Thursday, May 2, 2013

The chateau cottage

As briefly mentioned in a previous posting, we put in a low offer on a little cottage just to the east of Tulle. We were then informed that someone had beaten us to it with a higher offer. Fiddlesticks! Rats! Houses like that (19th Century, stone, unmodernised, in a quiet location and very reasonably priced) don't turn up that often. And when they do, they usually don't hang around for long, despite the sluggish property market and France's current economic woes. Still, it appeared we were in with a very slight chance, but only if the other buyer had difficulty in raising the dosh. In our favour was the fact that we were cash buyers. But, we knew that the other agent would be working like mad to find another buyer if his current buyer dropped out. The odds seemed stacked against us. All we could do was to wait for confirmation either way the following Saturday.

On the Friday, a day early, our agent contacted us to say that the vendor had decided to give up with the other buyer and was happy to accept our offer if we still wanted to progress with the purchase.

Crikey! Now it was serious! Buying yet another property in France hadn't really been on our agenda. We'd sort of been thinking about selling 'the barn' and maybe buying a cheap shack in England, or maybe Wales. Or maybe selling our current house and chucking everything at 'the barn'. And now here we were facing the unplanned prospect of owning three properties in France. On the one hand it was madness, but on the other, it kinda made sense. Better to have our tiny bit of dosh invested in property rather than languishing in a lousy British bank where it earned pathetically little interest. Furthermore, we could sell 'the barn', do up this new property (I call it 'Chateau Cottage' because it's next to a chateau), then maybe sell our current house and live in luxury at the cottage. Or keep both and maybe live in the cottage in winter (it has proper heating and is in a slightly less chilly area) and rent it out in summer (touristy lakes and the popular Dordogne Gorges are nearby). Or, if all else fails, then maybe sell it for a profit.

So, what to do? Say yay or nay? Being bonkers, I was all for it. However, Georgie, being the sensible one, was reluctant to commit to what was essentially a totally unnecessary purchase. But, with the winds of change already blowing in her life (she's chucking in work and planning on coming out here for the summer and going freelance, armed to the teeth with new Apple computery stuff), she said "another fine mess you've got us into" thus confirming a green light to proceed.

Turned up at the notaire's office (the sale solicitor) in Tulle last Monday where I met the vendor and the selling agent, signed the agreement to purchase papers, handed over a deposit cheque and am now looking forward to the official purchase meeting sometime in June.

Next project is to sell 'the barn'. Could be complicated, but ç'est la vie. Never a dull moment.

(P.S. - I'm probably stating the obvious, but click on the photos to enlarge.)