Ornate. Owner and roommate: decides to buy a house to share

Thibaut Vincent and Loreleï Rondeau renovated an old house to make it a roommate. © Thibaut Vincent

“Apartment sharing; apartment; Alençon.” Some keyword typed on a classifieds website, and lo and behold, the search page is already filling up. Just activate the alerts to receive almost one email a day, flanked by the next post : «1 new ad corresponding to your search has been published! “.

Renew the living spaces

From just two yearsthe Alencon real estate marketin the Orne, he sees flourishing offers of room mates. And there is something for all tastes: for two or twelve, in the house or apartment, with shared or individual bathroom … co-live Where is it sharing the apartment it is occupying more and more space in a market that, a few years ago, did not hide its reluctance to this way of life.

In 2020, Sebastian Davoust he bought the Hôtel de Paris opposite the Alençon station, to make it a space co-live. Ten rooms furnished with two equipped kitchens and two studios. A project that, at the time, left us skeptical banking institutions in the sector.

“They didn’t believe in co-living in a city like Alençon and we had to find other ways to finance it,” confided the investor at the time. From, Alençon banks I’ve seen others. The hotel-restaurant the Great Saint-Michel closed since then 2013 for example he has recently also turned into a roommate for five people.

An ambitious project on which Thibaut Vincent, 25 years oldit also undertook the launch last year.

“The place where the goblins live! “

In June 2021, Thibaut became the proud owner ofan ancient palace of 257 square meters.

The Zinzineria
In Alençon, “la zinzinerie” is the “house of the zinzins” according to its owner and roommate! © L’Orne Hebdo

Built in the 19th century, nothing predestined this house for sharing. But for the young man it was obvious.

Video: currently on Actu

I have always lived with a roommate and was looking to invest. I decided to buy a property and turn it into a place to live together.

Thibaut Vincent

“Thus was born our house, the Zinzinerie: the place where the zinzin live! “, he entrusts the young owner.

A roommate not quite like the others, since over there, the owner is also a roommate.

Before embarking on the project, in 2019, I carried out an online real estate training for several months, then a market study with 400 people through a survey to answer some of my questions: is there a request for a roommate in Alençon? Who is looking for a roommate? What are they looking for? What’s their budget? Are they ready to live with the owner?

Thibaut Vincent

Significant result for the young person: one in three people in Alençon he was ready to share the accommodation.

This study then allowed him to establish its credibility and professionalism with professionals: banks, notaries, artisans, etc.

A happy mix

“When I started my research in 2020, there were three to five roommates on the market. When I bought the Zinzinerie, there must have been about ten. Today I am 36 ″, he observes Thibaut.

The 2,500 Alencon students would they invade the flatshare market? Not really. At La Zinzinerie, five of the six rooms are occupied by young workers, between 22 and 32 years. At the Hôtel de Paris, the inhabitants have, between 18 and 56 years.

So wouldn’t there be an age to live in a roommate? “No,” second Naisa school teacher, who has lived with a roommate in Alençon since she graduated.

When you want to meet people, when you can’t stand living alone and when you prefer to return to a house full of life in the evening after work, shared accommodation is just perfect.


He points out that “just because you are no longer a student does not mean that you no longer have the right to live with a roommate. The whole thing is to find roommates who correspond to our way of life, which is no longer what it was when we were 18-19 years old ”.

She and her roommates confirm: we don’t live for the same reasons in a roommate when we’re 18 or 40.

Roommate DNA

If Thibaut, the young ownerhas decided to invest in a fixed fee, that’s why this way of living it sticks to her skin. But today she no longer lives with a roommate, as she lived there yesterday.

When I was a student I lived in a large house where there were 12. We were there to cut our budget. But in reality, we really learn from others. I understood that it was essential to share, to listen, to know how to say things. I had a real crush, I met my friend Pierre in this house, with whom we started talking about real estate investments.

Thibaut Vincent

So when Thibaut arrived in Alençon, later his diploma in dairy cow nutrition, it was no longer about him living alone. “I was looking for roommates to meet people, not to cut my budget anymore. “

A state of mind in which he too seeks his future roommates.

What is invaluable is the feeling with the person, I am looking for someone who wants to be roommates so as not to lower the budget, he does not have the DNA of a roommate. You will not have symbiosis and you will have turnover.

Thibaut Vincent

A point of view that is not necessarily shared. Oscar, 29 years oldcultural mediator, he is also a great accustomed to living in shared accommodation, and does not intend to break away from it soon, but to different reasons.

“To keep costs down, the roommate doesn’t have anything like it. And then I have a lot of stuff, between my professional equipment and my furniture. I need space to store everything, I couldn’t go back to living in the studio “, says the young man who has just moved into a roommate in Alencon.

The roommate, positive for Covid?

The advantage of 36 shared apartments in Alencon, is that everyone can find their own account. Despite Thibaut wonders. “When there is such a niche, everyone goes there, but in the end will all the Alencon roommates fill up or not? This is the question. “

“With Covid there has been an increase in supply and a decrease in demand,” notes the commercial dairy cow. Young adults in roommates, which they previously had two places to livenow practice more telework. Same observation for study workwhose distance training courses are much more frequent.

24 people helped with the house renovation.
24 people helped with the house renovation. © Thibaut Vincent

For others, Covid has increased roommate wishesas for Lucia, 23 years. “It is the opportunity to forge social bonds with other people and to break away from possible loneliness”, a phenomenon that he devastated during his imprisonment. “After making the mistake of living alone in a city I did not know, I accepted the challenge of sharing housing.”

The kings of renovation

To give value to his property and make the place “as pleasant as possible”, Thibaut, the owner of the Zinzinnerie has become a “site manager”. A project carried out frontally together with his partner, Loreleï Rondeau. “24 people came to help us restore the house. We created crazy memories, it was powerful. “
Together with his friends and family, including his grandparents, the young man is working hard. “I am commercial, I love my job but when I finish my day there is nothing tangible. While I was there I finished my day and had painted a wall! exclaims the man who, before then, had never painted him in his life.
Today Thibaut is confident in the future of his property. “I have a lot of releases. The shared house works today. If I go out and leave her in an independent roommate, she pays for herself. If I want to develop Airbnb, it would work. Tomorrow if I have a family, I can live there. And if I decide to sell it, it is worth more on the market than what I bought it. ”

The same?

On the market, many offers they follow and look alike. “All apartments for shared rental investment are the same,” complains the owner ofa small roommate for two people. “The same dressers in every room, with the famous black and white decoration and matching sheets…”.

It is true that by browsing the ads there is something to be missed. Some owners also have several shared properties in Alençon. Of the true copies with a few exceptions: some have strengths that others don’t. Because to stand out from the market you have to show attractiveness.

At the Hotel de Paris, for example? Soon a cinema in the basement. At the Zinzineria? A gym, a billiard table, a garden and a lot of nonsense!

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