The Tale of a P-O Love Affair

By Chris Parker

Many readers will know the names of Tim and Chris Parker from our series on Walk the Region, to which they have contributed walks over the past 5 years or so. 

This is an account of their love affair with the region over the past 17 years.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Part VII – End of an era

Our love affair with this region goes on, but a range of factors have meant that we have never been able to move here permanently.  Since retirement we have spent about 5 months a year over here, which has been wonderful.

But life moves on and for us a new phase is approaching so we make the decision to sell our home of 17 years and base ourselves in UK again.  But it is definitely not “au revoir” – because we are sure to be back in the area to meet up with so many friends and for holidays.

After receiving two professional estimates and listening to local neighbours we decide to try to sell online with an “annonce”.  Not a bad move actually  – we soon start receiving requests to visit the house.  It is rather stressful though and so we decide to put the house with an agency too.  Our ad keeps on giving and we actually have two offers – but too low, unfortunately.  Some agency visits follow – the real problem people have with our house is the “vis à vis” from that estate the council built all those years ago.  Well who can blame people who have a choice  – why would you go for a house with a pool but where part of the garden still has some vis a vis, when you can choose another house without it?

However, fortunately some people are not too bothered at all – after all we do live in a community!  Then one day our original village friend lets me know that a couple she knows are looking to move back to the village and would like to visit our house.  Our luck is in- they love the house and gardens, they are not bothered by the vis a vis and just want to move in!  So on one Sunday afternoon we agree a price and all sit down in the garden and have a drink on the deal.

So the village friend who was our first encounter and instrumental in us finding a home in the village, has also become the link person in finding a buyer. We are so fortunate to have this sort of friendship!

Of course all is going too well.  We sold in under three weeks to this delightful couple and set a date for the compromis – then guess what – COVID steps in!!

It starts with Tim and I going for a trim at a hairdresser.  We know one of the hairdressers because her mother lives across the street from us.  However, on this occasion a colleague of hers cuts our hair.  All is fine – until next evening we hear that this colleague has just tested positive for COVID – and we have to isolate for 7 days.  This means that we have to move the compromis appointment to the following week.  Fortunately all the relevant documents needed by the notaire have been left there before our isolation, birth and marriage certificates copied etc.

The days go by  – and we have no symptoms.  Anxiety and relief merge!  After 7 days we turn up early at the Centre Culturel at Cabestany to queue up for our test.  After an anxious day – hurray – we are negative!!  Just as well – because the compromis is next day!

Our buyers are just the most amazing people and want to do everything possible to move things forward.  Even from the notaire’s office, Madame is on the phone to the Mairie to ask that they expedite the letter from the notaire – well, as she says – “we live in a village  – let’s make use of the relationships we have”.

En route pour la Massane

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