Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Day the Dream became a Reality

Having spent two nights at the aire in Scaër, Finistère, we headed for Gourin, Morbihan, feeling very excited but rather apprehensive. 

It's not every day you go to the Notaire's office to sign the contract to buy an old farmhouse in France!

We had been travelling in our motorhome, Harvey J, from Stroud to Plymouth to Roscoff to Scaër.....

The aire at Scaër
........together with our dog Spencer.....a seasoned motorhomer.....

.....and our cat Max......pretty relaxed about it all considering this was his first time....

So now the day we had waited for was here at last.

Our appointment with the Notaire was after lunch but in the morning we had an appointment with the bank, Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne. We found roadside parking in Gourin relatively easily. Then, at the bank, a pleasant young man called David helped us to open our bank account. We were there for just over an hour and we made a further appointment for Friday to pick up the paperwork and allow David time to process everything.

We returned to Harvey J for lunch, a quick chill out and let Spencer and Max out before our very important appointment at the Notaire's office.

We arrived at the Notaire's a few minutes early and sat patiently (and rather anxiously) in the waiting room. After a few minutes, the Notaire entered, murmured a few words in French and then retreated. We heard him say to the receptionist that the vendor hadn't yet arrived.  In France, the vendor and purchaser meet together with the Notaire to sign the Acte de Vente (sales contract). We heard the receptionist telephoning the vendor presumably to remind him of the appointment. The Notaire then asked us to come back in half an hour as the vendor would not arrive for 20 minutes and they had some business to discuss first.

We decided to fetch Harvey J and try to park a little closer, wondering all the time if the vendor was going to arrive at all. 

Had he changed his mind about selling at the last minute?!

We found a good parking spot in front of the Notaire's office and watched for the vendor to appear.... somewhat difficult as we had no idea what he looked like. We knew he was about 50 years old. We watched two men of about this age enter the Notaire's office; one wearing a smart waterproof coat and carrying a briefcase and the other dressed in jeans and a blue shirt and carrying a bum bag.

We tried to guess which one he was to relieve the tension!

Half an hour had passed and we re-entered the office. After a short wait, the Notaire called us into his inner sanctum. The vendor (the man in the jeans and blue shirt) was there waiting. We all shook hands and sat down. The Notaire was very helpful explaining everything to the vendor in French and to us in English with the help of a large screen on the wall behind his desk. The contract was clearly displayed and he made sure we all understood everything. His English was very good and he made sure the questions we had were answered. The vendor was quiet, seemed pleasant and didn't appear to speak any English apart from 'stop cock'. Chris said he thought the vendor was tearful during the meeting......understandable as the house had belonged to his late father. I tried to explain to him in French that he could visit us in the future if he would like. 

We all signed the contract, shook hands and bid each other farewell.

In France, when you sign the Acte de Vente, the property is yours then and there.....and you get handed the keys...or in our case you didn't......as there weren't any keys!

After leaving the Notaire's office, everything felt rather surreal....were we really the owners of an old farmhouse in Brittany?

Rather typical of us, we then did practical stuff....we went to LeClercs supermarket for a few supplies and some cleaning stuff....mops, brooms etc that we hadn't been able to fit in Harvey J. We then went to the motorhome service point near the Intermarche supermarket to stock up on water. We would have to be frugal with it as the mains water probably wouldn't be connected until later in the week.

It was rather strange doing such practical things like supermarket shopping when we had just bought our own French house! I felt we should be jumping around singing and dancing!! But in a way I think it helped keep our feet on the ground for the moment. Also we needed something for dinner and we knew that once we arrived at our house we definitely wouldn't want to go out shopping again.

We finally arrived at our new house at around 6 pm. It was sunny and warm and we felt very happy.

We parked outside on the verge and Chris removed the wooden post so we could drive down the side of the house.

Spencer couldn't wait to explore......

The driveway at the side of the house was pretty overgrown and Chris had to carefully reverse Harvey J.....

Spencer didn't mind that it was overgrown....he was thoroughly enjoying the long grass!

Chris parked Harvey J by the side of the large barn at the back.

We'd been dreaming about this for months........and now we were actually really here!

And now the fun would begin!!

Where on earth would we start?!

We had a cuppa and a snack to calm us down a bit. We then took a quick look around.
We didn't really know where to start but we wanted to do something. We decided to clear some rubbish from the farmhouse kitchen. Chris opened the double doors at the back....it was just the same as when we had viewed it....we had taken photos then and we had studied those photos often but now we were here...it was real...and it was ours!

A little bit of progress made...if you look carefully!!

We had to make ourselves stop for dinner. We were so excited...so buzzing....we tried to relax. 

We took a chance and let Max out for a little while...he seemed to enjoy the long grass too!

I had a feeling he was going to love it here......

I didn't let him stay out for long this time...soon he was back inside having a cuddle.....so glad we brought him with us.....

Chris opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate.....

We had dinner.....then after much excited chatter, we decided we must try to get some sleep. 

We noticed how quiet and peaceful it was.....

and the dream had definitely become a reality......

Thank you for visiting,

Maggie xx

1 comment:

  1. Reading this has me so excited, I almost feel like I'm on this adventure too. I will enjoy following your progress. You two are so cool. Congratulations on the new house!


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