Viager is France's forerunner to a reverse mortgage.
The Viager concept dates as far back as 879 AD!
The BBC reports (July 1, 2015):
In a viager deal, the buyer pays a knock-down price - but only takes possession when the owner dies.
What complicates matters is that the buyer must pay the former owner (now the tenant) a monthly fee for the duration of their natural life - which could be months, years or even decades.
"Typically, sellers are 70-80 years old, and female," says Mikkael Ferrand (below, right) of Viager 75, an agency based in the Paris's smart 5th arrondissement.
(we need to explain the difference between this and a Life Estate / "Charitable Remainder Trust". Anyone got any good resources/examples/diagrams to share?)