As we arrived back to our shabby but chic house in Lorignac, In a wild fit of folly, we made an offer (albeit lower than the asking price) with the original real estate agent Claire, who had been so dismissive to us previously. In her negative tone she said the seller would not accept the offer as it had only been on the market for 2 months, ( houses can take up to 3 years to sell in france), I asked her to try anyway as it was not up to her to make that decision. I could feel the eyes rolling through the phone. We also said it was our top and final offer, even though I didn’t really feel it was, I would have sold the moon if I could, but any more and we would definitely be living in it powerless for a few years. She reluctantly said she would ask, but not to hold our breath.
We had discussed amongst ourselves that apart from the price of the house and initial work the biggest burden would be the tax fonciere ( rates) which were so much higher in the towns compared with the country and the tax habitation, ( tax when someone lives in the house, even for holidays) which is another annual tax and the amount was unknown as no one had lived in the house for 50 years and could be as high as the first tax and due every year. We therefore would need to rent the palace out to help pay for the upkeep. Nic wanted to find out what the tax would be before we committed. What if there are termites we gulped, there’s got to be something wrong with it we chortled, fear rapidly dissolving my confidence. At the time we didn’t realize that a verbal agreement is binding in France.