After the offer was accepted in October 2005 the process of buying my Brittany holiday Cottage started. I returned to the UK to await news from the Nortaire's office. My English house had already been sold, the money sitting in the bank.
In November I received a call from the guy selling the property that the Nortaire needed to see all parties, I expected that all the documents were needed to sign. After booking a ferry crossing and paying for a hotel the 48 hour trip cost me £500 only to be a waist of time. Rather than signing any paper work the Nortaire just explained the process and said that we should complete by February 2006. Around this time the standard non returnable 10% deposit was paid to the Nortaire.
A mortgage was required to find the final balance for the purchase and Barclays bank France received my application at the start of November.
The French mortgage system is very tight on requirements and being self employed I found it difficult to obtain a mortgage to secure the property, unlike the UK where a self employed person can obtain a mortgage with self certification if a 25% deposit is placed, in France my accounts for the past 3 years were required. The difference was that i could have borrowed 5x the amount in the UK than in France, based on the deposit i put down. Thankfully the amount i needed was obtained through the Bank after a 3 months wait, I could not belive the amount of hoops I had to jump through and how slow the administration took.
February 2006 the Nortaire still could not give a date of when completion would take place, we were being told that the bank had failed to send the correct documentation to the Nortaire, while the bank said that the Nortaire was asking for the original loan deeds which the bank never sends out.
After a few more months finally it was all sorted but i was desperate to move over, the couple selling the property allowed me to move into the property before the completion date, so on 13th April my new life started. It was not until the start of May that the property actually belonged to me, so in retrospect a big gamble had been taken by all parties, it came down to trust. The good news was that the couple selling the property trusted me as I did them.
Since then the couple who sold me the cottages have become good friends and have helped me enormously over the first few years with all the red tape and have made the move alot easier.