The journey begins

So this is it. The beginning of our great adventure. After all these years it is finally happening. We are in the process of buying our French dream house, as a foreigner from Belgium.

It has always been our dream to own a house somewhere sunny and warm. We prefered France, but over the years we have looked into all of our options. We looked at houses and lifestyles in Spain, Portugal, Italy,… But we always came back to France. Just like every year, we wanted to do something different as a holiday destination, and eventually still ended up in the South of France. We just love it there. We had left our hearts there long before we even noticed it.

But it wasn’t until Juni this year, that we realised where exactly was home. We had been to many different places in France, but as soon as we arrived in Gascony, we were home. We loved everything about it. We loved the smell of the trees and the flowers, we loved the sound of silence, we loved the sun and we loved the sunflowers. It was like time stood still over there. It was the best hiliday we ever had. But our main problem remained. We didn’t want to be on holiday in France, we wanted to be home in France. And to be home somewhere, you need a house.

So in our second week of our holiday, we just dived into the adventure, without looking back. We went to look at a few houses and we fell in love with one specific house. It was perfect. It needed renovations, but it was perfect.

So we made an offer, our offer got accepted, we signed our Compromis de Vente and applied for a loan with a French bank. It all happend so fast, and so slow at the same time. Our mortgage application has finnaly been send to the underwriting board last Friday, and now we just have to wait. And trust me, waiting seems like forever!

So normally, next week we will finally know if we have green light from the bank to buy our French dream house… Not to be all optimistic, since everything can still fall apart, but just to be sure, our bottle of Champagne is all cold and ready in our fridge…

Keep you posted!

xoxo

Natalie

French banks

It has been 9 weeks since our adventure started. 9 weeks ago we made an offer on our dream house, and against all our expectations, we are still nowhere.

We have lost 7 weeks with a bank that was going to give us a loan, only to hear in the end that they won’t do it. Our dream house did not have plumbings nor a kitchen, because the renovation offer of the contractor didn’t includes these works. This wass bullshit. They were not included, because they were present in the house. They just coudn’t find a propper argument to decline our loan. So this mayor setback resulted in us just having 2 more weeks to find a bank that is willing to look into our case, offer us a loan and get all the paperwork done. So yes, it is kind of impossible. It’s hard not to lose faith.

So in the last two weeks, we started working with a new bank, one who is situated in Gascony itself. We applied at every french bank, and so far we are sad to mention that we have had 6 out of 7 banks that would not even look at our file because “we are from Belgium”. It is very depressing to know you have a good financial situation, but they just won’t have you as a client due to too many problems with Belgians in the past. There is no argument to bring into that discussion…

We even had a bank who’s headquarters called us to say they are interested in our online application and wanted to look at our files. We were invited to their office in France and after a 2.5 hours drive, they only had 2 minutes of their time for us to let us know they are not going to look into our data because we are Belgians. This really makes your blood boil. We told them this is bullshit because THEY called us, I specifically asked if it wouldn’t be a problem that we are Belgians and I heard the woman ask someone over speaker who confirmed it wouldn’t be an issue for them. They have Belgian clients. But the woman who was kind enough to waiste 2 minutes of her time, and 5 hours of ours, wasn’t up for a discussion and sent us out again. It really makes you think about your nationallity. It’s hard not to feel discriminated…

So at the moment, we are at our last resort. This last bank from Gascony itself who is trying real hard to make a stone hard case to present to his underwriting team. He literally said we have a good case, but if our application would be declined it would probably be because they would see too much possible issues because, yes, we are Belgians…

We have even agreed to open up a bank account and put in the amount of loan for the next 3 years so they won’t have to worry we won’t pay our loan for the first three years. We agreed to put a reasonable amount of savings on a savings account with them. We have agreed to many things. But in the end, it might all just come down to the same issue. We are not French. We are a risk for not paying, even though we put 57% of the total loan cash on an account with them. There really is not much more we can offer.

We have spend the weekend gathering more, and more, and more information they could use about us. We have spend 12 hours non stop on Saturday on typing pages and pages of explanations of our financial statement, translations about all of our documents, even about the deed of our current house. We started at 15.00h in the afternoon, we worked and typed and made resumes like our life depends on it. We didn’t stop until we had everything our contact person asked for, and everything else we could think of. By 3.00h in the morning, we were done. Three pots of coffee, sore eyes, being cold and shivering of exhaustion, we called it a day. We send all of it to our contact person, and now we have to wait. Since banks don’t work on Mondays, and Tuesday is a holiday, we lost yet again 4 days before he could start looking at our new data.

So tomorrow is D-day for us. I expect a phone call from him about the date we send him. So now I hope everything is clear, there is no further data requiered and he will just tell me everything seems okay and he is taking it to the underwriting team that very day. I really need a yes tomorrow. Our time is running out.

Originally, we had until today to get our loan but due to all of the setbacks, the summerholiday and everything else, the owner agreed to give us another 2 weeks to get our loan. So basically we now have until 31 August to get the money or we lose our dream house. It’s so frustrating not knowing if this will end well. Especially, if we lose this house because no bank wants to work with Belgians, we will probably never be able to live our dream and buy a French house. Our only option will then be to buy a house cash. But let’s be honest, who of our young age can do this?

So I guess somewhere this week we will know? What would it be: Champagne or vodka?

Keep you posted!

xoxo

Moi