Return to Buyer Beware (thing)

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 “for life”) is common in [France]. The elderly owner enjoys a monthly income from the buyer, who in turn gets [a real-estate bargain] – 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.
Raffray, 77 when he [passed away], had the misfortune of arranging the deal with Jeanne Calment, 122, listed in [The Guinness Book of Records] as the world’s oldest person. Raffray’s [widow] is obliged to keep sending the cheques, and should Calment [outlive her], Raffray’s children will have to pay as well.

Extract from [Reader’s Digest] – May 1997

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