When life hands you…
I am buying a house at the moment.
Or rather, I’ve made an offer in June, it was accepted — and then there were various challenges handed to me.
My UK property was “sold” in March. The sale finally completed in October!
The property in France got slated for exchange on the 5th November.
This coming Monday.
It’s very late in the year to be putting in fence posts for horses, I tell you that for nothing. It’s very late in the year to dismantle, move, and rebuild a field shelter, too.
I was hoping to get the barn next door, but we’ve only just now found out who owns it. No contact yet. So I have no idea. Working on it…
Those were / are a couple of the challenges.
The next one was handed to me…yesterday.
I sat with a friend and we were talking about the house, and I mentioned that I hadn’t heard from the agent — but I’m supposed to exchange contracts on Monday — when she turned up out of the blue. It was a national holiday in France, so I suspected there was a problem.
I was right.
Turns out she went to the house with the chimney sweep to get the wood burners cleared, and when the chap went to plug in his equipment to suck out the ash…they found there is no electricity.
After a phone call to the seller, it turned out she had the electric disconnected. Not turned off, but completely disconnected.
She’d been told expressly not to do this, because it can take up to two weeks to get it reconnected.
That was the first problem. (Holiday. Couldn’t do a thing about it.)
Then the chimney sweep looked at the flue and tsk’d a lot. When the agent asked what was the matter…it turns out the flue has to be replaced. Completely. As in, new from start to finish, as it is not up to regulations and possibly unsafe.
My agent was livid. No electrics and then the flue, so she said she’s going to have it replaced at the seller’s cost.
Okay by me…but it still meant I had a furnished house — I couldn’t move in to, because there was no power. And no heating in the kitchen, due to the flue.
I thought about this for a while after she’d gone, and figured it wouldn’t be a bad investment to get a generator for emergencies. Plus, my horses are behind a mains powered electric fence. I didn’t relish the idea of them going walkabout in the countryside because of a power cut — so a generator really wasn’t such a bad idea.
I called and asked if the water was still connected — only half joking. I was told yes, the water is just turned off.
Then she goes “Oh do you have insurance yet?”
I give her a blank look.
“The notaire will want to see proof of buildings insurance. It’s a legal requirement.”
And they tell me this on a holiday, with one working day left before I am to sign contracts???
So this morning I made rather a lot of phone calls.
Ordered electrics — engineers are on holiday today. Can’t get a connection date before Monday.
“Maybe on Thursday” the lady tells me.
Called the bank, since they also do buildings insurance etc. Left a message to call me, because the chap I deal with wasn’t around.
Then I went out and bought a generator. Since I need it at the house, that’s where it went. (I have keys.)
On the way to the house, the bank calls. We’re up and down hills, and I lose cell reception four times — while trying to sort out buildings insurance. In the end we got it done (and I got a good deal), so that’s sorted as well.
While at the house, we hunted for the water mains to see if we can turn on the water — just in case, yanno?
Turned on water — nothing. Ergo, it had to be off somewhere else.
A call to the agent told us where the mains were outside, so off we went to turn it on.
Call back to the agent to tell her. She is cursing a blue streak by now.
She’ll find out from the seller — who swore it wasn’t disconnected — what the hell is going on. (The seller had a friend of hers deal with the utilities. The same friend who had the electrics disconnected. So we are guessing the same applies to the damned water.)
I’ll ask the Notaire hold back money on Monday, as I don’t know if there is a reconnection charge — and I bought a property that is connected to mains water and electricity.
I also found out the flue is going to cost €2000 — so I’m rather glad the chimney sweep took a look!
I’m going to be very glad once all this is done and dusted, and I can put my feet up in my new living room, in front of the fire, having a cup of tea, brewed in my new kitchen, on electricity and water supplied to the house!
And I still have to source fence posts, put them in, rig the electric fence, find hay, bring the horses… (One of which won’t load.)
I’ll be a while.
So, how did your day go? 🙂
Silke lives in France, with 3 naked cats and 2 horses.
She speaks enough French to order “Un Café au lait “.
When she’s not roaming the countryside, she writes Paranormal Romance.