It took about a week for us to recover from the disappointment of being let down in our rental agreement, but as I said then, we took it as a sign that it wasn’t to happen.
We renewed our search on both Seloger and Leboncoin but now we were armed with the knowledge that there were places outside of Montpellier we could look at that wouldn’t break the bank. Everything that we found within Montpellier for home rental now seemed to be aimed at students (Montpellier has a famous university and student scene), or was ridiculously overpriced for a family.
As we had come so close to securing a move to Palavas, we decided to focus our search on that area. We found a few holiday home rentals on Leboncoin. Most of these were Studio or one bedroom flats. We made a couple of approaches and as before with the previous Airbnb experience, we received an email back from one couple who said they had a suitable apartment we could rent.
Again, a long term rental was not something that the Landlords had previously done, but the appeal of having a holiday apartment, with two bedrooms occupied for the full year not empty (and thus with no rent during the winter months) seemed to outweigh the inconveniences of drawing up contracts. The landlord seemed willing to answer any questions, so with the previous experience still in our mind, we asked my mother-in-law to immediately support us during negotiations and visiting.
This was crucial for us. Having the support of someone on the ground in France was the only way to make this happen. My wife’s mother, and her partner, were a massive help for us. It’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for them, and we are indebted to them for their support.
The Landlord said the only way the deal could proceed was if we had a guarantor, guaranteeing payment of rent should we be unable to make any payments. Without us asking them, my mother-in-law and partner put their names down as guarantors.
We arranged a viewing of the property and gave my mother-in-law a list of questions to ask. She visited the two bed apartment in mid-August. She sent us some pictures from the viewing. She said for our needs, it would be perfect, and furthermore, it was 30 seconds from the beach.
That couldn’t be right, surely. 30 seconds.
Then she sent through a picture of the view from the balcony. It was basically a magnificent blue. We couldn’t tell where the sea ended and the sky began. The weather was amazing, not a cloud in the sky.
We were still fairly reserved, but hearing the excitement in my mother-in-laws voice about the apartment, and possibilities, we soon knew this was the one for us. Furthermore, she said she developed an immediate bond with the landlord, who since having met him, I can say is trustworthy, honest and dependable.
Within two weeks of the visit, the contract was signed, the bond was paid and we had a date to move. It was happening.
And now the real work was to begin.