6th November 2011

So, in the end we sold our first French house at a loss.  I know, I know: the idea is to make a profit. I read that French property values have dropped 20%, and I can confirm that's certainly true around here. But, at least we recouped the loss by buying our Gaillac house at 20% less. Swings and roundabouts. What's surprising is so many people who still have the 'old' mindset of what they think their house is worth: 'Yes, it's terrible; our house has been on the market now for 6 years but, of course, houses in our price range aren't selling at the moment....'  No, no, no!  There is no 'price range'. A house is only worth what someone's prepared to pay for it. If 'values' have dropped, then you must drop your price.
What's galling is all the unforeseen extras. I've just had to pay the local vidangeur 200 euros to empty the septic tank. As the buyers so aptly put it:  chacun a son caca!  And, whatever you do when conversing with the vidangeur, don't make my mistake of confusing the French word 'vide' (empty) for 'remplir' (fill up)!!! A certain, appropriate, expletive comes to mind: merde!
And Him indoors? He doesn't trust the euro or banks in general. As he says, should we put our (reduced) net profits under the mattress or in the apparently new lunar bank headed by that well-known safe-as-houses net-keeper Ban-K-sy-Moon!

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