Au secours! There’s a 2-bedroom apartment in Lille in need of urgent attention.
I know Channels 5’s House Doctor was syndicated around the world, but maybe it didn’t make it to France? In the UK, the 1990s TV show provided inspiration to a generation.
It starred Anne Maurice, who worked otherwise in San Francisco as a Real Estate Stager (apparently, that is an actual job title). Week in, week out, her top tip was to clear the clutter – after all, mess makes rooms look smaller.
Clearly, her sage words didn’t reach the ears of the owner of this 2-bedroom apartment in Lille.
As you will probably have realised, Damon has been flat-hunting for us this week. His Relocation Advocate (another great job title), Sophie, drove him around Lille, showing him a range of options.
With her painstakingly coiffured bob, wrinkle-free linen shift dress and cork wedges, she was the very personification of an estate agent.
“Her top tip was to clear the clutter – clearly, her sage words didn’t reach the ears of the owner of this apartment”
Damon saw several flats – and, like on TV, each was better than the 1 before. By number 4, he was ready to sign on the dotted line.
Then came number 5.
It is a 2-bedroomed apartment on the 5th floor of well-maintained block. Parking is provided and it has a wraparound balcony where we can sit out and eat.
What’s more, Place de la République is at the end of the street, so it’s very central. And it came in within budget.
Perhaps that explains why we were prepared to overlook some of the décor atrocities and general untidiness. And the paperwork. As anyone who lives in France knows, France is the home of bureaucracy.
We’re now waiting to hear whether this flat is also our new home. We can only hope.