The Best Laid Plans….

House Side ViewWith two sets of property finding clients due to visit at the start of this week, the diary was already looking quite busy.

Client number one is in the process of buying a grand “maison bourgeois” right in the heart of a pretty historic town.

We found this gem when searching in the usually quiet period between Christmas and New Year – which just goes to show that there really is no bad time to look for property. Complete with attached cottage, stable block, vast cellar which stretches beneath the courtyard as well as the house and river views, this house has so much to offer. Although it’s ready to move into, there are some improvements needed to the electrics and also some alterations that my client wants to make.

So, following several weeks of increasingly complicated phone calls and emails, Monday afternoon sees us arriving at the house complete with local builder (artisan No 1). The electrician (artisan No 2) is due 30 minutes later.

Fast forward half an hour or so and the house now contains:  ourselves, the ever -smiling French estate agent, the client -complete with tape measure and notebook, the builder – also complete with tape measure and notebook, the electrician – notebook but no tape measure, and the delightful owners.

When a friend of the owners drops in a little later, Monsieur decides it is time to produce aperos (drinks and nibbles) for all and so we sit amidst the boxes and piles of belongings waiting to be packed and chat about all sorts of things in a mixture of French and English. French apero hours really are the best.

Happily, soon, the notebooks are filled with measurements, plans are made and, as we take our leave, I remind myself and the client how lucky we are to have a set of reliable and trusted tradesmen to carry out the work that will ensure that the house really does become his dream home.

La CitadelleOur second set of clients have popped across for a couple of days to visit the cosy stone- built cottage which is set to become their own in less than a month. Thankfully, this time the owners are English and there is no work to be done so the clients are able to visit the house by themselves to discuss important matters such as heating systems, log suppliers and also negotiate to buy several items of furniture.

Buying items from the existing owners is something that I always suggest to my clients. This time both sets of clients have saved a good deal on the expensive business of furnishing and equipping their holiday homes.

Tuesday evening sees us relaxing over a meal in our favourite restaurant  – La Citadelle in Parthenay – with the second set of clients who are already planning to book a table to celebrate the signing of the final contract next month. Sounds like a great plan to me!


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