As those who have been following my blog for the past year will know – our big dream has been to own a home in the Vaucluse, an area we have been visiting for the last 25 years and which already feels like a second home. We had felt that we wouldn’t be able to purchase a place there with the relatively small amount we have available, but after changing our search parameters a little and talking to Agents, we found we were being sent details of properties that we would not have looked at considering them to be out of our price range. What was evident this time around was that sellers seemed more willing to consider offers than we had found in the past and in fact one was willing to consider an offer 70,000 Euros below the original asking price for the property.
So last week we were delighted that we’d made an offer on a house near Apt (a very short distance from the delightful ‘Veloroute du Calavon’), which had been accepted and that we had already spoken to a local Notaire about acting for us in the development of a Compromis de Vente.
It has to be said that this week has been a ‘whistle-stop’ tour of the legal processes associated with buying a property in France and thanks to a very efficient and approachable Notaire in Apt we have signed the Compromis de Vente and all being well, at the end of April, we will take possession of our little home in the area.
I must admit that to begin with we were a little wary of just using a French Notaire, having read articles about the benefits of using a specialist solicitor from the UK, but after our experiences a few weeks ago, when we couldn’t get hold of the one we had appointed here following a call to say we were being gazumped, we decided this time to use a Notaire suggested by the Estate Agents. http://gosseinpages-apt.notaires.fr/ an approach supported by many readers who have been in touch to say that they have taken this approach and not experienced any problems – so thanks for the advice.
From the first phone call to them the process has been very efficient and we have received information about the property and process on an almost daily basis. The lady dealing with our purchase has been available, when we have rung the office to talk through any queries we have had, once we have read through the papers that have been sent across by e-mail. Although we have chatted in French I have no doubt that they would have been able to deal with our queries in English too (as their phone system is operated in both languages – to the background music of ‘Uptown Funk’ – so much nicer than the ‘Musak’ we usually have to endure!!).
As such we happily completed a Power of Attorney document, which allowed them to sign the Compromis on our behalf and so by the middle of next week we should receive the actual papers by post and from then will have a 10 day period to walk away from the purchase if we want to (in our case highly unlikely as this isn’t what you may call an impulse-buy!) and then we will be bound into the purchase.
Of course there are always things in the papers that need to be examined in more detail and the diagnostic reports highlight that we will need to have a few bits of the electrical system in the house checked, but certainly nothing too serious and having visited the property three times ahead of making an offer we are happy with its condition and the work that will be needed is certainly nothing that will worry us. Having renovated 10 houses in England over the years, we are generally happy now to know what we are looking for and not to have a survey carried out (something which actually isn’t a matter of course in France house purchases)
So that’s it – after 25 years of dreaming -(and if everything goes to plan) -we should take possession of the house just before the end of April and so have started to plan how we can make the most of this summer there, with the likelihood being that my hubby and I will be out there on a revolving door basis for the first few months, just to get ourselves established in the area.
As things stand at the moment we’re sitting on our hands, trying not to start buying things for the house too soon, although I keep looking at the forthcoming Antiques & Art Fair at L’Isle Sur La Sorgue, http://www.foire-islesurlasorgue.com/ trying to work out if there is a way I could fit in a sneaky trip to hunt for pieces for the house …..
So I’m satisfying myself with making copious lists of what we need to do (there’s nothing like a nice list to make me happy!!) although I have to admit that we have succumbed in one area and have made our first big purchase ….. 4 new bikes so that we can fully enjoy the area whenever we’re there – with the cycling routes that we can take from the front door I can’t think of a better investment!
Sharing this via Lou Messugo Blog & this month’s #Allaboutfrance linkup