Daily Archives: August 1, 2011

Buying Our First House in France (Part 4)- The Finale AHHHHH!

The big day finally arrived. It was 25 June and I was anxious to get the ball rolling. Our appointment was at our notaire’s office in Marseille in the afternoon. Needless to say, I was a bit antsy during the morning hours because I just wanted to get it over with. I knew it would take another several hours just like when we signed the “compromis”.

We started on our way about 1 hour before the scheduled meet. Traffic in Marseille can be somewhat of a headache and I was not about to be the one holding this puppy up. Dude and I stopped by the house to pick up Tinki because for some weird reason she wanted to sit and do nothing and watch a bunch of strangers go over meaningless details. Whatever blows your skirt up, honey.

We made it to the notaire’s office in no time at all. For some odd reason there happened to be no traffic and we found a terrific place to park just a short distance away.

When we arrived our interim agent was there. Mr. Agent man was on vacation so he had his co worker meet us for the signing instead. We knew who she was since we had met her out at the house the Friday before to check on the numbers for our water and electrical meter. I liked her. She was friendly and offered to help us set everything up which was good because more French paperwork is what I didn’t need!

Suddenly people started to flow into the office: the translator (same one we had during the signing of the “compromise”), the notaire of the sellers and then the sellers. We sort of all hung out in awkward silence for about 10 minutes waiting for our notaire to show up. When she arrived we all filed into a tiny conference room. There were just enough chairs for all of us. An extra person would have had to stand.

After a minute of musical chairs and who is gonna sit where, we settled in. Our notaire was seated at the head of the table to my left, next to me on my left was our interim agent lady, then me, then Dude on my right, then Tinki on his right. Across the table from Tinki was the translator, to her right was the wife of the seller (it is actually a brother and sister who were selling the house, but the sister didn’t show up for the signing), then to the right of the wife was the seller’s notaire and then the seller himself.

He had power of attorney to sign for his sister which is why she wasn’t there. Apparently the family lives on the other side of France and she didn’t want to vaca down our way. I would have like to have given power of attorney to Tinki and sent her off alone to do the deal since she wanted to be there, but I didn’t think that would have worked so I was outta luck.

Our notaire proceeded to read the entire life history of each of the seller’s and each of the buyers. When I mean history, I mean everyone in the room was given our full names, our birthdates, our places of birth and the day we all got married. What the heck was that all about? Like we need to know this stuff about each other in order to buy a house? Sheesh, privacy people! She even shared with the audience that the sister of the seller was a widow and what date her husband had died! That lady wasn’t even there to defend herself!

Once we dispensed with the pleasantries, the notaire proceeded to go over everything that we already went over in the “compromis” and had already signed. Why? I have no idea, we already knew everything and what? Were we not gonna sign today just because? You can’t do that anyway. So we had to waste an hour of time by her repeating everything that she already said and then the translator telling us again in English the same thing she had said in French the first time back when we signed the “compromise”. I felt like I was watching a tennis match. Head to the left at notaire then head to the right at translator. Can we just get to the nitty-gritty please!

Finally it came to a point where the sellers started asking a bunch of questions. That man asked so many questions and wasted so much time that he started to get on the nerves of our notaire. He was going on and on about stuff in the “compromise” which he signed and didn’t remember. His notaire was getting annoyed as well and our translator and agent lady started to get a little uneasy. Finally our notaire told him to knock it off, in a polite way, and that she had it all under control. He wanted to still keep bring stuff up and pulling out his 100 million pieces of paper that they love to keep with them at all times in France.

Finally, we got down to the signing, but there was a problem. Really? Again??  The signature of the sellers on the “compromis” was electronic and our notaire did not like that. So, all of us had to sign the “compromis” all over again so she could have a “wet copy”. OMG!

Then right after that and just before we go to sign the final paperwork, the seller looks at our notaire and was like “Did you get the money from the bank?” I thought she was gonna deck him right there. She gave him this look like, “Dorkwit. Really? What do you think? We all came here for nothing and you get no money”. Now, of course she didn’t say that, but I swear she wanted to (after she had flattened him and he was lying helpless on the floor).

Instead she smiled in that ‘oh so nice and polite smile when you are being sarcastic’ and said, “Of course, Mr. Seller, or I would be in a bit of a panic now wouldn’t I?” Well, that shut him up.

Now let’s get to business. We all took a pen and initialed and then signed the back and front of like 75 pages of this document. Then it was finally over. We got cheers all around, all the sets of keys (there are a ton!), and a fat monthly mortgage on a house that needs a million things done to it. What more could I want?! Well, I guess a stiff drink to combat the war we had been through for the past 3 months, might help.

So, Dude, Tinki and I walked out of the notaire’s office the new owners of a house in the south of France. Bon courage a nous! We’re gonna need it!

Now for the renovation.  Becoming Frenchies is getting a bit closer.

Stupid Americans, that’s what we are, I tell you.


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