It's now 6 years since we came to France. In 2005 the property market was in such full flow, anything seemed possible. But, slowly, slowly, the economic bubble started to burst. Just this week came news that Russian “Nickel King” Mikhail Prokhorov made an offer of €390 million for one of the largest villas on the Côte d’Azur. When the economic crisis hit, however, he pulled out and sought to get his 10% deposit back through the courts. The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nice ruled against Mr Prokhorov and he lost all his 39 million euros! Admittedly, the 'lucky winner' will be a new Alzheimer's Centre in Nice, but that doesn't help Mr. Prokhorov.
But despite all this, we're still set on signing our own Acte de Vente (the final procedure) this week for our new home in Gaillac. In retrospect, when we bought our present lovely home 6 years ago, we were still thinking in 'holiday home' mentality. Now, we're much more French street-smart. In these harsh economic times, we're no longer holidaymakers; we need somewhere that is a cast-iron investment - and that means a city - where the workers and the buyers are. Also, as we age and our eyesight gets dimmer (making driving more difficult), we'll be nearer essential facilities. That's the key for us right now.
I'll let you know how we get on next week.