Terry Kidder wrote a book called House. I recommend it. I think I'll be able to write my own soon. Mine will be about buying, instead of building. Buying from drunks. (Word gets around in small places.)
You will recall that, back in February, the owners of our prospective demeure, finally sobered up enough to send the papers required by the juge d'instruction, so that the house could be cleared for sale. And the judge ruled. And sent papers to us. The house could be sold and the sale was to be completed within three months. Deadline: May 10.
Still trying to get an actual date for signing, I telephoned the notaire a couple of weeks ago. There seemed to be a holdup; the judge wants to hold another hearing. None of the notaires and lawyers involved know what the problem is, but they suspect it's about the succession. The current owners inherited the house, along with its debts, and succession is complicated in France. Maybe the judge just found out it's complicated.
The hearing was set for May 6. This is the same judge that set the sale deadline for May 10. It took a week for said notaires and lawyers to get in touch with the judge (the judiciary in France is so independent, it doesn't have to talk to anyone), but they did succeed in getting the hearing re-set to April 27.
If the outcome of the hearing (whatever it is about) is favourable, the judge will then send more papers. If the papers arrive by May 1 (they won't; it's a public holiday), we should be set to sign on the 11th.
If the outcome of the hearing (whatever it is about) is favourable, the owners have said we can move our furniture in at the beginning of May. But not us. They have a house we can rent, though. Excuse me, while I go clear the steam from my ears.
If the outcome is not favourable, I don't want to think about it.