Are you ready for the next instalment?
So where was I, oh yes, we have found our dream home. I was amazed that it ticked all of our boxes and that the structure was sound. The property had been well maintained by a live in caretaker and house keeper for its elderly English owner who only visited a couple of times a year, perfect.
After a number of visits with my husband and children as well as friends and relatives, we decided in November 2009 to put in an offer. The Euro was against us but due to the fact that the property market was in decline in the whole scheme of things we got a bargain.
So where are we up to now. Well after much tooing and froing we signed the acte de vente and paid over our deposit once our offer had been accepted. I did extensive research into how best to transfer money and came up with a company called currencies direct, they were excellent. Quick and efficient transfer of money and we forward purchased a specific exchange rate in advance. To do this you need to specify a preferred currency rate, ours was 1.15Euro to 1 pound sterling. Terrible I know and if only we had done this three years ago when the rate was over 1.45Euro to 1pound sterling! Anyway, We watched the currency rates fluctuate on a daily basis and being sad that I am had www.xe.com as a window on my PC at work everyday to keep check of what was happening! When we hit the magic rate our purchase kicked in. We paid an initial deposit for the money bought and had a month to pay the balance.
We then set to sorting out our French bank account. Be warned bureaucracy rules and it takes forever, for us it took over 3 months! The mortgage process is even worse, we move next week and it is still not completely finalised after nearly 5 months!