Archive for the ‘France’ Category

It’s vacation time: let’s close up!

Whilst we all love our vacation time, we all assume that places that thrive on tourist business will be open during the holidays.

That’s not always the case in France where many attractions are closed today because it’s Labour Day (May 1st). Although many people will be eating out today, a number of restaurants choose this time of year to close thus losing considerable business of course.

Even when they’re not on holiday many restaurants stick to the 12 to 2pm lunchtime and we know of one local touristy village which gets tour buses every day from 9am to 7pm yet the restaurant only serves food from 12 to 1.30pm.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

There’s never just one bus, is there?

Just as there never seems to be a single bus around, so too it seems to be with house buyers.

With the market having slowed down considerably in the UK, selling in markets that are dependent on that market is also pretty slow. However, that seems to be changing as we’ve now had three quite serious house views in the space of two weeks.

Now, if only we can persuade one to part with a large cheque…

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

A possible sale?

We’ve had our place listed with several estate agents for a while now and had sort-of settled into the thinking that it would sell “sometime” but probably not that soon.

These days, you get a lot of “window shoppers” when you’re trying to get a decent price for your place and we’ve had our share of those through normal estate agents.

However, one estate agent that we listed with some time ago and heard nothing from since got in touch last week to see about a visit on Saturday. They’d said at the outset that they pre-vet purchasers to the extent of checking in advance not only what they’re looking for but also that they’ve got the resources to pay for it and made a point of saying that they’d only be around with “serious buyers”.  Total estate-agent speak if ever there was an example of it we thought.

The call was surprising on several fronts. We’d not heard from them in ages so figured that they’d forgotten about us which was a shame as we’d originally thought that they would be the people who’d sell it for us. More surprising in some ways was that the appointment was for Saturday morning: I always figured that estate agents were strictly Monday to Friday people but apparently not.

Although our place is pretty large, usually we’d people round it in maybe an hour and then a little chat afterwards. These people were here well over two hours and were only asking the kind of questions that you’d ask if you were pretty serious about a place: can we buy that land for a pool?, can we build on that section? and so on.

We still don’t know if they’ll buy the place as they’d seen several other places in the area but the estate agent was talking of getting an architect in to see how much the changes they’d like would cost. If they run to that, I think we may need to start preparing for a fairly quick move as they seemed very proactive.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Hectic days a-coming up

Over the next few days it’s going to be pretty hectic here as the Spanish are coming, as usual for their pre-Easter break.

Also, as usual, they wait ’til the last minute to book. Just a few weeks ago, we had nobody down for the next few days yet as of tomorrow we’re pretty much full until Monday and everyone is from Spain.

The last minute business seems to be getting worse each year as we had several days worth of bookings arriving this morning including the first double booking for the year. The last minute aspect is something that none of the booking systems are really geared up for in that it can be several hours between the guest booking and the system notifying us of that booking which, of course, is plenty of time for a competing reservation system to slip in another booking for the same dates.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Back into the t-shirt

It looks like that for a second year running winter has pretty much passed us by.

The trees are already showing signs of greenery and many of the fruit trees are already flowering. Good for us, of course, but it looks like the local ski resorts have had another pretty poor year as there wasn’t a whole lot of snow on the mountain just behind us which is usually completely covered from November through to April.

Just as well we didn’t restock on the heating oil!

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.