So I found a roommate with whom I had been emailing and texting every day about apartment stuff. We had two apartments that we were seriously looking at: apartment 1, which was the one being leased by the teacher at my school, and apartment 2, which we had gotten an email about. Apartment 1 was a little more expensive, but in a more convenient location, and both had literally EVERYTHING furnished with them, down to dishes, pots and pans, bedsheets, etc, which was a major plus for us.
Apartment 1 was our first choice so I continued emailing with the woman whose apartment it was, who I had emailed with a fair amount upon first hearing about the apartment. I emailed her again and said that I had found a roommate and that we were definitely still interested in the apartment. She emailed back and said that she and her brother had decided to have us go through a real estate agent, who was her brother’s friend, in order to rent the apartment because she was very busy with her elderly mother.
Boy, was that a mess. I’ll spare you all the dirty details but basically he was bad at emailing us back in a timely fashion and wanted to charge us a real estate finder’s fee equal to first month’s rent. We emailed the woman whose apartment it was asking about the fee, and she got it reduced, then without us even asking she emailed us again and said she would prefer to rent the apartment to us herself and forget about the real estate agent. YAY! That’s what we were wanting anyway.
The three of us emailed back and forth about a million times one day talking about all the details. We figured everything out–price, dates, payment method, lease, all of that–and just sent the first month’s rent and security deposit to her in France. We are also working together on making a lease; she has never rented the apartment before so we’re all learning together. As with the plane tickets, if you want more information as far as the different ways of sending money overseas and what we ended up doing, just let me know and I’d be more than happy to explain it to you.
So voilà! I (almost) officially have an apartment in France! I’ll leave you with a photo collage of what the apartment looks like now; some of the furniture will be replaced before we move in.