in the apartment they probably would have mentioned it, but coin-op laundry is nothing weird here. Heck, I have one right down the street from me in my yuppie neighborhood. Soundproof windows, well, if the apartment has been redone in recent history they may be double-glazed but many buildings are old windows with old glass and are neither heat nor sound nor air proof. At least they are waterproof?

Where was your second choice? I saw Chatelet. That station is a bitch and despite its multiple line accessability I would hesitate to base myself there just from sheer annoyance of the underground march. But yeah, Paris is small, you will get around.

Definitely be wary of random rental sites. There are a ton of real estate scams out here!
posted by whatzit at 1:29 PM on January 6, 2014

Ha. I can read, too. 3 blocks from the Louvre is a nice choice! Close to walk to most monuments and lots of good restaurants in the area (I assume you mean north of Louvre but any direction would be good).
posted by whatzit at 1:31 PM on January 6, 2014

Sounds like a great deal and that you'd be happy with it!

Soundproof windows here (I've lived in France since 1997) are a quick way to tell whether owners are serious about upgrading their properties (in rentals meant for tourism; residential rentals are another story). Better places will usually have them. Places that sell themselves as mid- or upscale, but don't have them, kind of throw up a yellow-ish flag.

Coin-op laundries are easy to find.
posted by fraula at 1:54 PM on January 6, 2014

I think those prices are very cheap, especially with an elevator. We rented a studio directly from the owner for €550/wk. It was up a flight of stairs, not as centrally located, and while it had laundry, the courtyard was located over a bar so there was moderately loud music till all hours. This spring we are renting a 2BR through an agency for about €1500/wk (in April) that is somewhat nicer and more centrally located. That same agency has a walkup studio located further out in the Marais than you are looking for about €2000 a month in June.

I like both areas that you are being offered. I'm a fan of the Châtelet and Montparnasse Métros, which I think of as the two "super" stations in the whole system since they connect to so many lines that are relevant to the tourist. Châtelet is the home of endless corridors when one is transferring, but that does not apply when you choose your entrance based on the line. Ligne 1 is along rue Rivoli, Ligne 4 is along Rue des Halles, while 7 is all the way down in Place Châtelet. Have a look at the map of the various lines within the complex. It's also located near almost every major bus line. The downside of the area is that it's pretty touristy, though it is central to nearly everything and I would not hesitate to stay there.

Montparnasse is not quite as central, but I feel it's much more of a "living" neighborhood where ordinary people are going to the store, getting their wash done, having a coffee, etc. and might be more suitable for an extended stay, especially if living expenses are an issue.

I had the pleasure of doing laundry at the "Lav' Club" coin operated laundry in Paris (right near Montparnasse, actually) on my honeymoon. I can assure you that ordinary Parisians do laundry at such "laveries" and you should not feel out of place. There is the usual struggle to understand the pictograms, but honestly it can be a little easier than having your own machine at home, since you can watch someone else do it and the machines are designed for public use. There is also the advantage of getting several loads done at once instead of having to run multiple cycles of a single machine, which likely will take longer than you expect, due to higher energy and water efficiency standards.

The linens thing is, I think, due to the fact that many privately owned rental apartments in the provinces permit you to bring your own linens as a cost saving measure.
posted by wnissen at 3:36 PM on January 6, 2014

I seriously think you're getting a friends and family rate here. For reference, we paid €500 per week for a very mid-market 1br flat in Nice in November. You are being offered fantastic locations in central Paris at the height of the tourism season for considerably less than that. I would take the Montparnasse flat in a heartbeat.

You will not need to bring your own linens.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:25 PM on January 6, 2014

Suggest telling the Father-in-law to be you got a sweet deal b/c your friend is in the business. I suspect its true. Dad will like thinking he got a deal.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:41 PM on January 6, 2014

Thank you all so much for your replies! I am now much more confident on booking. Anyone who finds this later, PM me if you want to know the company I'm working with, though I'll be able to vouch for it best after the trip is complete.
posted by Locative at 4:58 PM on January 10, 2014

Well, I signed a contract for one of the flats for the month of June, my partner even met with the flat-owner in person, but I was just contacted by my broker and he told me that the renter booked until 31 May broke their lease and moved out a couple weeks ago, and the flat-owner signed a new lease sometime in the last couple days with a renter who is renting for 12 months. I didn't notice that clause in the contract, perhaps because my legal French is atrocious, and the French-fluent lawyer looked over the contract with my partner, not me, so I'm not sure if it's customary. At any rate, I'm left without a place to stay and plane tickets I cannot change, so I'm glad some of you had alternative suggestions.

Sigh...51 days til departure.
posted by Locative at 11:26 AM on April 9, 2014

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