Rory Ramsden – Luxury French Property Finder & Buyer's Agent in south west France
Share the love...

Buy Real Estate in France: The Big Day

When you buy real estate in France, you have to have your wits about you especially when…

Buy Real Estate in France | 8824920Buy Real Estate in France | 8824920

Buy Real Estate in France | 8824920

This sensational Chateau near Lauzerte has been renovated to a very high standard. No expense was spared to create 6 bedrooms/5 bathrooms
and 3 living rooms. There is also a 3 bedroom guest cottage and a caretaker’s apartment

I was kneeling on the gravel drive in the light rain that fell from a, for once, monotone grey sky.

iPhone in one hand, I was peering into a 6 inch square hole in the ground.

The object of my attention were the numbers behind the rectangular glass pane on the water meter.

Lining up my camera app to get a clear image, I ‘pressed’ the button…

That made the 3rd shot to add to the electricity and gas meter readings already ‘in the can’

I was good to go…


This was the very day Daniel and Isabelle (names changed for the sake of discretion) had been patiently awaiting for 12 weeks

The rain was not part of the plan or usual

It was an unexpected guest at the ceremony…

D&I were sheltering inside chatting to the vendors before they all went off to the notaire’s office to sign the ‘acte de vente’ (Deed of sale)

They lived in Washington. Had done for 15 years.

She was something important in a bank

He, a senior executive in the US office of a big French conglomerate

Their goal?

To buy a property in France, where they could live in contented retirement starting next year.

The search had its challenges, I can say

But I’m getting ahead of myself here

I’d met Daniel six months previously in a hotel in Agen.

This was day one of our first viewing trip together.

We had been in constant contact over the weeks leading up to his departure.

Discussing this property. And that one. Co-ordinating the viewing schedule on Skype.

Whilst his cat relaxed on a nice warm printer, at his elbow

The plan was for us to select two or three properties for final inspection by Isabelle who would come over for a long weekend to make the final decision.

We came close

But no cigar

The beautiful chartreuse they came close to buying didn’t pass muster when it came to detailed due diligence

A small matter of a wind-farm to be built on the other side of the valley

Tant pis. Too bad

It was back to square one

But good that they had avoided buying a view with an eyesore

The second short list of properties was put together for New Year

The first one was not completely wasted. It served its purpose. D&I focused the area of search considerably.

Thanks to some analysis of weather patterns over the last 5 years.

Not entirely predictable as we were discovering 🙂

This time we cracked it.

No problems with ‘nuisances’ this time, either

We were on the edge of the chosen area

which may have accounted for the rain

unlikely, but possible

Just goes to show

You have to keep an open mind

Whilst still being clear about your wishes, wants, needs and pet hates


Now we were on the final stretch

The notaire had DHL’d the ‘compromis de vente’ over to D&I in the States.

so this was the first time they had met

One hour later, D&I were having an ‘apero’ with me, before lunch.

Celebrating, the long years of happy retirement to come in the new house


Reading the meters is just one thing that your buyer’s agent will do for you on hand-over day. When you buy real estate in France, you buy it as it is on the day you sign the ‘acte’. Which is why it is so important to make a final visit BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. To find out more about working with a buyer’s agent like me, click here

About the Author Rory

Rory Ramsden is a French property finder and buyer's agent working for high net worth private clients wishing to buy a chateau, manor or vineyard in the south west of France. He has lived in France for 8 years after spending time travelling the world on business.

follow me on:

Learn the tips and tricks recommended by a top buyer's agent in south west France

SW France Prime Property Buyer's Guide

Download our in-depth FREE SW France Prime Property Buyer's Guide .