The tale of buying a French house - by a pair of
green gilled novices
A true story.......
Having previously holiday'd a few times in the
beautiful Midi-Pyrenees, back in August 2015, we spontaneously decided to nip
over to France for a) a quick mini break and b) to view a property we'd seen on
Before we left the UK, we emailed Anthony and
Gillie with our basic wish list (budget, number of bedrooms, type of location
etc) so they'd have an idea of what we might be looking for in advance
As our plane took off from Gatwick, I turned to
Felicia and reminded her why we were making this trip and, in my most masterly
voice, clearly stated 'We will definitely NOT be making any offers on this trip
or buying a house......so don't get ANY ideas!'
On arriving at their offices in Caylus, we were
greeted by Gillie who spent the next hour or so, gently (and skilfully)
interviewing us, teasing out little clues that would subsequently help her
marry our requirements/ dreams with what they might have on their books.
The next three days, she took us to view a total of
seven properties. Everyone of which was lovely in their own right but none set
the fireworks off..........except one!
Having never owned a property abroad before or
expecting to feel like this, we were somewhat stumped/ shocked and surprised.
So we slept on it and went back for a second
viewing the next day.....
..... The rest, as they say, is history.
Anthony and Gillie held our hands throughout the
whole process, definitely going above and beyond what one would normally expect
with their invaluable advice and support.
And so in mid December 2015 we completed on our
wonderful, dream French home..
Allez South West France may on paper, be property
agents but trust me, they are so much more than that....
David & Felicia
would thoroughly recommend Allez South
West France - they were charmingly flexible and ‘ can do' when we
wanted to visit at short notice at the weekend and then supported us
knowledgeably and sensibly through the whole buying process. After purchase
they went above and beyond the call of duty, helping us to reconnect the
utilities while we were in London by waiting for the water and electricity men
at the house for us. Anthony and Gillie obviously know the area and property
market very well and that shone through during all our dealings with
saw the property we bought on lots of websites and contacted them, rather
than another agent, by chance. If you are faced with the same situation, I
would suggest you consciously choose Allez South West France.
and Adrian, London
This is just a note to say how much we have appreciated your
help over the years. From first buying the house to finally selling the house
you have provided a dedicated and professional service. We are sure that you
went above and beyond what you were contracted to do.
We can’t believe it has actually been sold after all this
time and even though we feel quite sad at selling it we feel it was the right
decision for us at this time.
Some of the money is going to be used to buy a motor home
and maybe, some time in the future, we will be passing through Caylus and we
hope to find you both well and still in business.
Thank you Gillie and Anthony for everything.
Steven and Lorraine Booth
My husband and I had decided to spend a week in the
beautiful countryside of Tarn and Garonne in April. Before heading off to
France for our holiday, we talked about our dream to buy a house there
ready for retirement. So we started to check out properties on the Internet. We
came across a site with some houses we quite liked so decided to book some
viewings during our stay, as we thought it might be fun to continue our dream.
It was then that we spoke to Gillie for the first time and realised that this lady
knew what she was talking about in relation to properties and the local area.
We agreed to meet her for a day of viewing. On arriving at the office in
Caylus, we had a really good feeling about the day ahead. Gillie met us and
made us feel immediately at home. We chatted and she got us to talk about our
ideas, then planned the day to show us properties which she knew would meet our
needs. We sped off in Gillie's car around the countryside with our packed
lunch, ready to make the most of the day. Gillie was a fountain of knowledge
and we began to think our dream could become a reality. And sure enough she
showed us the house we had imagined! Of course we were very nervous about
taking the plunge, but back at the office we met Anthony who outlined the
process in detail. We returned to the UK, made our decision and completed on
our lovely farmhouse in the stunning notaire's office in Caylus in September.
Anthony supported us throughout the process, answering endless e-mails and
recommending people to help us with legal details and currency exchange.
We have just spent a fantastic week in our house
and can't wait to return. Thank you very much to both of you for making the
process so straightforward and for making our dream come true!
Caroline & Robert Shore
From the first viewing to completion and beyond,
Anthony’s and Gillie’s supportive and friendly attitude reassures you that you
are in safe hands. They stay closely in touch throughout, providing step by
step instructions and invaluable advice.
I found the entire process smooth and trouble free.
Philip Sully St Projet
We’d be more than happy to
recommend Anthony and Gillie to any friends thinking of buying a house in the
Tarn-et-Garonne. As other testimonials have said, Gillie is intuitive and
pretty much insisted (in a nice way) we see a house that on paper, we’d rejected.
We now own it, so good for her! Anthony is excellent at sorting out the niggly
bits that inevitably occur once the process of purchase is underway.
Communication is very good via emails, texts, and phone calls. We never had to
wait more than a day to hear news, or for a response to one of our enquiries.
(Could you possibly check mobile phone signal? Could you possibly read the
electricity meter? Could you possibly find out from the Mairie what the
neighbouring land is used for? Yep, we were that couple). They’re friendly,
professional and hardworking but they also have time for a bit of a chat when
concerns arise. And they do also seem genuinely pleased when it all goes
swimmingly, as it did with us.
Mike and Becca, UK
Many thanks to Anthony and Gillie for all their help and assistance in the purchase of our dream place in the sun. Gillie realised very soon after meeting us, the type of properties that appealed to us and went out of her way to show us as many potential houses as possible in our short time in France and arranging a second viewing at short notice.
After our offer on a village house was accepted, Anthony and Gillie assisted by explaining the French condition of the property. The fact that the sale was being dealt with by an English speaking notaire also helped make the process run very smoothly and efficiently. Anthony and Gillie updated us regularly on progress, liaised with the notaire and the company conducting the survey on our behalf and Gillie was even present at the final signing of the relevant papers to complete the purchase. We were really pleased with the very prompt and professional advice by all concerned and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others or indeed using them again.
Around the time of completion, Anthony was also able to advise us about setting up an electricity account so that there was no interruption to the supply. He also liaised with the water company to set up our account.
A general piece of advice, which no doubt Anthony and Gillie would concur with, is that you should start making arrangements for a mortgage (if required) at an early stage, as there are a multitude of application forms and copies of documents that are required by the French lenders.
Many thanks again for all your help.
Pat and Val
We were extremely impressed by the expert help that Gillie and Anthony gave us from start to finish. Gillie realised immediately exactly what we were searching for and came up with the perfect house, which had passed us by on the website. Once our offer had been accepted, Anthony gave us step by step instructions which made the administrative hurdles appear easy and all went through without a hitch. Not only that, he went out of his way to resolve all our additional concerns promptly and successfully. We couldn't have wished for better agents and can thoroughly recommend them.
Shelby & Jo
Customer care, individually tailored advice and ongoing support are the qualities that have characterised our experience with Allez South West France.
As estate agents, they have performed their job marvellously, selling us a fantastic character property that we love, in an efficient, smooth process that has completed as quickly as French bureaucracy will allow! But they’ve gone beyond the necessary estate agent duties, and all the truly helpful extras (advice about currency exchange, notaires, the local area, useful contacts, banking etc) is what has made it such a pleasure to deal with Anthony & Gillie. They’ve really helped us with the relocation process, familiarising us with the processes of a new country. Anthony even accompanied us to the bank to facilitate setting up our French account! Rethink your ideas of estate agents, as here you will find a pleasant, professional, friendly service, working for the satisfaction of both vendor & purchaser.
They’ve been brilliant and I thoroughly recommend them!
John and Debbie (United Kingdom)
Gillie and Anthony
We can’t thank you enough for the help you gave us over the summer...
After looking at over 40 houses with other agents in the area, and hundreds on the websites, we met up with Gillie in Caylus and were taken to 3 houses we had requested to see...None were what we were really looking for and as we live in Los Angeles the clock was ticking towards our return home.
Gillie listened carefully to our comments at each house viewed - and suddenly exclaimed that she had an idea of a perfect house for us. "Just on the market! No photos available. You have to see it". Intrigued, we met up again the following day and fell head over heels for the house she showed us. Only one day on the market, we were the first viewers - and we knew this was the one!
Anthony helped us through all the French blue tape involved in buying the house and every letter back and forth was written in English (Notaire's legal letters as well) so there was no anxiety as to what we were signing...
We can’t recommend Gillie and Anthony enough. They really listen to a buyer's wants and needs - and successfully lead them to their dream property! We are very grateful to you both.
Camilla and Cameron (California,USA)
Over the years we have bought and sold many houses. Anthony and Gillie stand head and shoulders above anyone else we have ever encountered in the process. They effectively project managed the whole process from both the buyers and the sellers point of view. Whenever problems arrived they work so hard to arrive at a solution that works for both parties.
As far as we are concerned they set the standard for immobiliers in France and for Estate Agents in UK. We will be recommending all of our friends who wish to buy in France to go to Allez South West France.
Thank you Anthony and Gillie for a job well done.
David and Elaine Jeens (Abu Dhabi)
Initially disappointed that the house I was interested in had just been sold, Gillie carefully took me though a selection of their properties in and around my budget. I think Gillie kept the best till last because it took me less than ten seconds to decide that I had found what I was looking for.
After that the coordination and care that Anthony put into the conveyance, especially as the sellers were in their nineties, was as good as I have known over years of buying many properties.
Both Gillie and Anthony have been extremely helpful since the completion and it is always a pleasure to visit their office and always informative. If you are looking for a property in this area you need not go any further than Allez South West France.
Malcolm Gee (London)
We appreciated Gillie's personal approach from the outset and her ability to tune in quickly to what we were looking for. A great day with her showing us a good selection of properties produced an immediate result. Anthony's support during the legal and other formalities was extremely helpful. We would be happy to recommend Allez South West France to anyone considering buying a house in this lovely area.
Jim and Alex
Allez South West France were one of several agencies in the Tarn-et-Garonne department that we visited in our efforts to find just the right house for our own use as well as for holiday letting. Gillie and Anthony Pearce were more than helpful: they made us feel immediately at home and spent a long time discussing just what we were looking for and showing us a number of sets of details on paper before we set off with Gillie to look at a long list of properties. Gillie was most helpful, providing all the information we needed but leaving us to explore in our own time. She quickly assimilated what we did and did not go for and adjusted the schedule accordingly. The house that was, in the end, just right for us was one we had originally rejected – which goes to show the importance of sound advice and a proper viewing on the ground and not relying just on the internet.
Back at the office, Anthony patiently took us through the French house purchase procedure and made all the necessary arrangements, introducing us to a local Notaire as well as advising us about a bank account, utilities and so on.
At our house-warming, Anthony, Gillie were the first people to be invited to share our pleasure in our new home and we are grateful for all they did to make the whole-buying experience so easy and – yes, really - enjoyable.
Richard and Rosemary Smyth (Wales)
We cannot thank you enough for your incredible efforts and assistance in purchasing our dream home! Buying a home long distance is quite daunting, and we probably would have given up if we hadn’t had your continued, outstanding assistance and support throughout the process. Of course it was all worth it, but if not for you, it’s unlikely we would be the proud owners of a beautiful home in southwest France!
John Robinson and Deb Meyers, Calgary, Canada
Thank you so much for finding us the house of our dreams and ensuring that all went well. We felt quite dazed by the events on Saturday, but very quickly we set to work. By Monday evening the house was completely cleared and cleaned and is now ready for our future there - it is an area of the world we have very quickly learnt to love, and it is largely down to you guys - thank you again.
We will be back quite soon and will be sure to pop in and say hello.
The wine went down a treat!!!
Greta and I would like to thank both of you for all the assistance afforded to us during our recent property purchase in the Tarn et Garonne. You certainly made it very easy for us and provided us with a level of comfort and confidence throughout the whole process.
Your continued support and advice is most appreciative and cannot thank you enough.
Sorry it's taken a while to write, but it has taken us a little time to settle back into our "London routine" after a fantastic first trip to the house.We just wanted to say a big thank-you for all your help throughout the
purchase: it really has been a pleasure working with you.
We both feel that your approach to customer service was absolutely
spot-on, one particular example being Anthony's unprompted willingness, on
the day of the purchase, to excavate a filthy manhole to try and get
our water connected!
Thanks again for making it one of the smoothest property purchases we
have ever experienced.
Best wishes for the future,
J and A
We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your hard work in helping find our dream home in the Tarn et Garonne. From the very start we found your open friendly approach and obvious knowledge of the market, the region and the people a great comfort.
At first we found the idea of buying a property in a country where we knew nothing about the laws, procedures or accepted customs a daunting if not frightening prospect.
It was a great source of comfort to us when we found someone who not only understood our nervousness but could also advise us honestly on which aspects of home buying we should be careful about and guide us through the whole process.
The manner in which you put us at ease and the patience you exhibited in helping us convert a pretty loose set of ideas into a realistic picture of the property we wanted is truly an excellent example of customer care that can rarely be found.
The surprising thing for us was that the help you gave us did not stop when we had actually agreed on the purchase. Since that time you have advised us on everything from finding tradesmen to where the best markets, how to get our pool seen to and where to eat out.
As you know we are both wonderfully happy with our house. Now that we have some time to stop and draw a breath we would just like to thank you for being with us every step of the way. You really did turn what could have been a very stressful period for us into something which not only ran very smoothly but also went exactly as you said it would. Of course the personal touch on its own can't make this happen. You proved yourselves to be highly professional and competent with regard to every aspect of the whole business.
We can absolutely vouch for the fact that your personal & highly professional approach works. It has even rubbed off on the family we bought the house from. We have become rather friendly with them and they have been extremely complimentary about the level of personal & efficient attention they received from you.
If you ever need a recommendation on who to go to when buying a house in France then please feel free to get in touch.
Very best regards,
J & J S
Just to say thank you so much for all your time spent with us on Saturday. You understood our needs so very well and made what was a daunting experience in to one that felt much less so. We really appreciated your advice and guidance and particularly appreciated you pointing out to us the property that has turned out to be our dream house!
J and R .P
The level and quality of support and advice, the attention to detail was second to none. It genuinely removed a large proportion of the stress out of the experience and we felt in very safe hands. We were particularly pleased and impressed by the friendly, accessible and very professional service provided by your team. They were simply the best!
Wow, what a visit on Thursday. Poor Gillie, have you recovered yet? We haven't!
Each and every property you showed us had the wow factor and we were bowled over by Mary's place and by the one owned by the Burrows? However, there was a lot to digest and we need to come up for air for a bit, do much soul searching and discuss things with my mother.
We cannot thank you enough for your stirling work and most of all for listening to us. You were absolutely brilliant, Gillie, and we would have no hesitation in recommending you. We appreciate how much preparation and hard work goes into these things and recognise a class act when we see it.
We hope to be in touch with you again soon.
R and C. B