Monday, November 09, 2009

house #2

Last week we got a call from the agency that they had a new listing for us, so we visited it Saturday afternoon. Another maison de ville, this one is pretty much the other end of the spectrum from house #1 and, unfortunately, just outside of our budget. We don't regret looking at it, though. As St├ęphane said, now we've seen the extremes of what we're looking for and it will help us have a reference for the future.

This particular house is, quite literally, built to withstand just about anything. I didn't know it, but Tiny Town was 75% destroyed by bombing in WWII, and the agent told us that many of the homes that were built just after the war were constructed with the idea in mind that the bombing could happen again. Like the first house, it's got three stories, but that's about the only thing in common. The former owner was 96 years old and was very active in her home and garden until a sudden illness took her life, and it's obvious that she took amazing care of her home. The hardwood floors and oak stairways are gorgeous, the wallpaper is dated but in perfect condition, and the tiles and appliances are also dated but seem to be in excellent condition. There is way more basement and attic space than we need, a veranda with sliding glass windows, a narrow but amazing garden and a garage with a private entrance. The only thing against it is the only bathroom is on the first floor and the bidet in the bathroom would have to go (eventually). Absolutely ready to move in with no problems and rooms could be updated as money becomes available.

We do know that the owners are willing to negotiate, but probably not as much as we would need to make an offer. It's only been on the market for a week but we do know someone else was looking at it the same day. We're not holding our breath for this one, but it was nice to see it all the same. This week I'm going to try to visit one or both of the notaries in Tiny Town and see if they have anything for us.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Fry has been terribly sick this week. He started coughing a bit on Monday and by Wednesday morning he sounded like a 70 year old with a three pack a day habit and a fever. We saw Dr H, who didn't like the look of his throat at all, and we've been fighting Fry to shove antibiotics and cough syrup down his gullet ever since. Thank goodness we're done with the medicine tomorrow, hopefully this will be mostly cleared up by then! (Though it must be said, he hasn't had a fever since Thursday and he's getting his appetite and energy back.)

Finally, I answered an ad for a part time job in Tiny Town today. Please keep your appendages crossed for me!


Anonymous said...

You have such a good attitude about finding a house! I noticed your sidebar comments and perhaps house #2 will work out. That's great!! Glad to hear little Fry is on the mend and you applied for a part time job. I am amazed at all you do, and you make it seem so effortless, too.

Vivi said...

Aw Sue, you're awfully sweet to say so, but it's really because I leave all the hang wringing off the blog! ;) Yeah, I'm gonna blog about the new developments on this house tomorrow, it's definitely taken an interesting turn!

Nicole said...

I would just encourage you to go ahead and make an offer of what you could pay. We looked for flats for 18 months before finding the PERFECT place- except that it was about 30% bigger than we needed and had a price tag that corresponded. We figured that it was worth it to try and, through negotiating, we managed to get the place, although it did mean lots of work finding a bank willing to do the slightly bigger loan (if you work with a courtier, they can sometimes help you find a good rate + the correct amount of insurance to help find the right price for the loan). We originally expected to move again within 5 years but are going to be staying here I think. The French market penalizes short-term buyers(flipping houses, as they would say in English) so it is good that we ended up buying a bit more house than we needed. Remember the key to good negotiating is patience. Never rush things (ie don't feel like you have to respond to an offer immediately, even if there is another buyer around.) and never give up. Just keep going back to them with another offer. Good luck!!s