Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Too Good To Be True ?!

We desperately want to buy our apartment in Lamalou! Why? Because we are getting booked up!

The owner phoned us again today to say someone wants to rent it for three months from the day we buy it - were we interested? Yes! A winter booking is an unforeseen bonus this first year and the income will cover the mortgage!

Aren't we lucky so and so's ? Yes, we hope so!!! So we have decided to go ahead with the mortgage from our bank SMC.

The issue was that they would not cover the Notaire's fees - so we had investigated the other banks in Lamalou who would. Unfortunately they required us to open accounts with them, which in turn would mean altering our monthly sterling transfers, and therefore standing orders, etc.

Too much hassle, so we needed to find about 5000 euro in cash for the fees. This we did by surrendering our last endowment policy left in England. Oh well, it will be worth it in the long run - certainly Lamalou property gives a better rate of return!

But our French bank manager was on holiday (aren't they always in August?!) so we had to wait until he came back.

On the dot of opening time yesterday, we popped in to say hello, asked him if he had had a good holiday and requested a rendez-vous.

Quatorze heure this afternoon we were at his desk signing paperwork, which is all on its way by now to the Beziers office. Keep your fingers crossed!

It all started to look a bit shaky when I notice that whilst Richard was covered by the life insurance for 100% of the purchase price, I was only down as 50%! Back we went to Mr Palombo who explained that this is normal in France. If a partner does not actually have a income currently, their death usually only provides a 50% payout. Because time is tight we decided it was not worth having all the paperwork redone - but at least you all know now! Always read the small print, even if it is in another language!


Gogus said...

Hi Jaqui & Richard.
Just stumbled across your blogg site and had to stop and read a few articles. We have a small 1 bed house on the banks of the canal du midi near Beziers, it is in a holiday village which with us both only having old school french
(was it really 40 years ago, and i wasnt good at it then) we thought was a bit of an easier introduction to enjoying life in France. That was 4 years ago and we have made many friends and it does have its own village feel which is a nice surprise. Unfortunatly we only get over for about 4 weeks a year as we are still working. I work for Lothin and and Borders Police in Edinburgh. Another reason i paused to view your blogg is the fact that we are now in the process of buying in Lamalou les bains.
A studio in the Plein Soleil apartment block. We are collecting the keys when we are over in November.
As we can't be on site to deal with the rental of the property we are going to visit the agency based in the block next door to see if they will manage it for us until we make the move over, which we are looking to do in the next 5 years.
We plan sell our house here and down size to retire early at 55 and hope that with what is left to buy something little larger to live in in france or the depending on income (if any) from lamalou studio to buy another to generate a bit more pension.
I do have a forum for the site in Beziers but it is more a residents thing where we can keep up to date with each other and pass information on site management issues so i wont bother you will it. I do have a blog site but it was just an experiment where i put some photos
Our French is not much improved but we do try when we are there and are looking forward to being there for longer periods when we can really practice it.
Still have lots of your articles to read, isn't the internet the most amazing communication tool, you never feel far from someone who has been there and done that and who makes there new found knowledge available to others.
Best wishes
Carol & John

Jacqui U said...

Dear Carol & John

I am always so chuffed to find people who actually read my blog! Hope you continue to enjoy it!

What a coincidence - you buying an apartment in Lamalou and being a copper plus policeman's spouse as well.

I can honestly say we have never regretted for one minute our move down here - and we certainly hope all your plans go to plan. You will love retirement down here - as long as laid back and relaxed is OK with you!

The weather should be an improvement since you are currently 'over the border' - although it has been a bit changeable, today it has hit 35 degrees in the shade.

We know well the apartment block you are buying in - but not the Agency next door. Might be a part of Lamalou Immobiliers? If so, we know them and they are very good, very professional. Which you cannot say about many of the Immobiliers down here!

When you are next down, and if you would like, we would love to meet you and maybe you would be free to come for a meal. Don't worry if this is not possible - we know how 'booked up' you can get when dashing down to try and get things done!

We look after a few properties for family and friends down here (started with a police couple not surprisingly...) but I don't mention this on the blog - I get fed up with blogs that are purely there to advertise anything and everything!

If you would like, we can send you details - if nothing else it will give you something to compare with the Agency! But do not AT ALL feel obliged!!

When we were first looking for a house to buy, we were originally interested in finding one by the Canal du Midi - if possible with a mooring because we LOVE boats - but in hindsight, we are better where we are!

Best wishes, hope to meet one day, and if there is anything we can help with (unexpected things do come up when buying...)do get in contact! We are literally 'just down the road'.

Jacqui & Richard