Purchasing a Home in France - Part II (A Find) 

Chantilly, France

We had started our search in late July and by the time November rolled around, were wondering if we would find anything we liked. A month or so into our search, I decided it might be a good idea to purchase a book written in English about the steps involved in buying a home in France. Because France is a destination sought out by enough Britons as a place to buy their dream house, you can find reasonably informative literature on the topic. The book I chose and ordered on the internet was written by an author well known in the Paris anglophone journalistic circles with plenty of years of experience in the country, I can't say my experience matched completely with the account given in his book, especially concerning the role of the "notaire" which I'll come to a bit later. But the advice was good enough to boost my confidence in my ability to go through with the project.

As luck would have it, at the end of another tiring day of visits we stumbled across something interesting. It was an apartment on the fourth floor of an attractive limestone clad apartment complex built only ten years previously on the left bank of the Seine. It was oriented south-east and south-west with correspondingly good exposure to sunlight. It had one flaw, an express route separating the apartment building from the park that is best known for its pet cemetery but which also runs along the Seine at this location. Another park on the other side of the express route insured plenty of greenery could be seen during the warmer months. I was able to overlook the express route, Karine less so. For me, the route had the advantage of whisking me rapidly away out of town during the morning commute.

The apartment was within easy walking distance to the week-end market with the added surprise of the sight of a lovely Renaissance castle to be taken in along the way. In the other direction one soon ran into "little Morocco" adding a little ethnic spice to the neighborhood. We decided it was time to end our search, resigned to the fact that we would probably never find something that matched all of our criteria and worried about losing out once again to another buyer.

We visited the apartment on Saturday, and after some hesitation and soul searching ended up sending our offer at very close to the asking price to the realtor Sunday evening. The offer was accepted on Monday and we moved onto the next step, a rendez-vous at the "notaire" where we were to put down a deposit and sign the "Compromis de Vente", the first contractual engagement on the road to ownership.
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