Sunday, August 04, 2019

Not French Homeowners Yet

This isn't our house. It's just a scenic picture of Quillan to remind me of the place where we are moving. 
When last I informed you of our home-buying challenges, I told you that our American bank had started an inquiry into our money transfer to France.
Luckily, after I answered the questions about whether the money was going to a business and whether it was connected to Cuba, the bank sent the money on. And that's lucky for us because if our bank had tried to call us, they wouldn't have been able to reach us. We are staying in place without cell service so the bank could not have reached us on our listed phone numbers.
Next, the money landed in our French bank at an exchange rate of about $1.115 per euro, so that wasn't bad.
I figured the French bank would not have a problem with our payment because I had sent a sizable deposit from our French bank to the notaire when we first started the purchase of the house. The notaire was already listed as one of our beneficiaries.
As soon as the money landed, on July 30, I started a "virement" or wire transfer. We received a message right away that the transfer would require an examination that might take up to 4 days.
I still had hope.
Then on Thursday afternoon, Earl found an email from our French bank. It said only, in French, I am trying to reach you, signed with the banker's name. It did not include a phone number.
We don't have a local branch of our bank in our hometown of Quillan, so we had no idea where the man might be writing from.
I immediately responded in French, telling the banker that we are in the States. That means we are not reachable on our French phones, which is the only number the bank has for us. I gave him our US cell numbers and the home number of the place we are staying.
I explained that the money was for the purchase of a house. I gave him the name and phone number of the real estate agent and the notaire.
I offered to call him if he would send us a number.
By the time I sent the email, it was close to 8 p.m. in France.
We still haven't heard from him and the money remains in our bank account, not in the account of the notaire.
That means that the notaire and the sellers will not gather in a room tomorrow to sign papers and hand over the keys to our new house. We wouldn't have been there anyway, but we were excited to have the keys given to our friends who are going to start renovations.
I kind of feel like the examples on sports shows where they say: "You had one job..."
Like this one from
We had one job, to get the money to the notaire. He was taking care of everything else.
And we failed in that one job.
I couldn't have foreseen that it would take more than 11 days to transfer money when money moves at the speed of light these days, but I still feel a bit guilty.
It's not like anyone is anxious to start working on the house. It is August in France, which means everyone is on vacation.
Still, we're hopeful that Kris, our builder, may get bored not working and decide to go ahead and put a new toilet in the master bathroom and start working on a level floor in the kitchen.
Even as we speak, Earl is in the other room, adding up the cost of each item for our kitchen and making sure that the Ikea in Toulouse carries everything that we want.
The latest iteration of our kitchen on paper

We have not given up. We still plan to be French homeowners.
And I'm glad we don't have to be there to face the French sellers who no doubt have arranged work schedules and maybe even vacation schedules around the signing that was planned for Monday.
So maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not the next day, but someday soon, we will be French homeowners.


Latane Barton said...

How do you stay so calm? If it were me you would see screaming on the blog post.

Just Me said...

No Doubt. ✊

Paulita said...

Latane, Not feeling too calm now as we passed the deadline and the French banker has no sense of urgency whatsoever. I even looked at flights to get back to France to get it taken care of.
Just Me, Still trying.

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