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Everything posted by cheminot

  1. [quote user="Iceni"] But why is Friday 13th considered to be unlucky ? And by whom - other than some Brits [/quote] On Friday the 13th of October 1307 the French King Phillip the Fair (or unfair depending on your point of view) sent troops to arrest all the Knights Templar in France and to seize thier assets as he was a bit short of cash and the KT's were wealthy and immune from taxes by papal decree. Since then Friday the 13th has been traditionally regarded as unlucky, particularly if you were a Knight Templar and living in France! If you're not then you should be OK. Cheminot
  2. I have noticed that it is possible to buy copper pipe of up to 16mm in coils (25-50m long), I have used 10mm pipe in coil form but wonder how easy it is to use in the bigger sizes. It is considerably cheaper in this form but I wonder how well it copes with being straightened and formed into tighter bends. Has anyone any experience with this and if so any tips on its usage? Cheminot
  3. Can I ask those who have used HIFX how long the money took to transfer? The last time I sent some via them they held it for six weeks before putting it in my CA account and the rate was nothing special either. I know it is common practice for 'no-fee' exchange or transfer companies to hold on to the money for a while to gain interest, but in this instance I can only conclude that they did not feel that my continued custom was to their advantage. Cheminot
  4. Can anyone tell me who supplies the water in the Cognac area and if possible the location/address of thier offices please ? Thanks in advance, Cheminot[:D]
  5. ''16mm isn't compatible with 15mm, but you can buy various converters. If you have a peep at the sticky "Oil Heating blah.." there are a couple of examples. You can buy 15mm copper connectors here too. At a pinch, it is sometimes possible to use a 16mm 1/2" BSP compression fitting or rad valve with a 15mm BRASS olive. I wouldn't recommend this course of action since it is dependant on the machining of the fitting somewhat''. Many thanks again Opel Fruit.  I think I will stick with the normal french size fittings for the sake of simplicity and availability. It will not make that much difference to the overall cost of the job. Cheminot
  6. Many thanks Opal Fruit for the information. Comprehensive beyond my expectations! I note that the pipe sizes you listed are 22, 16 and 10mm. Are these compatible with british sizes? on the face of it the 22 and 10mm are but is the french 16mm compatible with british 15mm? ( I appreciate that this sounds daft but I wonder if the measurements are OD or bore sizes and I've got a stack of 15mm stuff from a previous job) Cheminot
  7. I intend to fit oil-fired central heating in our house in the Charente.  Has anyone got any recommendations on makes/types available in France and the best place to buy one?
  8. When I asked about this as it was in the details of a property we were interested in I was told that it is where a group of adjacent householders have had a fuel supply (gas or oil) jointly installed to supply their properties. The idea being that to buy in bulk is cheaper. In the case of gas it means you can have a large tank instead of bottles which are expensive individually. Also, if you buy 5000ltrs of fuel oil you get it much cheaper per litre than if you buy 500ltrs. The supply to each property is metered and charged accordingly. I dont know the details of how the householders pay for what they use. Cheminot
  9. (Have posted this again as I messed up the first one) I dont know why but I get the distinct impression that property consultants are regarded with the same popularity as manure flavoured mouthwash[:S] and not quite as useful. I have to say that there is no substitute for DIY research and planning. All the information you need is obtainable free, it just requires some effort to find it. Cheminot
  10. I dont know why but I get the distinct impression that property consultants are regarded with the same popularity as manure flavoured mouthwash and not quite as useful. I have to say that there is no substitute for DIY research and planning. All the information you need is obtainable free, it just requires some effort to find it. Cheminot
  11. I have never dealt with the british based agencies mentioned on this thread, however, during my househunting I came across others in the course of my searches and found that without exception there were additional fees built in to the price of their properties. The agencies naturally made great mention of the services they offered but I dont recall an instance where it was made clear that there was a charge for this at the outset. I first discovered it when an agency sent me details of a property that I had already received from a local immoblier, the difference being that the property was 30,000 euros dearer. The only obvious difference apart from the price was that notaires fees were included in in the brit agency price. Taking them out it still came to an additional 20000+ euros difference. Quite a lot for even the best hand-holding service. Another aspect that puzzles me is that anyone who is prepared  to spend a large sum of money on buying a property in France is not prepared to take the time to search it out and oversee the process directly. I personally enjoyed the process and given the nature and size of the investment would be very wary of entrusting it to a third party. Cheminot
  12. I can only tell you of my own experience but hope it helps. Q1 Probably not, provided that you can establish that it is clearly the buyers fault that the agreed completion date is not kept to. In my own case the completion date overran because of administrative delays by the Maire and as a result my solicitor suggested that a new 'compromise' be signed to ensure the sale proceeded. If you wish to try this out you can write to the notaire saying you wish to cancel the sale and your reasons for doing so. You must ask yourself if you really want to cancel, for if you do you have to find another buyer and as you have initiated the cancellation you are unlikely to get any recompense. Q2 This is not unusual, I did not have to pay a deposit. It seems to depend on who you are dealing with. Q3 Only if they have pulled out of the sale. I was told when I signed the compromise that the completion date was a guide only and not set in stone. Q4 Dont know, has not been my experience. Q5 As you may conclude from the above, yes, it is legal and as notaire fees are going up on 1st January 2006 it is not without profit for some! Good Luck Cheminot.
  13. It has taken HIFX six weeks to transfer some money for me. I can only conclude that I have had personal service in that someone has walked to my bank in France from here to deposit it! Cheminot
  14. You would be looking at about £1000 unless it is an unduly complex process, this should include advice on the inheritance aspects as well. cheminot
  15. We used Christine Collier in Plymouth. She is French with both English and French legal qualifications. Very efficient and thorough, not expensive either for the service given. Her phone number is 01752 666972 Cheminot
  16. We spent many hours searching websites for immobiliers in the Charente. We wanted a house in the Cognac region.  We then went to 'Pages Jaunes' ( Frances yellow pages) typed in 'Immobiliers' and 'Cognac' in the appropriate places and got a list of all the immobiliers in the area and links to their websites. From this we found the house we wanted quite quickly. If you know which area you want to buy in we can thoroughly recommend this. It takes you directly to the local immobiliers and most of the websites seem to have english pages if you need them. Cheminot.
  17. There is no reason not to be 'up front' with your original agent. It is, after all, your money. Point out to him that the other agent is offering it cheaper and give him the opportunity to match the price. if he declines to do so then you must tell him you will have to deal through the other agent. It is unlikely to surprise him and if he wants to complete the sale he will match his competitors price as 'half a loaf is better than none'.  In any case you are entitled to make an offer on the property for what you feel it is worth, which is obviously not going to be more than the price displayed by the second agent. If the first agent declines your offer you are entitled to go elsewhere and if you have been honest with him all the way he is in a very weak position to demand recompense. Good luck, Cheminot.
  18. It depends on your circumstances. Do you have a mortgage on your UK home? If so then will you be able to raise enough capital from your UK home to finance a property in France? If the answer to both these questions is yes then your best option is likely to be extending your UK mortgage, you will then have one property freehold and no worries about currency movements except for running expenses which are comparatively minor. If the answer to the second question is no then you will have no choice but to apply for a french mortgage. If you have no mortgage at all on your UK home then you can you can go either way. My personal preference is for a UK mortgage because of the potential currency fluctuations but the more favourable french rates cannot be ignored. It depends on your attitude to risk! Good Luck! Cheminot.
  19. [quote]Not strictly true -The agents' sole interest is in selling you the property so the they can get their not insubstantial commission. In many cases (but to be fair not all) you will find that agents wil...[/quote] Possibly so, but experience dictates that if you ask the question and the agent appreciates that the sale may depend on whether he answers it to your satisfaction, then you are likely to get the information you want. Obviously if you dont ask no-one is going to volunteer it. Cheminot.
  20. I have been told by my French bank that as I am resident in England the law says I can only get 1.75% on a deposit account in France. Hope this helps, Cheminot.
  21. I have no personal experience of this but I would suggest you ask the agent you are buying through or the notaire you are using. You are, after all, paying them to act on your behalf and if you want it removed you may be able to insert a clause in the 'Acte' that requires the vendor to remove it, saving you the expense of doing so. Cheminot.
  22. It sounds to me that if the asking price has been achieved the agent and perhaps the notaire can see no reason why it should not proceed so they can get their fees. They have after all done the work of marketing the house. If I were the vendor in this situation I would want to see where it was written in law or whether, as I believe, more likely to be in the small print of the sale mandat. In either case the agent and/or the notaire are likely to have recourse to law but given the cost and timescale of such action I think they would be reluctant to do so. On the other hand if I had achieved the asking price I think I would be well pleased and unlikely to want to back out. cheminot (on track)
  23. I have followed this topic with much interest as I have signed a 'Compromis' to buy a property in 16 just a few days ago. It was not the first property I attempted to buy. The previous two attempts were thwarted by one of the joint vendors not being available to sign at the same time as myself and in the time waiting for them to sign they received a better offer so withdrew from the sale. My (UK) solicitor advised me not to sign any compromis until she had read it. The agents in both cases said this was not a problem, the vendors would sign it, then when it was approved by my solicitor I could sign at a later date. Whatever the ethics of this it leads me to believe that is not illegal. As regards the full asking price I have seen or heard nothing that suggests that the vendor is obliged to accept it if it is offered. The vendors obligations only commence after he has signed the compromis. The agent through which I am buying my house has said that the 7 day cooling off period commences from the day I sign for the reciept of the compromis which will be in England. She has even asked me to post to her the postal reciept just in case the Post Office lose it! cheminot (on track)  
  24. I have read this topic with much interest as my wife and I are planning to buy a house in the Charente area. We both have children by previous marriages who are now adults (if that makes sense!). The situation we want to avoid is that on the first death that the survivors child(ren) do not inherit everything to the detriment of the others. I understand that it may be possible for my wife and I to legally adopt each others children even if they have reached majority thus if combined with the CU enabling them to share equally in the estate on the surviving spouses death. Can anyone throw some light on this? Regards, Cheminot.  
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