My Little French House
My love affair with France began nearly 20 years ago, when I was 18 years old. I was drawn to France, why – I don’t know. I had never been to France, never experience the French culture or food; I just knew I wanted to be there someday. I used to dream and believe by the time I was 35, I would live 6 months in Australia and 6 months in France. To be honest I remember thinking 35 was old and I would have my life fully in order and most likely retired by then to enjoy the good life…Good Grief!
Over the years that followed I was lucky enough that my work has enabled me to travel the world for business trips and I have had the opportunity to tag a week of holiday on the end of the trips. As fate would have it I decided to travel down to the South of France about 5 years ago after a business trip in Paris and since then every year I have experienced another different region of France, always getting lost along the way and bumping into the most gorgeous little villages. My love affair with France grew more passionate over the years and rekindled the memory of my dreams when I was 18; so I began the process of looking for a house to buy in France.
Of course living in Australia made the journey a little more difficult being so far away, I couldn’t just jump on a plane the minute I saw a house I loved.
I began looking at websites advertising French Homes for sale and I stumbled across the FrenchEntrée website; it became my friend for the following year while I was researching buying a house in France, it was pretty much a one stop shop for me. For a year I researched the type of house I was looking for, the regions in France that I could see myself living, how much I could afford to pay and other scary scenarios like: Insurance, Tax ,Notaires and Mortgage Options all of which I found on the FrenchEntrée website.
One of the biggest decisions for me was deciding whether to go with a French or Australian mortgage. In the end I chose an Australian Mortgage as I had equity in my Australian home it was the easier option for me to consolidate the borrowed amount into one loan. I also knew I had limited time to find a house in France so I preferred to organise a pre arranged Mortgage before I left Australia. However just two days before l was due to leave Australia I received a phone call from the bank manager advising me they made an error in verbally agreeing to loan me the funds I required for my French house….
After a quick freak out and re assessment of the situation, I was determined as ever and vowed there was no way the bank was going to squash my dream and I promptly arranged an appointment with another bank in the hope of them refinancing to include both my Australian home and proposed new French Home, I received the final approval as I was driving in France looking for houses… phew!
Before I left Australia, I had arranged appointments to see the properties I was interested in with Real Estate Agents that I came across on the FrenchEntrée website.
I had nine days to find my dream home – crazy I know, but I knew I would do it.
I was on day two of house hunting by the time I met with Liz Wright from Agences Pouget at the Fumel office. Our first stop was a village called Monflanquin. I fell in love with Monflanquin the moment I walked into the village, it appeared to have so much light and such friendly energy surrounding it, I just felt so at home in this beautiful village I couldn’t wait to see the house she had planned for me to see. Whilst we were in the Monflanquin Office picking up the house keys to view the house Liz had lined up, Linda and Iain Hay from the Monflanquin office pulled out a property profile that they felt suited my requirements. Sadly it was well over my budget; I made it clear I didn’t have a penny over my budget to spend but they suggested I go and have a look at the property and they would call the owner to see if the price was negotiable to fit my budget.
Well – I fell in love, pure and simple……
By the time I returned to the Real Estate agency in Monflanquin, a street away from the house; the owners came back and accepted my proposed offer.
I had read and knew some of the horror stories that can happen when buying property in France, so I was a little nervous at this point, however I did a lot of research into what could happen so I was prepared and felt I knew what to expect with the sale.
As it happens I bought the house from two English ladies who were ready to sell so there were no issues, it was a smooth sale.
Liz, Linda and Iain at Agences Pouget were just amazing, they are all English which obviously made me feel comfortable with the language barrier and stepped me through the process 100% of the way. They had also arranged and attended the Notaires meeting with me to assist with signing of the documents and help with any questions I had; although I’m sure I drove them completely insane questioning everything and anything to ensure I had done everything in my power to make the sale process go through smoothly, which it did.
Linda and Iain also helped me arrange my Home and Contents Insurance, Electricity, Water and Phone and Internet connection. I never saw the other house in Monflanquin…. My dream came true, I bought “My Little French House” in France one month before my 36th Birthday.
My Little French House is now available for holiday rentals, so you too can experience some of the dream…
With thanks to Sallie TAMBLYN
See more details on The Little French House website: www.mylittlefrenchhouse.com