About The Gite Owners
How We Came to Own a Holiday Rental in France
There were many coincidences that led us to a holiday rental in France. It was not part of some long held desire or great strategic plan.
- Eighteen months before arriving in France we began to learn business French. Eventually we could say hello, goodbye and order coffee (and of course beer), ask for an invoice, check delivery times (of beer), and ensure we understand directions (when asking the way to the bar).
- We both get laid off and two days later we get offered the temporary use of a house in France. Thanks to distant relatives, for the cost of a cheap flight we got use of their car and house for a week.
- The Boss and I were discussing the possibility of renovating property before we went to South West France. While in France we go and look at only one house which is just right to renovate, live in, and use as a holiday home rental. So we go home thinking about the possibilities of renovating where the weather is warmer.
- We get our house valued to see if moving and doing our own renovation is financially possible. One estate agent calls to say they have a possible buyer who has "sold" their house. We agree to them looking round and get an offer at the asking price; so we accept.
- Having accepted the offer to purchase our house, we make an offer on the proposed future holiday rental in France, but the offer was too low. So we spend several days looking at houses for sale on the Internet. Decide we have to visit South West France again to look, so make a short list and start contacting the agents.
- An offer of another holiday rental in France for nothing was too good to miss. A free Euro-tunnel trip adds to the coincidences. A long story, anyway, this time we drive.
- We arrive on a Wednesday afternoon. A friend knows an estate agent who has "just the thing we are looking for". And that's it. We see it on Thursday afternoon and are in the notaire's office on Monday afternoon signing the contract. And you might think that's it, but ...
- Our UK house sale falls through on the day of exchange. Despite the temporary panic this causes, we sell our house for more than the original sale price, to people who have sold theirs and are renting, need no mortgage and can therefore complete within weeks.
- Additional funds were needed to complete all the renovations. We owned a commercial building and selling it was essential to fund the complete the renovation. We anticipated this taking six months at least. However after a call from a friend, we sell it two days before signing an agents contract, saving fees and time, and the buyers rent it in the interim, so they can occupy it before completion of the sale.
Now if that's not spooky, what is?
Just to finish the story, a week before we depart from England, we get a call from the agents selling the first house we looked at in France. The sale has fallen through. Are we still interested? So if you're looking for a challenge, I know just the place!