Buyer Beware (thing)
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Buying flats by offering to pay a set monthly fee to elderly people for the remainder of their life for property (called en viager, meaning â€śfor lifeâ€ť) is common in France. The elderly owner enjoys a monthly income from the buyer, who in turn gets a real-estate bargain â€“ providing the owner dies sooner than later.
Andre-Francois Raffray thought that he had closed a great deal 32 years ago: he would pay a 90-year-old woman $625 a month until she died, then move into her flat in the French town of Arles. But in December 1995 it was Raffray who died, having paid more than $230,000.
Extract from Readerâ€™s Digest â€“ May 1997