With move in day slowly approaching, we haven’t spent time exploring the south of France sites. Instead we explore wholesale stores looking for the necessities to set up our house.
France has a legislated sale time, allotted for all merchants twice a year called ‘Solde’. January 11-February 18 and June/July for 5 weeks, not certain of the dates for summer, are just in time for our move. Lucky us!
The living room is the most important. Here we do the most of our living. We look for a pullout couch, in case we have extra company, a dining room a table and chairs that seats 4 and a larger table for the terrace that seats 10+, where I plan to have large parties.
Up stairs we just need a few things, mainly a bed for ourselves, and desks for the kids. The lady we bought the house from has generously left a number of beds, chairs and linens for the kids as well as the spare room to get us going.
She also set up our kitchen with dishes and cups, a few household items and cutlery. I will need a crock-pot, a large pan, a Dutch oven, and maybe a corning ware serving plate with lid. Been reducing for almost a year now, and we don’t want to bog down our new life here with too many things.
We want to be able to rent out our house, and pack up a van and go travel around with the kids for the summer. Keeping it light is our adopted new motto.
The list is long for setting up the household bills too; house, medical and school insurance, transferring motorbike and van to French plates, electrical bill, internet, phone and cable.
Then we get to the media items. We are looking for a 46-inch and a 32-inch TV. Plus one for the rental after it is complete. We will need 3 DVD players, and a business laptop. Those will be the killer expensive items no matter where you live in the world. Ugh! With the sale we will be saving a thousand just on them alone.
I was expecting boxing day sales like back home in Canada, where you hunt around and find bargains, 90% off for the first few customers, giveaways, that sort of thing. What I found was most places were very close to each other. Maybe 20 Euros apart on their sale items.
I almost forgot, we need an 8 kg washing machine. Having a B&B in our home, we decided to get a bigger unit that I can wash comforters and duvets in. In France they say, ‘You don’t need a dryer! We have wind and we have sun!’
I plan to have loads of company from Hungary and Canada, and want to make it easier on myself. Here they do not use dryers, so I will make sure I have spare linens to trade out each week. The linens, I will probably get from IKEA. I love IKEA, I am sure I have mentioned a hundred times before. Outside we will need a line dryer.
Once we move in, we will start on the house renovations. A small apartment conversion, we need a small kitchen and bath installed, plus put in a bunk and a pull out bed under it. The TV mounts on the wall, for a cozy, comfy little Southern rental. That is what I envision. The entire Budapest rental is IKEA products and even after 3 years it looks brand new. It has held its value well.
Upstairs we decided to make an ensuite for ourselves. An easy part of the renovations, as there is already a shower in place. Just need to add a little sink and toilette.
Then comes the big one. Part of the deal moving to France, where it gets 40* degrees in the summer, was to have a swimming pool, one that is heated to stretch the season out from April-October. Although our property is small, we have been hunting around for the best price. And we can save money if we dig the hole ourselves. We plan a corner pool, using as much of the yard as we can, and will tile from the front door to poolside. I have a palm tree in my vision with a few deck chairs and floats in the pool. Oh look there I am floating around with my gin and tonic. Just kidding, this picture is from a local realtor, but the size is similar to what we want.
Today we headed to a slightly flawed discount furniture place and chose a sofa-bed and after went to; Fly, Comforama, BUT, Carrefour, and Electric Depot to compare sale prices on more items.
Tomorrow we continue the hunt for the best price. For some people it sounds like fun, for us it is time we could be adventuring. We are sure to get the job done.
With every important venture, comes work. It feels like work, and being in the car for 3 days is not fun. Looking forward to the weekend, and venture towards Narbonne to check out the Abbey, a small village on the outskirts of town, and pretend we are tourists for the day with our soon-to-be new neighbours.
This feels like a very good beginning to our new life in Capestang France.