That’s it. The decision to move to
That’s where the investment banking training comes in handy: chose a task big enough to fill the time of a normal human being for the best part of a month, give it to an soon to be ex-banker, and she will manage to draw a timetable achieving the desired result in less than 48 hours. Of course, sleep and down time don’t feature high, if at all, on the agenda, but here you go…
That’s how I end up in
Me: - Hi, we are moving to
The estate agent: - that should not be a problem. If anything, looking for a place to rent 2 months ahead is probably a bit early.
Me: - well, actually, we are looking at buying
The estate agent: - … Right… well… sure, although you do realise that, even if everything runs smoothly, there is at least a 6 week time lag between paying the deposit and exchanging contracts.
Me: - Perfect, we will have a few days to spare then.
The Estate agent: - …
Me: Ok, so I am coming for 2 days in 2 days and want to see as many flats as possible, meeting the following criteria: (list of 14 must-haves and 22 strongly-desirables to be included here).
Of course, I may be a hard-nosed, pain-in-the-neck banker when I chose to (Martin is adamant I can be pretty scary, but really, I don’t think I am that bad), but I am not a completely stupid one at that. For one, I can do the math: with 234 estate agents in
So that’s how I end up in
It rapidly looks like it won’t be hard to get to a shortlist of properties, given how appalling some of them are, or how misleading the online description turns out to be. In fact, by end of Day 1, I am seriously starting to wonder if a shortlist can still qualify as a list if there is nothing on it. Any references to greenery seem to be synonymous to big trees ensuring a total absence of light at any time of the day. Description and photos of a wonderful loft-style flat with skylight windows and stripped wooden floors strangely did not mention that the said windows, even closed, can do little against the noise of the trucks zooming past, while I am not super thrilled by the idea of a common entrance with what seems to be like a hotel where rooms can be hired by the hour… The next one may have indeed view on the lake (our dream!) but I have a bad feeling about the smell which seems to have penetrated the walls, not to mention the
Then it looks that the last flat on our list could be the right one. For a start, not only has it a garage, but a big one at that, so it seems we should be able to store our
mess sports equipment AND build a bouldering wall. No big trees hiding the light making you feel like you are living underground, but instead the view on the mountains and a cool sunset as the icing (or the cherry, since we are in France) on the cake. OK, no-so-cool white tiles which seem to be standard fare in France and manage to make the most stunning flat look like a hospital theatre, but that is nothing than cannot be overcome. In a nutshell, by the time I head back to