Wednesday, July 31, 2013

House Hunting In Paris

Once we were in Paris it was time to look for a place to live.  I was able to rent a 4 bedroom apartment for our first 2 weeks in Paris.  It is close to the area we hope to live, it has a view of the Seine, and has room for all of us.  We found it on  There have been a few glitches with the rental but over all it has helped us to be in a home instead of a hotel during this time.
We are working with a relocation firm provided through Jon's company.  They take care of so many details that we don't have to worry about.  They had taken our preferences for a home and done a very thorough search.  Our realtor, Frederique, was gracious enough to handle our enthusiastic suggestions and questions.  

On Tuesday we met at the first house and started our search.  Frederique is French, but has lived in the USA and London and is extremely helpful.  She understands the cultural challenges for us and was able to help answer a lot of our questions.  She explained that most people moving here to Paris do so in late June.  Since we are house hunting at the end of July there were not many options.  The people of Paris go on vacation for the month of August.  There were a couple of houses that we wanted to look at that were not available because the agent had already left for vacation.  

We did have 6 houses that met our criteria that we were able to look at.  The house that we thought was our first choice rented the night before we went looking.  It is amazing how fast the real estate goes here.

The first house we looked at would have worked for us, but we were ready to keep looking.   The kids loved the swing set in the front yard.  

The second house was not an option for us for many reasons.  
The third house was an amazing house with a huge yard.  The house was built in 1880 and had been renovated at different times over the years.  The creativity of bathroom arrangements was impressive.  It was a little out of our price range.

The fourth house was not one we were looking forward to seeing, but when we pulled up it was adorable.  It was built in the late 1800's and original portions of the house were used as an aviary for doves.  
There was a play house in the front yard and the kids were smitten.  

There was a tower on the property next door too.  The history buff in Jon was defininitely intrigued.  The agent told us that a writer lived in the tower so he could write undisturbed.  It is at least as old as the house.

Then it was lunch time!  The food here is always so good!
The fifth house was another really neat house, the living room/dining room was huge with gorgeous exposed beams.  One of the bedrooms upstairs had a loft portion of the room.  This one quickly became the kids' favorite.  
The 6th and final house was the one we were most hopeful about.  It is very close to Jon's office, within a reasonable distance to Addie and Ben's school and has a separate guest area in the basement.  When we turned down the street and had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower we were really hopeful.

Both boys had fallen asleep in the car so Jon stayed with them while I went and walked through the house.  Addie came with me and we were both really impressed by the fig tree, rope swing and full blackberry bushes before we even entered the house.  The rest of the house did not disappoint.  When I saw the master suite I almost cried, that is what happens when you take a tired, pregnant woman house shopping and she finds an oasis.  The walk in closet, claw foot tub, walk in tiled shower, and separate sitting area all combined to make the perfect room for us. 

After looking at the house I went out and had Jon take a look.  We had agreed to take it before he was done looking.  Everything was put into motion before we left.  
Today we found out that the owner has accepted our offer to rent the house and the relocation company is putting together all of the paperwork.  If all goes well we will sign and get the keys next week, just in time for our temporary apartment rental to be over.  
God is so good in everything, but I feel like we have been especially blessed when it comes to our housing.  It is something that I always worry about, even when I try not to.  Moving internationally has shown me how out of my control the house hunting is, but we have never been homeless and I don't think we will end up that way this time.  
There are still quite a few details that all need to come together to make this a seamless transition, but I am confident things will continue to work out.  We are praying that the bank wire transfers are successful, that we are able to arrange our shipment of goods from Norway and our shipment of goods from Houston can be delivered quickly and that there is someone from the French Gas company available to come out and turn our gas back on.  There is a very good chance that everyone will be on vacation for August so this might be a problem.  
There will be lots more pictures to come as we get settled into our new home.  Addison is almost beside herself she is so happy to have found a place to live.  I think she can sense my nervous energy.  
Thank you for everyone that has been thinking of and praying for us.  I know that those prayers have been heard and answered as we have gone through this process.


  1. Sounds like y'all found a great home!

  2. This scripture has been learned well by the Hilton Family for sure; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. So happy for you guys! Hugs.

  3. What makes house hunting easier is when you have a very helpful and knowledgeable realtor with you, and I’m glad your realtor have these characteristics. It seems like you had a pretty smooth process of searching. I’m certain you've finally settled down by now. How was it?
    Avril Copperfield @ Churchill Mortgage