In French, “oh la la” is more akin to “Oh my God” as opposed to the way it is said in English “ooh la la” which means sexy.
So, let me begin with oh la la…it has been a tough stretchand things are finally starting to settle down.
Right after my last post, our landlords told us they were selling their house. This pulled the rug out from under us (almost literally, but there aren’t rugs here.) We frantically began searching for a new home to rent or buy. This put quite the damper on Christmas.
Angers is a very hot commodity right now and many people are leaving Paris for here so the prices are insane and quality places are snapped up immediately. Rentals are nearly impossible to find.
There is no multiple listing service and realtors do not work together. They represent the seller, so buyers beware. One house may be listed by 15 different offices or exclusively by one. Realtors will not give you the address in advance so you must make an appointment and then find out the house is a disaster, or in a terrible location or already under contract by the time you can see it.
Rentals are difficult because the laws favor the tenants. If the tenants don’t pay, it can take months or years to evict them, so landlords require a guarantor - someone who will pay your rent if you don’t. Good luck finding that person as a newbie. Also, unfurnished rentals don’t include equipped kitchens, so a new apartment means you must bring your cabinets, appliances, and kitchen sink! Angers is a university town, so many apartments are student housing, so very noisy.
We realized made a mistake by living in this house, because it is in the nicest area and everything else feels like a step way down.
We asked the landlords to sell us our home and their backyard. At first they said no, but after thinking about it, they decided to do just that! This decision was reached at the end of January. As of today, March 5, we are still waiting to make our Compromis de Vente - or offer contract. Supposedly it will happen on the 14th. Then, if all goes well, we may actually close in June.
We are thrilled to get to stay in this house. We love the location, the neighbors, the amenities.
Our visas have been renewed, we now have French healthcare, and hopefully soon, we will have our forever home. But I am ready to forget December, January, and February. Oh la la.