Tiffanie Davis has lived all over the world – but there’s nowhere like Paris, she says.
That’s partly because Davis, a 31-year-old digital consultant and YouTuber from Massachusetts, says she’s fallen in love with the City of Lights. It’s also because his one-bedroom, 320-square-foot Paris apartment feels like a steal, at 1,100 euros — currently equivalent to around $1,242 — a month.
Battling the city’s “super competitive” rental scene to land was like “a full-time job,” Davis told CNBC Make It. “I remember going to an apartment viewing and there was a line of 20 people outside the door waiting to see the apartment.”
Davis district, Montmartre, is north of Paris. His apartment is a few steps away of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, one of France’s major cultural and political monuments. And it was fully furnished, with amenities that many Americans might take for granted — like an American-sized refrigerator, washing machine, and plenty of storage.
Her friends “can’t believe” she found a “great” apartment for what she “pays in Paris”, she says.
“I got a good deal for Paris at this price with the space I have,” she says. “When I was looking for an apartment, all I found in this price range was again a small studio with the bed and the couch in the same room.”
Turns out Davis may have hit the jackpot in Paris rental when she landed the fifth-floor apartment in 2019. One-bedroom serviced apartments in Montmartre — in Paris’ 18th arrondissement — cost generally between 1,300 and 2,600 euros per month, according to Lodgisa real estate agency based in Paris.
In addition to her rent, which costs about a third of her monthly income, Davis pays $90 to $110 for utilities and an additional $40 for her cable, internet and phone plan each month.
His apartment also lacks a few key amenities, like a dishwasher. “When I was initially looking for an apartment here, I wanted it all,” says Davis. “I wanted it to be very spacious… but I realized that in Paris you can’t always get what you want. I definitely had to sacrifice some things.”
She considers her balcony with “beautiful views” of the city a fair trade. The apartment also has large French windows, tiled floors and two fireplaces. And for some personality, Davis says, she sprinkled crystals all over the place.
Before moving to Paris, Davis burned down a few American cities.
She grew up in Wilmington, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, and attended Howard University in Washington D.C. Post-college, a variety of fashion and public relations jobs took her to San Francisco and At New York.
But she felt “stuck [her] comfort zone” living in New York, she says. In 2017, a mentor told her about the MBA program at ESSEC Business School in Paris, where she could study luxury brand management.
She took the plunge, graduating with an MBA in August 2018 and being offered a digital marketing and social media branding deal with Estée Lauder, helping her afford a small apartment in the 15th arrondissement. from the city.
While the “small studio” was close to the city center, it was “overpriced” for its size, Davis says: 1,000 euros per month, only 100 euros less than his current apartment, but much smaller, and tucked away behind a restaurant with little natural light.
After a year, Davis left her studio and spent four months crashing with a friend, she says, before returning to her home in Montmartre in January 2019.
To find her sunny and reasonably spacious apartment, Davis plugged her price range and desired amenities into an apartment search site — then spent months sorting through various alerts.
Once she found the unit, the application process was just as arduous. Davis needed copies of his passport, recent tax returns, visa or residence permit, employment certificate or contract, and proof of his last three months’ salary. . She also had to jump through hoops to secure a non-French guarantor.
“The human resources manager for the company I worked for had to phone the owner and say, ‘Yeah, she’s in good standing, we love her,'” Davis says. “I’ve lived in many different cities… Paris was the hardest and most complicated when it came to finding an apartment and securing accommodation.”
To officially secure her apartment, Davis had to deposit 3,300 euros – 1,100 euros for agent fees, 1,100 for a security deposit and 1,100 for her first month’s rent.
A year later, his contract with Estée Lauder comes to an end, just as the Covid-19 pandemic begins to spread across Europe. But Davis was not ready to leave Paris. Instead, she decided to start filming vlogs of her life abroad for other aspiring expats.
YouTube earnings vary depending on how often you post and how many views you get on each video, with common estimates ranging from $3 to $5 per 1,000 views. Recently, she has also made money through brand partnerships and one-on-one social media consultations. .
And she is already planning her next home.
“I like the [Montmartre] space, but I’m also kind of ready for the next phase, the next level, the next chapter,” she says. “I actually thought about moving to a new country. Maybe, I don’t know, I feel like the world is my oyster right now.”
She will likely stay in Europe, where she has become accustomed to the lifestyle, she says.
“In America, people live to work,” she says. “In Paris, people work to live. I don’t know where I’ll go next, but Paris is definitely home for now.”
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