J and I signed a purchase contract for a house last Tuesday! We’ll get the keys the 15th of April. I am really excited and happy to move out of this rental, though we have been very happy here. We’re just sick of sharing walls with a noisy family, dealing with plumbing problems because the house hasn’t been renovated, like, ever, and walking through the rain to get to our cars.
Here’s how it all went down (if you’re interested in all the nitty gritty details of buying in France, Ksam is in the middle of a series of posts about buying a home over at Totally Frenched Out).
J and I have several things planned for summer 2015, and originally, we’d planned on moving into a new home around then too. Back in November, we went down south to visit some friends in Marseille and in the Montpelier area, and BOTH of them were in the process of closing on new homes. So we got to thinking, maybe this was more doable now than we had thought, and maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to avoid cramming it in with other events two years from now.
For the past year we’ve been regularly looking at the “vente” ads to get an idea of what’s around, and though we had a good feeling that there was plenty to be had in our price range, a real search definitely narrowed things down. These were our criteria:
- three bedrooms with a yard
- at least 90 square meters (which we quickly upped to 100 square meters after visiting a couple of houses)
- nothing in the city: Poitiers property taxes (taxes foncières) are three times the place where we’ve bought!
- nothing too far from Poitiers either! Homes about 25 km away were significantly cheaper… but we figured the suffering of our social lives and gas tanks would balance out any benefit from that.
- no adjoining houses (maisons mitoyennes). J found the idea of dragging our diesel lawnmower through the house to mow the back yard particularly irritating.
- no heavy renovation to do.
Though we made appointments at both of our banks to get a loan estimate, our friends in the south had told us about a Casden loan for young teachers. I was already at the Banque Populaire and with the Casden, so getting this loan (3% for 20 years) was just a matter of buying before the end of my third year of titularisation (August 2015). Being with the MGEN is also an advantage, since they have less expensive loan insurance and a loan guarantee.
We found our house on seloger and on leboncoin, because it turns out, in our budget, on this side of Poitiers, there are only about five houses for sale, and they’re all advertised on both sites, some multiple times. This house came on the market and we’d made an offer within four weeks. It was sold through an agency, which added 5,000€ to the selling price.
Originally the seller had asked us if we could make some sort of agreement by which she could stay as long as possible in the house after the sale and pay us rent, because she had to build the house she was moving to. We had said that this didn’t bother us as long as we had the house by July 1st. It turned out we couldn’t agree on rent anyway, so we slashed this part of the agreement at the contract signing.
The only problem with slashing that plan is that J and I are heading down to Spain for two weeks on April 19th. So we’re giving our notice on our rental for May 5th, and the work that has to be done on the house (electricity, some windows, tiling…) will have to happen after that. Oh well. We’re hoping for a crémaillère beginning of July!