“I am so very sorry, but there has been a small misunderstanding on our part”, the very amiable bank employee said on the phone, “so is there any chance you could consider paying the extra amount (of about 9 000 eur) yourself (today)?”, she continued with the kindest of voices.
A Few Days Earlier
Some people are fortunate (meaning wealthy) enough to be able to pay for their boats with their own money. We’re not, so to realise our dream we needed some kind of yacht financing.
(Right here I feel the need to say that yes, we are fortunate and wealthy in the most important of ways, living in a secure society, being healthy, having each other and beautiful children.)
(I could have used the word ‘love’ in that previous paragraph, but I saved it for this one! So why are we buying this yacht? I think love is one of the primary reasons for quite a few beautiful things in our world.)
Now, no matter how freely goods and services ought to be able to cross the borders of the EU, buying a boat from another country with yacht financing is quite tricky.
Firstly, bank and credit institutions really don’t want to give financing to foreigners.
If I want to buy a boat from a dealer located in another country (we eventually ordered from Sweden, but I also talked to dealers in other countries) the local dealer’s financing partner will not provide financing. The most commonly given reason: it’s difficult to verify my credit worthiness, partly due to tax documents, salary statements and such being in the “wrong” language.
Secondly, if I want to use a bank or credit institution in my home country, they, for their part, don’t really want to offer financing since the dealer is from abroad! (“No, we actually only work with local dealers.”)
So there we were, and things started to look a bit less optimistic.
“Sure! Just come over here to our office and tell me more about your project, it might very well be possible!”, I heard a kind voice say over the phone. Oh, wow! Hope and excitement restored!
So, to make a long story short: Handelsbanken (local branch just a few kilometers from where we live) didn’t see any problem with financing a boat from abroad. A normal ten year financing contract with a twenty percent down payment.
“Congratulations! You, Sir, will be a yacht owner next summer!”
(No, the bank employee actually didn’t use that “You, Sir” joke, but I think it would have been funny, if she had. She was lovely, though, and did congratulate us warmly!)
A Few Days Later
“She said 9 000 eur“, I thought to myself. “Sure, I could just take that from my savings account”. No, wait, I don’t have a savings account with an extra 9 000 eur. Shoot.
“Or maybe we could …”, she started.
“No, it’s fine I will try to arrange it”, I interrupted her.
The mathematics behind this misunderstanding was quite easy: even though the bank had agreed to a 20% down payment for the financing, the dealer’s required down payment (30%) took precedence over that, and the bank financing would cover only the remaining 70%.
To make a short story expensive: after some (slightly) sleepless nights, today I paid the final part of the 30% down payment, and now we’re waiting for a production slot to be allocated! (Maybe we will know our hull number at that time also? That would be cool!)
Now, I did promise the amiable bank employee that if their bank would finance our dream yacht, we would post a selfie of me and Charlotte standing in front of their headquarters in Stockholm, with wide smiles on our faces.
And we did take that selfie, but really didn’t check how it turned out before today. And we look horrible. Absolutely horrible. (Think zombie horrible, zombies standing in the wind, with squinting eyes, looking for their next prey. Sailing, nooooo. Zombie food mmm yesssssh!)
So! Instead of posting a terrible picture of me and Charlotte standing on a bridge in windy Stockholm, in front of Handelsbanken’s headquarters, we will just send our simple thanks.
Thank you, sincerely and happily. We have broad smiles on our faces.