Tuesday 2 June 2015
Very hot and sticky - 29 degrees
Up early to write and enjoy the fresh morning air breezing in through my bedroom windows. Listened to the wind in the tall trees and the small birds going about their business. Wrote for an hour then it was all too soon to get up and put on the motley.
The first clients today were those of my colleagues. I arrived early in the village, found the keys in the letter box and threw open all of the windows. All of the hot, bored flies escaped. I looked through the window and there was a man of a military appearance, lurking outside the huge iron gates. He was easily in his 70's. I was about to show him a renovation project with vast outbuildings. This was not going to be a good visit. In fact, I had trouble getting them over the doorstep. They didn't mind a renovation project but they did not need over 500m2 of outbuildings. Apparently my colleague had not told them. If this is how he works, he must spend a lot of time showing completely unsuitable properties.
The people were farmers and in the process of selling their farm. They didn't want to buy some soulless little concrete cube, like most French people of their age, but were looking for 'old stone'. They also didn't want to buy something that someone had renovated, where they didn't like what had been done. They have a budget over 200k in excess of the price of the property we were standing in front of. I do feel that this property is completely unsellable just because of the outbuildings - they are absolutely vast - the property no longer has the land to support a farm so the property has now become a white elephant.
I take them to see another property and they don't like that either so I go for a coffee in the nearby town and very much hope I don't see PB's mother as she is still blissfully unaware that the sale has gone pear shaped. Ring head of the agency and say what on earth are we (ie they) going to do and LL has brilliant idea of getting the business manager DC to ring up the awkward US husband and get his take on things. If he says there is not a hope in hell, then we can tell the seller PB immediately.
Back home for lunch and freshen up and watch part of a cowboy film with Jaaaaaaaaaaahn Wayne. Down to the big hotel car park in town and, to my surprise, not only have the clients managed to find the car park (as opposed to circling town like a fly in a bottle) but they are on time! I hope their lovely smart car survives the afternoon without a scratch. Despite having a strange Lithuanian surname, they are from Cheshire and we get on very well immediately. Couple in their mid 60's and keen golfers.
We roll off to the first house. The couple want a lock up and leave. You could lock up your car in this garage, provided you had the skill to manoeuvre it through the very narrow streets and spin on the spot. It was one which they had requested to see as an example of a town centre location. They decide it would need gutting although at 130k, they were well within budget. We roll onto the second one, the Dutchman's house where everyone loves the interior and no one likes the fact that it is opposite the contrôle technique place where you have your MOT's done. They actually really like this house and I start to feel optimistic.
We then go to the Finnish people's house. This is Basque in appearance but once you get inside, it has the most wonderful Germanic/Scandinavian feel about it. It is an upside down house with two bedrooms, sauna and shower room on the ground floor. There is a garage where even I could manage to park a car. On the upper floor is the living room with spectacular wooden ceiling, leading out onto a proper terrasse. The kitchen is bright and welcoming and there is a lemon sprigged bedroom with private bathroom, also leading onto the terrace. The people are really taken aback because they absolutely love it. We sit in the living room and absorb the quiet. They start to imagine themselves living in it. I start to wish it was my mandate and not my colleagues. I tried to get in contact with these people via a neighbour. She either didn't try or didn't succeed to contact them but it all got rather embarrassing because every time I saw her in town, she hadn't got in contact with them and in the end, she started avoiding me.
We went to another house but their hearts were in Finlandia. By this time, I was dripping and so were they. We went for a refreshing lemonade and organised a revisit for Thursday. Our town sparkled in the sunshine and looked gay and lively. Went home and collapsed in heap.
OH rang WF and told him he needs to move out of his student hovel and that I will look for some spare rooms for him to go along to. He can sod off and do it himself OH. He is very good at giving out jobs. Had to water and it took ages. Wish plumber would hurry up and come and fix the well.