Househunting and homeschooling

We got our first rejection today. We made an offer on the pink house and they rejected it, not even offering a contra offer. Our real estate agent said that the house was set way too expensive, which was why we tried in the first place. The real estate market here is quite different from Denmark. The owner set their own price, sometimes regardless of real estate agents advice, which means that the price is always discussed when buying and quite often there are big cuts in the price. The houses are also for sale at many different agents, which might be why we sometimes stumble into houses we want to see and when our agent try to make an appointment, they say that the house is sold years ago. It’s normal for buyers to have a real estate agent working for them, making the appointments, sorting out the local issues and in the end finalising the sale. The fee is included in the price of the house and is paid by the seller. The seller’s agent then share the fee with the agent that brings the buying client. Therefore it is free to have a buyer’s agent, unless we find a house without a seller’s agent, then we will of course pay our agent.

The pink house in Aups. It’s been a family house for 40 years. The woman showing us around spent all her holidays here as a child.

The case for a lot of houses here, is that the owner don’t need to sell it, so they put it on the market at a high price and hope to get it even though it’s way higher than the market price. A lot of the houses are second homes and many we see have been family homes for decades, maybe generations. These houses of course mean a lot to people. In the end it seems that many families can afford to keep the house instead of lowering their price, and therefore some houses are for sale for many years.

I love these tiles and the beautiful old, big windows. The house had so many details beautifully renovated in style with the original decorating.

We continue the search and hope to see some interesting houses in the next few weeks. We are getting slightly impatient, since we would like things to become more specific soon. Our strategy is to make more offers, because in the end it might be a question of what is possible rather than falling in love with one special house. There are compromises to do in all of them and the price is sometimes possible to discuss and sometimes we have to move on because people won’t discuss the price and we can’t afford it or the house is simply not worth that much money.

We saw a B&B in Moissac-Bellevue with a really nice pool area and outside kitchen. The house was dark and didn’t have the rooms we need.

Besides househunting and the long drives it takes to move around seeing houses with the kids in the backseat getting hot and tired, we enjoy life here and try to get the best out of having lots of time to relax and have fun together. We swim in the pool several times every day and the kids just love it. It’s right across from our house, so sometimes Aya go there by herself. She got a German friend she played with, but unfortunately he left today. She’s sad but also excited to see who will be our next neighbor.


Aya’s school schedule. We gone over to swimming in the morning and more of a flow schedule.

We’re homeschooling Aya and try to stick to a fixed structure 3 hours a day every weekday. I’m already quite challenged by the teacher role. I teach Aya Danish, French and English. She was supposed to start in 2nd grade, so we are primarily focusing on reading and writing Danish and then the handwriting, since French schools should be quite tough on the handwriting and Aya’s leaning letters and opposite S’s probably won’t be accepted as a charming Danish feature. Besides Danish I fumble my way trough French lessons trying to remember what I learned as the first things when starting French in 7th grade. I’m so happy and grateful Teis is a teacher. He has really good ways of making Aya work on her own instead of making me do all her work. I get overly alert and tired from putting way too much attention and time into it, ending up without time to do my own stuff.

A very focused and patient teacher doing math with strangely concentrated kids.

Generally Teis is good at taking things easy when I’m all hyped and torn to tears by worries. I’ve been worrying wether we did the right thing moving here. I were afraid the kids were unhappy and thinking about how happy they were in school and kindergarten. At these times I tend to forget the days where Aya didn’t want to go to school and how lonely Eddie looked in kindergarten when his best friend wasn’t there. This is where Teis tells me that the best thing for Eddie is to be with his parents. That in kindergarten he would compromise all day long trying to fit in and hide his feelings. With his age he’s doing fine here and there will soon enough be new friendships to make.  Likewise Aya is really happy when she gets to swim and when we do school in her pace giving her breaks and trying to balance what motivates her and what she has to do even though she’s complaining. Exactly as she would at home. We were very happy about both school and kindergarten back home and there definitely are challenges when taking life-changing decisions and being in a temporary phase as this is. But that said, when Teis has calmed me down, I’m sure the kids are gonna have great memories and soon enough we’ll be busy getting the kids to school and running a B&B day and night.

Viewpoint on the road from Bagnols-en-Fôret to La Motte where our friend and real estate agent Mette lives. A trip we do pretty often. Luckily it’s beautiful.