Skip to main content

FRENCH MORTGAGE, RAIN, AND BITS AND BOBS: #14

 



 


FRENCH MORTGAGE

Those of you who have been paying attention will know that it has been several months since I last wrote about our mortgage application. At that time, I wrote that we were at the finish line. 

We were not. 

Innumerable twists and turns ensued before the money finally came through. I simply could not keep up. Here are the highlights:

  • First met with our banker during the first week of November. By the first week of December, we were told that our request for a loan had been approved. We closed on the new house on December 15th. The loan money arrived on August 2nd of the following year.
  • First, the bank called it a mortgage, then a refinance, then a loan.
  • First, the banker proposed a 10-year term with life insurance for me. Now it's a 7-year term with life insurance for both of us.
  • First, I proposed that the bank finance 38% of the purchase price. The bank agreed to finance 27%.
  • First did an online medical questionnaire in November. The website didn't like Cathey's phone number for the verification code. Mailed a signed hard copy witnessed by the banker. Then the bank decided in April that the medical questionnaires were too old and had to be resubmitted. Still didn't like Cathey's phone number but her sister's number worked just fine. She called us with the verification code.
  • First the bank wanted us to open a 10,000€ savings account maintained to ensure payments. Settled for 25% less, money that we can't touch until the loan is paid off. 

Each of the changes required an exchange of emails and a personal meeting with the banker. I have counted 15 separate email threads.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: The old adage is true. The best way to obtain a loan is to prove that you don't need it. For American citizens in France, the requirements go a bit further, including making the deal worth the effort for your bank to comply with American and European banking regulations. 

Regardless of the fact that we have submitted French tax returns, in addition to our American ones, for 15 years. Regardless of the fact that we have lived permanently in France for 8 years. And regardless of the fact that we have received our ten-year residency permits, one step below French citizenship, about three years ago. We are still Americans. We must learn patience with French bureaucracy. If you don't learn that patience, living in France won't be nearly as much fun.

RAIN

Did I read recently that the folks who built that ark in Kentucky (or someplace like Kentucky) are suing their insurance company? They want to be paid for water damage. To the ark that they built. From rain. Water damage.


 OPERA SURPRISE

The conductor has led the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted the Royal Ballet of Covent Garden Orchestra at the Met in New York. The soloists are among the best in France. And for 30€, we'll be attending their performance of Donzinetti's The Elixir of Love in a small theater in a small town a few minutes away. We had no idea when we moved to the rural, politically conservative, ancient region of France, a region that traces human history back to Neanderthals and beyond, that modern players would find venues for music from Bach to the blues anywhere and everywhere that an audience could be called together. What a gift!

 UPDATE: Attended the opera last night. Unfortunately, our heat wave hadn't broken. Fortunately, the venue's tiered seating afforded everyone a clear view of the performance. And the orchestra was tight and confident from the first notes of the overture. And the set was simple but enhanced with occasional, interesting projected animations. And the principal soloists were nationally recognized professionals. And the chorus displayed enthusiasm and discipline.

And I am so grateful to live here.

TRUMP 

There has to come a point of reckoning or else why do we pretend that there is such a thing as the rule of law? You simply can't take stuff out of the Oval Office and stick it in your closet at home if it is classified certain ways or if it belongs in the National Archives. The man overtly puts the Presidential Seal on everything in sight at his resorts and on his golf courses in clear contravention of the law. His other transgressions are so numerous as to defy comprehension by reasonable, rational people. There has to come a point of reckoning.


 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

GRACE SLICK, BREXIT AGAIN, SELF CHECKOUT, AND MORE: #18

    GRACE SLICK I just listened again to Volunteers , the last Jefferson Airplane album with the 'classic' lineup. 1969. Perfect. Sometimes sloppy. Sometimes over dramatic. But perfect. And Grace Slick. Grace. Slick. Perfect. BREXIT & CONSERVATISM Except for the 30% or so who've drunk the Kool-Aid, can we all agree that Brexit is not working out as advertised? And that the Republican Party in the USofA has sold its soul to a cadre of authoritarians who think they are the true small-d-democrats but who don't want everybody to have a vote and won't abide by a vote that they don't like? How did it happen that, in the name of political conservatism, two countries put into power incompetent leaders financed by greedy elites? And I just read that Michael Gove thinks that Liz Truss is toast because her agenda has been shredded. Whose agenda has been shredded more thoroughly than Gove’s and why would any thinking person be interested in his opinions except to liste