Originally, we were going to wait to move until we could afford a two bedroom place, but we just couldn’t take it here anymore, so we decided to find an apartment similar to what we have now but in a better neighborhood.
We currently live in a one bedroom that is about 46m2 (about 495 ft2) with a balcony and a private garage. So ideally, we wanted something about the same size, at least a parking space, and a balcony or terrace would be a huge plus.
One criteria that turned out to be troublesome was the fact that we wanted an unequipped kitchen. Surprisingly, most places were already equipped (usually with sad burners and a tiny fridge). Since we just bought a brand new stove in January and have a huge fridge, we didn’t want to give them up.
We threw ourselves head on into the search, spending countless hours on Leboncoin (think Craig’s List for those who don’t know this site) and other sites, making phone calls, visiting agencies, and finally, visiting places.
After one apartment that we missed out on (someone handed in an application right before us and the agency goes in order of completed applications) and a few fruitless visits, we visited a place in Vieux Lille that we fell in love with right away.
It’s a ground floor one bedroom apartment. Normally, we wouldn’t have even considered a ground floor apartment, but it’s not on the road and it has a small yard – perfect for our dog. Behind the yard our paths leading to the Citadel (a large park in Lille), so no vehicle traffic.
At 48m2, it’s slightly bigger than our current place, but there’s no odd angles like we have now. There’s a small terrace and a 29m2 yard. It’s not completely closed in, because the complex takes care of mowing the lawn (bonus!), but we’ll be able to attach Elliot. And it’s not like we’d leave him out there alone anyway.
There’s a large private garage that can fit two(!) cars.
The kitchen is separate (we currently have a bar area), so that’ll take some getting used to, but it’s unequipped so we get to keep all of our appliances.
The neighborhood is calm and mostly residential. You have to go a few streets before you hit any bars or restaurants. When we say “Vieux Lille”, most people think of the touristy area full of bars, restaurants, and the like. We are not at all in that area. We are in a newer area at the far far end of the neighborhood. The walk to the metro will take some getting used to (about 20 minutes), but on rainy days, we can opt for the Navette that runs through the tiny streets of Vieux Lille or a few buses.
We are really looking forward to the change. We can’t wait for calm.
Elliot will probably be disappointed as he spends the day sitting on J’s desk chair, staring out the window looking over the square and watching everyone pass by. I plan on getting a bird feeder so he’ll at least have birds to watch.
Anyway, we get the keys on Friday and will start moving things over the week after. The big moving day is set for November 8. Don’t worry, there will be pictures!
I’ll also post soon about what you need to get an apartment – I know it’s been done before but there have been some changes recently, so I want to share.