Finding an apartment (or house), a daily mission for these students from Bordeaux

Finding an apartment (or house), a daily mission for these students from Bordeaux

Walter and Alex support each other and exchange ads on different sites, they are not looking for the same type of property. (©Marie Tournier)

“Well, well, nothing new, Walter,” Alex says. It’s 8 a.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The smell of coffee and cigarettes wafts over their friends’ apartment, really unsuitable for the four people they occupy while they wait to find their home.

Walter Lagüe-Salinas and Alex Chabit are both students on a work-study basis, one in Masters in Communication and the other in BTS MCO. They meet like every morning before starting work or before going to school to go through the pages lease of a flat. But there is no time to watch, it is already 9 o’clock, we have to take the tram.

Bordeaux a city that attracts and delights… a little too much

“The ad I saw yesterday is now gone,” Walter confides gloomily. He spends his lunch break, sandwich in one hand and phone in the other, scrolling through classifieds like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The competition is tough. Indeed, according to the INSEE study Bordeaux it will welcome an average of 2,900 additional residents per year. Many potential competitors for Walter and Alex are attracted by schools, IUTs and universities of all kinds present in the metropolis.

“We have much less attention today. There are students who stay for the whole course, or even longer when they find work in the sector,” explains Xavier Arribard, manager of the Era Victor Louis Immobilier agency.

Bordeaux pleases. The city seduces with its architecture, student life and geographical location. “I was born in Bordeaux, I went through almost all my schooling there and I was looking forward to only one thing, and that was to go back there to do my master’s,” says Walter, a bit of a chauvinist, who was in Foix last year to get his professional license in the tourism industry .

Difficult research progress

“The request it is obvious higher than bid. Although we have a good third of our rental portfolio which is new property,” says the estate agent. In addition, according to the PLU (local urban plan) of Bordeaux Métropole, the city planned to build 18,000 new housing units in Bordeaux between 2016-2021, an average of 3,000 per year. So why can’t our two students find it? Are they too demanding?

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Alex explains to us that this is because his guarantor’s income – a golf manager in Morocco – is in dirhams. In fact, several agencies prefer the simplest and do not offer guarantees such as: Garantme or visa guarantee that helps people in his case.

He blames bad luck for Walter, who has a “classic” record. “The last time I visited the owner, he asked me for a motivation letter. Once my application was accepted, she drew among the chosen ones. Well, well, that wasn’t me at all,” he says with humor.

“It’s an emotional lift, finding apartments”

Today, Alex will finish work early, crossing his fingers that someone will be in the apartment, since there are now only two sets of keys for the four residents. A stroke of luck! She is sitting on the sofa, exhausted from her day, and after 1 hour of scrolling on TikTok, the search resumes.

It’s an emotional lift, finding apartments. You see an apartment that looks good: either it’s a scam or no one answers. It’s a bit demotivating.

Alex

It’s 6 p.m., Walter walks through the door, “Hello! ”, screams inside this impromptu roommate. He has good news, a scheduled visit to a one-bedroom apartment on rue Porte Dijeaux next Monday.

“I’m happy, because the visit is already a huge step, but it doesn’t mean anything either,” he soothes the enthusiasm that reigns in the living room. “But hope gives life, as master Gims would say,” jokes Alex, who prefers to see the positives in this delicate situation, which is currently shared by many Bordeaux students.

By Marie TOURNIER

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