09 February 2017

House Hunting in France

House Hunting. In France. Turns out, this is not "rental season" (don't ask me when that is; I'm focused on NOW)

Wow - I wrote that last night after we got home. Then I let the wine and cheese apéro take over - between that and the heat-and-eat quiche dinner, followed by Columbo in French, we let the day's events percolate :-)

So. Househunting. Before we left the states, I thought I would get an idea of what sort of apartments were available, so I looked at websites like SeLoger.com and LeBonCoin.fr. There were plenty of places, encouraging information, and they seemed to be long-lasting (that is, I looked off and on over several months, and saw a lot of the same ads. Well, that probably made me too complacent. It turns out that many of the furnished places (our going in position) were rented for some part of the year as holiday lets; they just kept the ad up to fill in the down-times - so, *not* available for us year-round. Fortunately, we had some history with Renestance, a company that helps expats get settled in France. While we typically do prefer to go the Do It Yourself route, this promised to be a bit more stress than we could stand. While it is still extremely stressful, we have Dennelle and her team on our side!

Yesterday, we went to see our first possibility - it's furnished, and in a good area of Sète, but it is quite small. We decided to keep it as an option, but expand our search to (1) furnished apartments in Frontignan as well as Sète, and (2) unfurnished apartments in Sète. (3) extend our need-by date by a couple of weeks (somehow!)

We've been through this before - in Costa Rica, when we failed to find a furnished place, we did rent unfurnished - and bought a few (very few) necessities right off. We know we can do this :-)

On our way back from Sète, we stopped off in Frontignan to get a feel for it. At ~20,000 people, it's about half the population of Sète, has a train stop, tourist office, and beach community.
Dennelle and me in front of Frontignan's Mayor's office

Frontignan - no idea what this building is, but I liked it!
We talked about a great many things on the drive, from French legalities to music and social groups.
Back in town, we drove off to look for a scanner/printer - no luck, but we now know a new shopping area, with even a couple of used-stuff places. And finally, home! Well, temporary home, but it does have a couch and wine ;-)

~~~ UPDATE ~~~
Here is Dennelle's blog post about the week at Renestance: https://www.renestance.com/a-week-in-life-of-renestance-team/

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