Yes, it is true that I purchased an apartment in Paris – on a bit of a whim in some ways, and in others it’s been the obvious next step to everyone else but myself.
To be honest, I had not planned on doing that. I had been thinking of Paris as my part-time lover for many years and I didn’t want it to grow into just another familiar city, one that is much past the romantic honeymoon phase and no longer on its best behaviour. In fact, I had been looking for a part-time home in every other place in the world from New Mexico, Italy, Salt Spring Island to Portugal. The turning point was a series of serendipitous events involving my personal trainer’s fiancée, a curious Uber driver and a container of feathers – which just may be another post.
Will I be moving here full-time? I don’t have a plan to, but as we now know, one is never privy to what the future holds.
Since I’ve made the dip (as I’d hesitate to call it a plunge in comparison to my full-time expat friends), I’ve been posting a little about it on Instagram and have been asked for more updates, as well as a number of questions about it. The questions have ranged from the process of buying an apartment in Paris, the logistics of moving to Paris, what the renovation process is like, and even about how to make the dream of living in France into a reality. So I assumed answering them all here, on the website, might be more helpful.
Keep in mind that I am no expert, but I’m happy to share my own experiences and everything I (think I) know.
Now…where shall we begin? Perhaps at the beginning.
Logistics about visas when living in Paris.
As far as I know, Canadians are allowed to stay for 90 days in a six month period in the Schengen Zone with only a short-stay/tourist visa, which should require no applications. This is how I have been living part-time in Paris for the last few years, renting with AirBnB until I became friends with a host and have been renting from them privately afterwards.
If you intend to stay for longer, you will need to apply for a “long stay visa” and the criteria vary depending on your situation and age.
Who can buy an apartment in Paris?
It seems, well, anyone! As long as you have the funds to pay for an apartment outright, anyone can buy an apartment in Paris with nothing more than a tourist’s visa if you want to visit the aforementioned apartment.
Getting a mortgage in France is a slightly more complicated story as their credit system differs (another post) but not impossible.
With this, I’ll save the rest for future posts.