Just in case you thought we were here in La Somme on a nice little winter holiday… we have been busy searching for long-term accommodation: an unfurnished flat or house in or very close to Amiens.
While being here in the countryside is lovely, it does mean we are about 45 mins drive from Amiens and 15 mins drive from a reasonably-sized supermarket (in Flixecourt), which means we do a lot of driving.
We began by researching all the local estate agents (agences immobilières) and trawling lots of websites. After looking at some places and finding a house we really liked, within budget and in a good location, we quickly had a big reality check. Because we are volunteers and not employees, to rent through an agency we basically need a guarantor (or garant, in case we stop paying the rent), which we don’t have.
So on the advice of various friends we then turned our attention to websites which connect you directly with a landlord/owner, not to an agency (le Bon Coin being the most useful): sometimes it is possible to find a property owner who is willing to rent to people like us, who can show we can afford the rent even though we don’t have an employment contract or a guarantor.
Here we are, then: searching, searching… for a miracle in reality!