I have to say this because, almost without fail, anyone who hears we were going or went house-hunting in France likened it to this show. Everyone wants to see our episode as their own personal version, only I really have no idea what they are expecting. This is what I now DO know, though:
People in the States usually get a realtor who serves somewhat as THEIR realtor, a sort of home broker or somesuch. This one person represents them and sorts through all the available real estate in their area, filtering it through their criteria, and touring them through the most likely candidates. This one realtor can usually access most of the homes on the market. It is probably a multi-day process.
In France, it seems the homes are represented by the realtors. If you want to visit a home, you have to work it out with that home’s realtor. If you have six houses you want to see, you might need to coordinate with 4 or 5 realtors. Because ours is a corporate move, and the company is actually renting the house, we were given a move facilitator who did that part of the footwork for us. It also means that a French-speaking person who had relationships with these realtors (very important in France) was coordinating for us; but it was still a complicated process. We toured 9 or 10 homes in the greater Toulouse area in one day. I was exhausted by the end of it.
Two of these homes were deemed too boring to consider. I mean, if you are going to live in France for a time, and you could live in a charming, French area or a boring, could-be-a-tract-home-anywhere area, which would you choose? So really, out of all the homes we saw, we initially narrowed our options to five. Two of those had to overcome a seriously long commute in a land of costly fuel, and a more remote location that would lend itself overmuch to isolation, not integration in a foreign community. Otherwise, these homes would have been AMAZING!
Let’s look first at the Apple Tree House:
This older home is seen behind its pool, which unfortunately would be an obstacle to overcome with the company.
It had an enormous, updated kitchen, and I could easily tone down the yellow on the walls. The house smelled a tad smokey, but all the wallpaper was being stripped and “refreshed,” which would certainly help.
The kitchen was open to the great room, which was sunny and large.
A two-vanity bathroom, especially one this large, is a rare find.
The four bedrooms were large and sunny and had closets.
And at the end of the yard were little apple trees.
These benefits could not outweigh the distance and isolation, though. However, my husband could ALMOST ignore them for the next house in this area, which we’ll tour in the next post.