Our relocation specialist, Heather, told us that finding a place to live in France is much like the art of spy craft. Nothing is centrally listed. There is no Craig's list. You must contact various agents. They will not tell you the location of the residence. No! First you must meet in a nondescript parking lot next to a common cafe and arrive wearing a white carnation in your lapel, or be sure to drive a car with a black and white checkered top, or bring along a confused americainne.
The first place we intended to look at we never actually got to see. We followed protocol and met up with the agent. Her meeting location was quite a bit out into the countryside. Then, we followed her to a completely different house than expected which was even further out into the countryside. It was on a hill and had an amazing view of even more hills. It had about 4 bedrooms. Lots of space for visitors.
|This was not the house you were looking for...|
|Safely Contained Party Pool|
Furnished Apartment near the end of the metro
There was a very nice furnished apartment. It was not in Toulouse proper, but was very close to a metro stop and near lots of shops in a small city-type experience. It had shared garage space where we could probably put all of the bikes.
Inside, it was quite bright. The large balcony was just off the living room and the main bedroom. I thought this would be a problem for sleeping, but learned something wonderful about France. They like lots of dark sleeping. The apartment had mechanical shutters that completely blacked out all light from the windows. It was amazing.
|Lovely view of the hospital (for Alex, just in case)|
|Furniture is here. And a petit television.|
|Lots of light due to large balcony|
|Nice Kitchen that can be personalized|
Quirky House 1km from School
There is a house available that is about 1km away from the kids' school. We could walk or bike. It is possible that the kids could walk on their own once they learn the route. It is also about 3km away from Dan's work.
The first floor has a large living room with a fireplace. It has two bedrooms on the first floor, one being the master bedroom. In a bit of a weird design, the first floor toilet is actually on the landing of the stairway. Also on the first level is a large garage that has a storage loft. Not that we have much to store. There is parking either in the garage or outside of it between the gate and the garage. There is a large yard.
|Front of House - living room left, kitchen right|
|Large Garage (and the kids' thought their school looked like a barn)|
|Dan with Functional Fireplace|
The second story of the house was even more quirky than the first. We went up the stairs. One bedroom was present. Then there was a second door to a room that had a slanted ceiling with a skylight. It was fairly child-sized. The bathroom was even more odd. It was off the side of the top of the stairs. The entrance looked like a crawl space. You kind of had to duck to get into it. Beyond that was an actual crawl space that was more attic-like. In theory we would have our bedroom on the first floor and leave the kids to the second floor with their weird bathroom and secret playrooms. The noise level wasn't great when I stayed downstairs and had Dan go walk around upstairs. The pitter patter of little feet would need to be handled with some sort of antique french rug.
|Skylight in low ceiling room|
It's just like our current neighbor's Tesla!
Terrible House just inside the city
The location was good. The house was not so good. In addition to the crazy bathroom downstairs, there was an additional bathroom upstairs that had a half bath. No, not a half bath, but a tub that was about half size. This is because the room it was in was super small. I actually hit my head on the ceiling. The people waiting to look at it after us were kind of sketchy looking. And not as tall as me. Perhaps they will find pleasure in this unusual house should they want to invite over other not tall houseguests.
|Seems Nice. Look! A garage, what else do you need?|
|We present bathroom from the 70s!|
|Kitchen? Rusty old falling apart one for you!|
|Fireplace, nice... Oh wait, it does not function|
Feels like the countryside, near town center
This is an amazing house.
|New House being Built|
|This one (or two, rather)|
|Pool (stuff around still to be removed)|
|Nice, renovated kitchen|
Strange two-level house near end of metro
This house was at the end of a little street, within walking distance of shops and the metro. It had a strange setup. The bottom level was more of a separate apartment. Bedroom, laundry, bathroom. The top level would be the living space. More bedrooms, bath, kitchen. In an interesting twist it has a well on the property that can be used for watering the garden. There were at least 3 different cats nearby and a few dogs. One of the cats looked like our current backyard cat, but fluffier.
|Open Layout and Neat Doors|
|Amazing, Tall Kitchen Prep Area|
|Strange weasel decorations|
|Watched over by neighbor's cats|
Look! It's fluffy stripey cat!
Quiet Apartment near Everything in the City
This apartment was oddly quiet. Once you went through the gate shown here, you were inside a quiet courtyard.
|Large living room with Balcony|
But where would we put bikes, you may ask? We would be able to use the parking garage bike rack downstairs. Or the extra bedroom until guests visit.
|In the parking garage, bike rack|
|Near a large park that includes a narwhal sculpture and a merry-go-round|
|Near all shops and restaurants. ALL OF THEM.|
|It even has chickens in the park|
The most boring house
This house was large, out in the countryside a little. Close to Dan's work and school. It was fairly nondescript. Although it did have a garage that included bike hooks.
|It's a House|
|Modern Large Kitchen|
|Bikes go Here|
Which shall we pick? We cannot decide? Help!