Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You want how much in cash????

Our lawyer phoned us at 6:55 pm the night before we bought the house to tell us that the vendor wants 15,000 of the money for the house in cash.

Say what????

OK......

What????

Aside from all the other issues....

Our little village bank ain't going to have that sort of cash just laying around.....

Went into the bank first thing in the morning and I'll let our bank manager know.

What was that all about you may ask?

Well, the manager wasn't surprised. They taxes have to be paid and in Spain in general it seems, the vendors aren't trusted enough to come up with the money, so they have to pay on the spot before the house is turned over. As most people don't have 20,000 Euros lying around, and the check takes a while to clear, they want cash.

Strangely, he had enough cash too, though it was a heck of a lot of 50's to be carting around.

Weird.

If you are ever asked to do this, just make sure that the documents you sign actually include the total price of the house, not just the amount that the check covers. Foreigners may not want to get on the wrong side of the tax man.

Met with another architect yesterday, I am coming to the conclusion that a fair number of architects are somewhat glutted by hubris.

He seemed OK, a bit of a poser. He wants us to keep the sink in the back cause the tiles are a hundred years old and from some traditional town. I know what he means, but the suckers are ugly, and I have to look at them every single freaking day....plus the "courtyard" is tiny and if we keep the safareig AND the sink we won't have anywhere to sit down......I need a home, not just a museum.

He wants to be paid 10% of what we pay the builders, that is over and above what we pay them. This does bring in interesting ethical questions. For instance, it is just as easy for him to design something a little (or a lot) more expensive as to design something cheaper, indeed probably easier to go more expensive. You can please the clients and you don't have to think very hard.

Plus you make more cash that way.

Also, as he is the one who is supposed to supervise the builders, he would not have our financial interest at heart as the pair of them together could inflate the bills quite nicely.

Hmmmmm.

Have to find out if this is a typical arrangement.

If nothing else, I am learning to ask the stupid questions and not finding myself surprised by things so often.

Whew.

7 comments:

Beth said...

Buying and rennovating a house in France is crazy, too. There are so many rules and expectations and the people involved don't even see that it might all seem strange (Bizarre! Freakish!) to an outsider.
It's a Europe thing. That's how they roll.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

What an amazing adventure this is. Now you are getting to see a side of local life you hadn't yet. Isn't it fun?!

Beth said...

that is a LOT of money to have in cash.....wow.

Beth said...

Repeat after me - There is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to home renovations.
Ask - and ask often!

oreneta said...

Beth, I'm trying to think of it all as kind of anthropological investigation. easier to cope with, no?

Bodhi, mostly. Not entirely, but mostly.

Beth, know what that is in US$? $22,174.40. That's a lot of cash in one pocket.

Beth, I am coming to the conclusion that there are very few stupid questions at all. There are some, but not many.

elpadawan said...

Did you do the whole "aluminum briefcase and black glasses" secrecy stuff? :D. That's pretty impressive, 15.000 in cash.

oreneta said...

Nahhhhh, I went with zipping it in my bag and looking like an average joe around town. Worked fine. Just a little unnerving. Glad I wasn't in BCN though. JEEZ!