The ramblings of two guys who have finally made the move to one of the most stunning and friendly areas of France; every day experiences, light hearted observations of French life, as well as useful information on the goings on in the property market in Brittany! To find out more about what we do please visit www.brittanygems.com
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Sunset over Dinard
So what do we do now …………….? We didn’t really have a clue but with
brave hearts (balanced with the occasional breakout of fear) we applied for a
French mortgage, made enquiries about transferring money through a foreign
exchange company (we immediately transferred the 10% deposit to our agent as
requested) found a willing French legal expert in the UK and most importantly
booked another ferry crossing to allow us to sign the initial contract of
purchase – the compromise.
The agent was as helpful as he could be, we were contacting him on a
regular basis but with our stumbling French and his non existent English,
conversations were not very meaningful.
Yes we had read the books and yes we had done the research on the
internet so had a reasonable understanding of the differences between the
English and French property buying process – but this was not hypothetical
anymore, it was most definitely real – several cries of “WHAT ARE WE DOING”
We really wished that we had someone holding our hand …………
Three weeks passed slowly and worryingly uneventfully but eventually we
got back to Saint Malo and arrived at the agents office as arranged (we had
managed to agree a date despite our language problems) to discuss the contract
and to make a visit to the chosen Notaire in Dinard.
What we didn’t know was that the Agents office had been closed and they
had moved to new premises elsewhere in the town. Immediate thoughts of “they’ve run off with
our deposit money” were quickly eradicated when the agent arrived – and
explained the situation. We must have
missed something fairly essential in one of our many seemingly meaningless
We had already seen the initial contract and had the ok from our UK
based French legal expert so we were reasonably comfortable when we arrived at
the Office Notarial. What we hadn’t
reaslised was that our agent had spent a considerable time on our behalf
sourcing a Notaire who spoke English so the process of signing was completely
painless (had someone advised us that this was possible we could have saved the
£1,500 we paid to our French legal expert for basically reading two 28 page
Well we say painless – what we were soon to learn is that the French
authorities like paper and that they like everything checked and double checked
so every page of the contract had to be signed by both of us with the addition
of “je suis connaisance” each time.
Needless to say with the Notaires detailed explanation of what was
happening, the selection of an appropriate day for the completion and the
signature process we were in his office for a considerable time.
But there was no going back – we were committed!
The agent kindly drove us back to Saint Malo and took us to the
apartment again for a third look. It was
still crammed with furniture, there seemed to be more shelves than I remembered
and yes the tartan carpet was still as attractive as ever.
After an afternoon of cider drinking (what else) and an overnight stay
in a hotel we headed back to the UK. We
had agreed a completion date of the 30th November so we had two
months to get ourselves together and ensure that everything was in place to
complete our purchase.
Many documents were copied and securely posted to our Notaire. Getting
the mortgage (we didn’t really want) was relatively straight forward (we had
used a UK agent and of course back in 2007 things were somewhat easier in the
financial world) and secured what we thought was a great deal – 2% fixed for 20
years – no worrying about variable mortgage payments with this one or the need
to change mortgage every time a deal ended.
We nervously transferred the balance of funds (to our Notaire this
time) and waited rather impatiently for our next visit to Saint Malo to
complete the purchase.
TO BE CONTINUED............
Alfie loves the sea water pool, but still hasn't mastered the diving board!